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The Quiet Game (Penn Cage #1)

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  14,470 ratings  ·  819 reviews
If anyone knows Death, Penn Cage does. He, himself, has sent 16 men to their fate as District Attorney, and killed one by his own hand. And now his beautiful young wife is gone too, leaving him alone with their young daughter. He decides to go home; home means Natchez, Mississippi, and the ghosts of his past.
Paperback, 580 pages
Published July 1st 2000 by Coronet (first published January 1st 1999)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Edward Lorn
Jul 22, 2015 Edward Lorn rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Every-fucking-body with eyes
Lemme tell you a story.

I'm perusing the stacks at my local Books-a-Million (hitherto referred to as BAM), when I come across an absolutely gorgeous hardcover by a guy named Greg Iles. That novel was Natchez Burning, and if you're ever at BAM or any other brick-and-mortar bookseller, check it out. Shoot, maybe you own this marvel of modern publishing. I wanna have babies with that hardcover. Papercuts on my dinglehopper be damned! Anyfuck, I'm wiping drool from my mouth as I pull out my phone and
...more
Janie Johnson
This is by far the best I have read from Iles so far. A very riveting tale full of lies, deceit, mistrust, and brutal honesty. The plot was brilliant, the characters even more so, so vivid that you could place yourself there among them. My favorite character would have to be Penn Cage. I can honestly say that I will not forget him for a very long time, if ever. I look forward to the other books in this series. I can only see Cage becoming even more amazing.

I loved the twists that Iles included i
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Lewis Weinstein
This was an excellent read, with interesting characters and plot, and sustained tension.

It also provides a look at the ugly prejudice against blacks that apparently still exists in the deep South, including among some in law enforcement, and the hypocrisy with which people try to hide but not deal with or change their feelings.

Iles has at least two instances of unexpected help coming from unexpected places, a device that often gets to me. He also has his main character (author Penn Cage) reflect
...more
Mary
This book had me trapped in the stinging closet of self-loathing for the very short time it took me to race through it. And thank goodness is was fast-paced, because oh my God did it cause some eyerolling that would have been medically marginal had it continued unabated. The characters were so incredibly stereotypical and alternately condescending/patronizing in so many ways that I audibly sighed to myself while reading this, as if to beg myself to turn back and put this book down. But I couldn' ...more
Pamela
How I rated this book.

All books start with 5-stars then have stars or partial stars deducted.

1. This book was not jaw-droppingly amazing in the way The Remains of the Day or Things Fall Apart were. Neither was it brilliant, ground-breaking, and thought provoking like pretty much anything by Jonathan Coe or by Denis Johnson is.

Deduct one star for non-brilliance.

Rating now at 4-stars.


2. First person. I am not particularly in love with first person. There are times when it works and times when i
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Esil
I must admit that I read this book for a strange reason. I read a brilliant review of Natchez Burning, and discovered that it was the 4th in the Penn Cage series. While the review was clear that it's not necessary to read the first three to appreciate Natchez Burning, I am a bit obsessive about reading mystery series in order. A long rationale, but mostly it ended up being worthwhile. I like Penn Cage. I like the setting. I liked the plot. It kept me reading to the end wondering how it would all ...more
Edwin
I only recently discovered Greg Iles (Summer of 2010). The Quiet Game is the second book of his that I have read. Yes, he is a better read than Grisham and his characters are more alive and his description of events closer to home. A little too much violence and murder to be real, but it is a thriller and that is why we are reading him. Iles is particulary adept at bringing the reader into the relationships, and creating the chemistry of Penn Cage and Livy and Penn Cage and Caitlin is nothing sh ...more
Rhonda
This is one of the best books I've read in a long time. It has found it's place on my favorites shelf in the company of only 2 other titles. I was immediately captivated and pulled into the story. It had crime, corruption, love, hate, jealousy, idealism and more. The story revolves around an unsolved 1968 murder in the deep south, a town called Natchez in Mississippi. The settings, characters, dialogue, plot, outcome all are believable. I loved the characters, even the ones I didn't like, if tha ...more
Lori
and only book I have had a chance to read by Greg. Unfortunately.

I had to read about a quarter of the book before I could really GET INTO it but after that... I was hooked!!!

The story takes place in Natchez Mississippi and I loved learning about the town. Since it is Greg's home town he does a phenomenal job of describing the type of people who live there as well as the place itself.

I also like the way he describes how a strong "southern family" keeps their bond. The love between father and so
...more
Darlene
One of the best things about reading is having the opportunity to discover a new and exciting series in which to lose yourself. I recently discovered such a series… the Penn Cage series by author Greg Iles. In 'The Quiet Game', we are introduced to former Houston prosecutor-turned-novelist Penn Cage. His wife has recently passed away and he and his 4 year old daughter,Annie, are trying to deal with their grief. Penn decides that perhaps a change in scenery would be good for both of them; so he t ...more
Susan
I have mixed feelings about this novel. Greg Iles is a good writer, but he needs an editor who will make him cut the redundant passages in his books. The Quiet Game is 559 pages long. At various points, I skimmed at least 100 pages of it.

