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Natchez Burning (Penn Cage, #4)
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Natchez Burning (Penn Cage #4)

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  8,499 ratings  ·  1,485 reviews
#1 New York Times bestselling novelist Greg Iles returns with his most eagerly anticipated book yet, and his first in five years – Natchez Burning, the first installment in an epic trilogy that weaves crimes, lies, and secret past and present into a mesmerizing thriller featuring Southern mayor and former prosecutor Penn Cage.
Hardcover, 791 pages
Published April 29th 2014 by William Morrow (first published 2014)
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Jim D This book is not a feel good ending book......pretty complex in the landscape it paints. I enjoyed the historical connections.
Linda I have not finished the book yet, but loving it. I am on page 459 and can hardly put the book down. It can be depressing at times, but is based on…moreI have not finished the book yet, but loving it. I am on page 459 and can hardly put the book down. It can be depressing at times, but is based on history. For as long as it is, it seems to move pretty fast, at least for me. I understand, there will be two more books. Any body know when the next book comes out?(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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My god, have I been living under a rock? How is it I have not read one of this man’s books before now? Further still, something, rang familiar, but what? A quick scan of my physical shelves gave it up. I have another one of Iles books languishing there as yet unread. Let me tell you that will change.

It’s true; I wanted to like this book. I was not however, prepared to be knocked off my socks, but I was. This man writes with the absolute authority of someone who knows well, his landscape, but he
Apr 25, 2014 Carol rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Carol by: William Morrow
Shelves: fiction
At more than 800 pages Natchez Burning is a big book which tells a big story. My prediction is it will be a big bestseller too.

My sincere thanks to William Morrow for allowing me to read Natchez Burning prior to its April 2014 publication.

I don't like to know too much about a book going in. Sometimes reading a publisher synopsis or pre-publication reviews can be helpful but often they over reveal. I didn't know going in that Natchez Burning was planned as a trilogy. I didn't even know that ther
Susan May
I don't understand all the great ratings. It started off well but I couldn't stand the repetition of the same information. By page 350, it really slows down. By 520 I skipped to the last chapter and I don't think I missed anything. And this is the 1st of a trilogy. How can you not tell a full story in 800 pages?? This book would gave been great if it was cut to 400 pages.
Lin Roberts
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is a suspenseful, mystery novel that loses its punch midway through and, as the violence piles up, loses its believability. Iles created characters that are so worn and clichéd: the heroes being the white, liberal lawyer and newspaper reporter; the villains being southern, white, uneducated bubbas. I found his portrayal of black, female sexuality especially objectionable and stereotypical.
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
Holy smokes!!! This was quite a page turner. A good old mystery, family secrets and lots of drama. I really enjoyed this book and will look into reading more of Iles's books in the future.
I won an Advanced Reader’s Copy through Goodreads.
At 800 pages, this novel is a tour de force. Penn Cage, former prosecutor and mayor of Natchez, Mississippi, gets drawn into a 40-year-old mystery involving his father, beloved long-time physician Tom Cage.
In powerful, elegant prose, Greg Iles creates a suspenseful mystery concerning racism and its tragic effects on people’s lives. The author doesn’t shy away from portraying the appalling violence and the quest for justice during the Civil Rights
Luanne Ollivier
I've read everything Greg Iles has ever written - he's an incredibly talented wordsmith. His novels are all quite different but with one similarity - they're addicting reads. (And bestsellers as well)

His latest book Natchez Burning has just released and it's an absolutely fantastic read - easily his best novel yet. It's been a while coming - Iles nearly died in an auto accident five years ago.

Natchez Burning is the fourth book to feature lawyer Penn Cage, now the mayor of Natchez, Mississippi.

A 791-page tome is a big ask. Especially considering it's a thriller, and the first in a trilogy - is it possible to keep the tension going for so long? Greg Iles is no ordinary writer, and thus he succeeds where others wouldn't.

It's also quite a challenge to write about racism and prejudice, and the author asks all the tough questions, with even more uncomfortable answers. And that's the point: people are often prejudiced, though they don't mean to be. Even thinking of someone as "exotic," and
Lynne Thomas
WOW!!! Welcome back, Mr. Iles!
This novel takes a hard look into father/ son relationships and the realization by son that Dad isn't the perfect man Son projected him to be.
Most important, Mr. Iles tackles the state of racism during the 1960's and shows us how little it has changed 50 years later. Not many would take on this subject as head on as has Mr. Iles. I tip my hat to him.
I've read many reviewers take to task the fact that many questions and characters went unanswered. I do not unders
Liz Wilkins
To be Published 13th March by Harper Collins

Thank you THANK YOU to Kate and Bob at Killer Reads for the advance copy. Probably THE best book post I have ever had.

