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The Quiet Game (Penn Cage #1)

4.16  ·  Rating Details  ·  17,658 Ratings  ·  1,060 Reviews
When former prosecutor Penn Cage returns to his hometown of Natchez, Mississippi, he doesn't find the peace he desperately craves. He finds that his own father is being blackmailed by a corrupt ex-cop. And when Penn investigates, he uncovers a murderous secretand the small town's violent past
Kindle Edition, 580 pages
Published September 1st 1999 by Signet (first published January 1st 1999)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Edward Lorn
Dec 25, 2015 Edward Lorn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Every-fucking-body with eyes
Shelves: 52-in-52-2015

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
Janie Johnson
Jan 15, 2015 Janie Johnson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-challenge
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
My first book by this author and I am not quite sure how to rate it.
Firstly it was far too long. I like long books but only when the length contributes to the narrative. This one was just padded and I did skim large parts of it.
Then it had far too many and too violent deaths with apparently no repercussions. At times it seemed every character was getting bumped off without a policeman in sight. Or if there was one he was corrupt. Unrealistic.
On the other hand I found Penn Cage a very likeable c
Penn Cage is a famous author with his own personal demons, after unsuccessfully trying to move on from the unexpected death of his wife, he takes his young daughter Annie home to Natchez, Mississippi to be with his family. Natchez brings back memories that Penn didn't expect, chief among those is a 30 year old murder motivated by racial tension, politics, and class warfare in 1968. The mystery aspect was interesting, although slightly predictable and not nearly as exciting as all the attempted m ...more
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
Jul 28, 2014 Esil rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 20, 2014 Pamela rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 13, 2012 Edwin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 23, 2008 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 02, 2013 Rhonda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 02, 2015 Darlene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 30, 2015 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 14, 2011 James rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, fiction
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.
Jun 24, 2011 Lori rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Robert Rosenthal
Dec 12, 2012 Robert Rosenthal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 15, 2011 Manugw rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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
Steven Z.
Sep 02, 2015 Steven Z. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Greg Iles is a prolific novelist with many successful books to his credit. Since the QUIET GAME is my first foray into his world of fiction that holds tremendous historical resonance, I was trying to place him among the novelists I am familiar with. I have come to the conclusion that tinges of John Grisham and Pat Conroy are present in his work. Though these similarities may be present, Iles has a sharp pen, loaded with human emotion that easily galvanize the reader. This approach is present in ...more
Mar 02, 2015 Neil rated it really liked it
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
May 25, 2014 Trina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense-mystery
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.
Oct 16, 2011 Charles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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.
Feb 20, 2009 Dina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 04, 2008 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-suspense
Greg Iles has quickly become one of my favorite authors. His characters are so well drawn that it gets very tough to put the novel down each night and turn the light off. This hadn't fared well for me when I was reading it as I'd had a nagging cough and the late nights weren't helping the battle.

The Quiet Game is a winner, and one I would suspect could easily make the transition to the big screen. I hope it does, because a writer of Iles' talent deserves as much recognition as any of the bestsel
So I read most of this book on the way back from our Disney World Vacation. Interestingly enough, the setting of this book began in Disney World.
I read over 1/2 of this book on the way home. I picked it back up last night and I finished it tonight. It's a 559 page thick paperback.
With that being said, you should know why I rated this a 5.
This was an incredible book. Library Journal said "this would transifx the readers till the very last page"...Dead on.
Penn Cage has just lost his wife to cancer
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
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
Nov 30, 2013 GymGuy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, suspense
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
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
Mar 19, 2014 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mary JL
Apr 12, 2009 Mary JL rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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)
  • Turning Angel (Penn Cage, #2)
  • The Devil's Punchbowl (Penn Cage, #3)
  • Natchez Burning (Penn Cage, #4)
  • The Bone Tree (Penn Cage #5)
  • Mississippi Blood (Penn Cage #6)

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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.” 44 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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