Set in Natchez, Mississippi, the plot revolves around the 30-year-old unsolved murder of a black man, which Penn Cage, attorney and best-selling novelist, must solve. There are more skeletons in the closets of Natchez mansions and police departments than you ca
...more
Robert Rosenthal
A good fast-paced read, with action, mystery, and quietly compelling, tasteful sex. The local color (Natchez, on the bluffs of the Mississippi River) plays a starring role, perhaps with more verisimilitude than some of the characters. Very good plotting. Some of the best prose I've read in a thriller novel. Iles really does know how to write. Yes, there are the heart-strings twisting cliches: a lone celeb dad and his daughter recovering from the death to cancer of his wife; the good country doct ...more
Manugw
SIMPLY IRRESITIBLE

The quiet game is an incredible rich book and Greg Iles is a superb intelligent writer of paramount quality. He goes the distance, promising big and delivering big.
The book is very long and totally engrossing, with a neat story telling, full of stereotyped multidimensional graphic characters and vivid portraits of places and circumstances.
The gripping plot is very complex like a spider web but easy to follow at the same time. Added surprises skillfully crafted galore and key r
...more
James
I thought this was a mediocre, deeply lazy, paint by the numbers waste of time. For full disclosure I listened to rather than read this book and the narrators unintentionally hilarious attempts to do female southern accents really did not help. But the real problem with this book was a plot that stunk a mile away, a love for every cliche under the book, and some very clunky dialogue.

Back to John Grisham.
Neil
This was my first attempt at reading one of Greg Iles books in a while, and I am now kicking myself for not digging this book out a lot sooner. Initially I was a bit wary about whether it was going to be too politicised as it was dealing with the racial problems from back in the 60s, thankfully my wariness was unfounded.
It deals with the 30 year old murder of a black factory worker in Natchez Mississippi, and even though it is dealt with in the more racially tolerant present there is still the u
...more
Charles
One of the best books you will ever read! I'm a big Greg Iles fan. While I enjoy reading a number of other authors and trying out new authors, I always come back to Greg Iles. Mr. Iles writing is strong and the cadence just right. There is nothing boring about this book. The storyline is pulled from a time and events in this country that a lot of us grew up with.

Mr. Iles works the reader; there is loss and new relationships the reader will pull for. There are family secrets and long lost loves.
...more
Dina
This book grabs you at the beginning and holds on until you finish. I was late for school two days in a row because I tried to read a few pages before I left the house. Greg Iles can tell a story, of that I am convinced. Tapping race relations in the '60s, white trash, the wealthy and privileged, corrupt politicians, the broken human spirit, and dreams deferred, he touched on every segment of society (as well as their emotions). I blew through 559 pages like the wind. I specifically enjoyed that ...more
Trina
This started off great guns, but then turned 'serious' and weighed the story down. Iles can write. Pity he relies on formulaic fiction. I liked the main character, but felt like he was the stuff of male fantasies, e.g, having two beautiful women after him, being a crusader for civil rights, taking on the bad guys singlehandedly, and so on.
Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo
3.75 Stars

I debated whether to give this 4 Stars because I really enjoyed the novel, but it was slow in parts. Then I remembered that Greg Iles is a Southern Writer. He takes his time. And that is not a bad thing. But for a mystery, I prefer more of a fast pace that keeps me up at night turning pages. Though in some scenes I did turn the pages quickly, sometimes holding my breath thinking 35 years isn't long enough for Penn Cage to re-open a murder that has the hallmarks of being a civil rights
...more
GymGuy
I'm going to rate this book on four things: Character development, plot, style/description and cliché. This seems to be the easiest way to break things down. I'm not going to go into detail about characters or plot. You can get that from other reviewers.

Character development: 4 stars. The main characters were well developed. I really liked the good guys and hated the bad ones. They moved through the story and I moved with them.

Plot: 5 stars. Really an excellent plot. Tons of twists and turns and
...more
Jane Stewart
3 stars. Above average complicated mystery, but it’s missing rich, fascinating character development. I wasn’t pulled in enough.