Penn Cage is facing a son’s worst nightmare – having his father stand accused of murder. Worse, each effort to defend the legendary Dr Tom Cage unearths new, shocking secrets, leaving Penn to question whether he ever really knew his father at all.

So for those of you who have not read the previous Penn Cage novels from Greg Iles (the fir
Just too wordy, convoluted, and long-winded for me to give it more than a 3 star. Being a Greg Iles fan, I must say I was disappointed in this book. He's just trying to do too much here, and for me the continuity, tension dissipated more and more as the story line progressed. Others feel differently, I see. I had to force myself to finish this book. It's never happened to me in an Iles book before this.

There are some completely unbelievable factions and facts assumed as related to real history
I was immersed in this riveting story of heinous crimes both past and present in Natchez, Mississippi. It has bad guys, very bad guys, and good guys, who struggle with right and wrong as they work toward justice and protecting themselves and their loved ones. Told over the course of 3 days in 2005, it tells of present day corruption and crime and reflects on several racially motivated murders of the 1960's during that supercharged era. A few people in Natchez and nearby towns in Louisiana are tr ...more
Kenya Brooks
Are you kidding, Greg Iles? I just wasted 800 pages of my reading life for about 600 pages of reiterations and NO ENDING! Upon reading the other reviews, I realize this is a first book in a trilogy but you don't leave whole characters completely in the middle of a storyline and just stop writing about them until the next book! No wrap up whatsoever on 1/2 of the main characters! Ridiculous!!! And the worst part is that not only has this book wasted my time, it's also tarnished my credibility bec ...more
My grandmother was from Neshoba County -- referenced several times in this novel -- and I had high hopes. This could have been a good book if it had received more judicious editing. Instead, every theory about all the civil rights issues in Mississippi and Louisiana were contained in this bloated, over-long novel. Sensationalism, super-humans... ridiculous and unbelievable. I have enjoyed Mr. Iles' other books, but will pass on the rest of this trilogy.
Mike Keeler
Not worth the time it takes to read this ridiculously long novel. The plot has too many holes, many subplots are left unresolved. The climatic scene strains believability. I think I'll pass on the sequels.
Nov 13, 2013 Tina marked it as to-read
Very excited about this one. Iles was in a horrific car accident a few years ago, and Burning will be his debut return to writing.
This was definitely a page-turner, and the four stars are for keeping me interested for 800 pages. But something about the narrative style and the Penn Cage character got on my nerves in a distracting way.

And for once--please--could a suspense novel's male protagonist not have a hot girlfriend? I'd accept being married to a hot woman, or in an uncommitted relationship with an average-to-homely woman. The trope just gets so very old, particularly when the protagonist is such a thinly disguised "a
This was a long book~ however that didn't diminish the thrill or intensity of the story (it just took me awhile to read). Greg Iles has not ever (personal opinion) disappointed~ and didn't with this book. The subject matter of racism is a bit difficult to swallow while reading all of the horrific injustices done...but it happened and we constantly should be reminded so that we don't stand for another "black eye" type of situation. Kudos to my favorite character, Henry Sexton!! I would like to th ...more
Robert Intriago
In parts it reminded me of James Ellroy's American Tabloid. The basic story of the killing of civil rights worker in the south by the KKK and the plots to assassinate politicians is interesting and captivating. The narrative is tedious as a result of constant repetition of the same material. The same story is repeated by several characters which leads to feelings that you could have started reading the book 200 pages into it and not have missed anything. A good story spoiled by the length of the ...more
This was a good story 5 years in the making but holy hell! I didn't think I was ever going to finish it. At almost 800 pages it was a monster to haul around. This is book 1 of a trilogy. It's not a easy book or subject matter to read about. What's worse is that things like that actually happened. Excellent book with a hanging ending.
I would like to tell the author that I believe that the characters are red necks from the South, so he doesn't need their grammar to be so obviously, purposely bad. I was listening to this book, which made it worse.
In addition to the absolutely terrible dialogue, the characters were all two-dimensional. The doctor is the best doctor in town, and has treated everyone who has ever lived in that town. His wife is secretly very intelligent, although she didn't know that her husband was in love with
Natchez Burning has it captivating moments, I give it that, but as it stretches longer and longer they grow scattered far between and certainly don’t compensate for book’s major problems. First of which, for me, would be that Penn Cage is bloody annoying. I generally don’t like first-person narrators , but that guy for sure creates a league for himself. It was our first (most likely last) encounter and I’m pretty sure only reason why I actually reached the end of that thing was that I’d started ...more
Judy Collins
Wow! While listening to this gripping, intense thriller NATCHEZ BURNING (Penn Cage #4) audiobook—I continued to ask myself, “why haven’t I read more of by Greg Iles”? Immediately, I begin checking my WANT TO READ LIST for all Iles’ Penn Cage Books in the Trilogy, which I missed, plus others to get the full details of Tom and Penn.

Amazing and brilliant writing! I have only read one of Greg’s books, THIRD DEGREE, some years ago, and when I began reading all the rave reviews of NATCHEZ BURNING – k
I would like to add my thanks to the doctors who saved Greg's life, as he did in his afterword. A long wait for this book, but what a great book. Like riding on a freight train at full speed. Set in Natchez, Mississippi, where Penn Cage is now mayor and his fiancee, Caitlin Masters, is the publisher of the local paper, and his father Tom is a legendary, kind-hearted doctor to all, Tom is accused of killing a former black nurse that worked for him in the 1960s. Politics, race, greed, forbidden lo ...more
I'm 300 pages in, and *Natchez Burning* is a remarkably thrill-less "thriller." Iles' choice to tell the story through multiple points of view leads to the repetition of information mentioned by some other reviewers here, and that repetition really bogs down the pacing of the story. For example, one character lives through a series of events--we get those from his point of view. Then he tells another character about those events years later, and we hear them again. Then *that* character tells an ...more
insight into the civil rights era was interesting, but don't be fooled - unless you love by-the-numbers pop thriller fiction garbage then skip this book. character and setting development is minimal and you're left with 700 pages of repetitive dialogue, stereotypical archetypes, absurd plot developments and ridiculous motives. oh and not to mention that nothing really resolves at the end. waste of a vacation read.
Laurie Stevens
Greg Isles is a great writer, no doubt. He creates a sympathetic yet strong character in Penn Cage, the mayor of Natchez MS. Penn struggles to understand the secrets of his father, before the sins of that father get handed down to him. Lots of heart-thumping action, along with deeply pensive moments make this a very satisfying read. History buffs will love (or hate) the setting of the South during the Civil Rights era. The era itself is almost a character of the book. My only issue with this boo ...more
Kathleen Kelly
I have to be in the right mood to read a book that’s 800 pages long because it means the storyline is extremely complex and intricate and there is a lot of character growth and development. The book Natchez Burning by Greg Iles definitely fits this description.

A description of the book from Amazon is as follows:

Growing up in the rural Southern hamlet of Natchez, Mississippi, Penn Cage learned everything he knows about honor and duty from his father, Tom Cage. But now the beloved family doctor an
Poor old Penn Cage, he just can't get any peace. This massive new 800-page thriller by Greg Iles is evidently part 1 of a projected trilogy, starring the Natchez mayor, previously Houston assistant DA, and part-time novelist Mr. Cage. The cast of characters retains many of those introduced in previous novels. And as with all of the other books, this one is chock full of wild and wacky goings-on.

Mayor Cage finds himself pulled into a crisis of faith when his father, Dr. Tom Cage, is accused of mu
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Absolutely fantastic book 20 115 Jan 22, 2015 04:15PM  
The Reading For P...: Book club Buddy read Natchez Burning with Holly, Iasa and others 102 26 Jan 02, 2015 12:01PM  
Casual Readers: Natchez Burning / September general read 5 17 Sep 28, 2014 01:33PM  
Flower Mound Publ...: Natchez Burning 5 31 Jun 03, 2014 12:07PM  
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Greg Iles was born in Germany in 1960. He grew up in Natchez, Mississippi, and graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1983. He was active in a band called "Frankly Scarlet", but quit after realizing that the touring lifestyle was not conducive with his family life. Once no longer busy with the band, he turned his attention to writing.

Greg's novels have been translated into various languag
More about Greg Iles...

Other Books in the Series

Penn Cage (6 books)
  • The Quiet Game (Penn Cage, #1)
  • Turning Angel (Penn Cage, #2)
  • The Devil's Punchbowl (Penn Cage, #3)
  • The Bone Tree (Penn Cage, #5)
  • Unwritten Laws (Penn Cage, #6)
The Quiet Game (Penn Cage, #1) Turning Angel (Penn Cage, #2) Blood Memory (Mississipi #5) True Evil The Devil's Punchbowl (Penn Cage, #3)

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“the human being is a very complicated contraption and that they are not good or bad but are good and bad and the good comes out of the bad and the bad out of the good, and the devil take the hindmost.” 3 likes
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