STORY BRIEF:
This is the first book in the Penn Cage series. Penn was a prosecuting attorney in Houston. He is 38 and has written three bestselling thrillers based on cases he’s seen. His wife died of cancer seven months ago. Still grieving, he and his four-year-old daughter Annie move in with his parents in Natchez, Mississippi. Being with his parents will help both Pe
...more
Annabelle
I’ve read other books by Iles that I liked so I was up for another. His books are lengthy, so I enjoy getting locked into a good mystery for a number of names. But I was disappointed in this. The protagonist, a former prosecutor, now famous crime novelist is Penn Cage. His wife has died and he is sad and inept with his daughter’s grief and moves home to Natchez, Mississippi to his doctor father and mother’s home. They are perfect and kind. Penn gives an interview to a sexy newspaper editor, Cait ...more
Scott
Wow, there is some craziness going on here. The story is about Penn Cage, former Houston assistant District Attorney turned best-selling author. After a family tragedy, Cage returns to his hometown of Natchez, Mississippi where he gets caught up in a 30-year old racially-motivated killing. Driven by both personal and moral reasons, Cage, assisted by the young and beautiful crusading newspaper editor Caitlin Masters, must find the answers to what happened before time runs out on him.

This is the f
...more
Mary JL
Apr 12, 2009 Mary JL rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of legal thrillers
Shelves: mystery-horror
Having now finished the Quit Game, I give a good three star rating. It was fast paced and the characters were well developed.

I did not particularly warm to the narrator, Penn Cage. His antagonist was corrupt former Judge Leo Marston; but he still can't shake his feeling of the daughter, Livy Marston, his "first love". Perhaps their relationship is realistic but it made me dislike him. And not liking the main character, usually results in a lower rating by me.

Also, the last minute coincidence in
...more
Beverly
Recent widower and former State’s Attorney Penn Cage decides to take his four-year-old daughter home to Natchez to heal. While there he confronts the thirty-year-old unsolved, seemingly racist murder of a young black civil rights activist. Learning of the possible in involvement of his family’s arch enemy, Judge Leo Marston, Penn delves into the crime only to uncover a conspiracy at the highest level of government. Along the way he meets a love interest in beautiful young publisher Caitlin Maste ...more
Susan
Penn Cage is a best selling author of legal fiction and successful attorney and a man with big wounds to heal. He takes his young daughter home to Nachez, Mississippi in hopes that his own mother and father can help he and his daughter heal from the long death of his wife and her mother. Once there, he inadvertently steps into an old and still painful wound of his home town. Illes' Mortal Fear was one of the most compelling books I have ever read and I've waited a long time for his next one. The ...more
Michelle Book Briefs
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**

The Quiet Game is the first book in the Penn Gage series. He is a prosecutor turned author, turned detective (kind of). I thought the mystery in the Quiet Game was really compelling, but the audiobook narrator kind of took away from the story. He did about 3 or 4 of the voices well, but all of the other voices sounded comically bad. He could not do a woman's voice at all. And the story is a serious one, so it was dist
...more
Michele
I wanted to start back at the very beginning of the Penn Cage books despite the publisher claim that Iles' 2014 novel, Natchez Burning, was the "start" of a trilogy. I suppose it could be, but the reality is that the protagonist of that novel is Penn Cage who really starts back here in The Quiet Game. So off I went. And found that I very much enjoyed this book set in Natchez where the Deep South wasn't done fighting it's war on Civil Rights.

The plot is much more intricate and nuanced than your
...more
Emily
Oooh, boy. This is legitimately the closest I've come to quitting a book discussion group selection. I read the first 11% on audiobook and found the pacing so slow that I couldn't bear to go on. OneClick Digital's app, it should be noted does not have a speed button. I swapped out for an ebook, and kept at it, but by the last 25%, I was basically anger reading it.

My first issue with the book is that Penn Cage is such a male fantasy character - rich, powerful, appealing to the ladies, good in a
...more
Leslie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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19696
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
More about Greg Iles...

Other Books in the Series

Penn Cage (6 books)
  • Turning Angel (Penn Cage, #2)
  • The Devil's Punchbowl (Penn Cage, #3)
  • Natchez Burning (Penn Cage, #4)
  • The Bone Tree
  • Unwritten Laws (Penn Cage, #6)
Turning Angel (Penn Cage, #2) Natchez Burning (Penn Cage, #4) Blood Memory (Mississipi #5) True Evil The Devil's Punchbowl (Penn Cage, #3)

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“I will do those things which make me happy today and which I can also live with ten years from now.” 36 likes
“Einstein said the arrow of time flies in only one direction. Faulkner, being from Mississippi, understood the matter differently. He said the past is never dead; it's not even past. All of us labor in webs spun long before we were born, webs of heredity and environment, of desire and consequence, of history and eternity. Haunted by wrong turns and roads not taken, we pursue images perceived as new but whose provenance dates to the dim dramas of childhood, which are themselves but ripples of consequence echoing down the generations. The quotidian demands of life distract from this resonance of images and events, but some of us feel it always.

And who among us, offered the chance, would not relive the day or hour in which we first knew love, or ecstasy, or made a choice that forever altered our future, negating a life we might have had? Such chances are rarely granted. Memory and grief prove Faulkner right enough, but Einstein knew the finality of action. If I cannot change what I had for lunch yesterday, I certainly cannot unmake a marriage, erase the betrayal of a friend, or board a ship that left port twenty years ago.”
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