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Natchez Burning

(Penn Cage #4)

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4.14  ·  Rating details ·  29,408 ratings  ·  3,642 reviews
#1 New York Times bestselling author Greg Iles returns with his most eagerly anticipated novel yet—Natchez Burning—the first installment in an epic trilogy that interweaves crimes, lies, and secrets past and present in a mesmerizing thriller featuring Southern lawyer and former prosecutor Penn Cage

Growing up in the rural Southern hamlet of Natchez, Mississippi, Penn Cage l
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Hardcover, 791 pages
Published April 29th 2014 by William Morrow (first published March 13th 2014)
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M.D. Gonzales Do not read this book if you want to feel uplifted because it's a fictional book that deals with such a dark and depressing time in our history. I…moreDo not read this book if you want to feel uplifted because it's a fictional book that deals with such a dark and depressing time in our history. I found it a great read and not long at all as it flows so easily. The minute I finished it I downloaded his next book in the series, The Bone Tree, which picked up exactly where this one left off. I have read where some people just could not get into it but I can't understand why. It was a major page-turner for me. On top of that, it is very well written.(less)
Craig Bialy It is a depressing read, but this story needs to be told. Growing up in Louisiana and a grandmother from Natchez I remember hearing these stories told…moreIt is a depressing read, but this story needs to be told. Growing up in Louisiana and a grandmother from Natchez I remember hearing these stories told in whispered voices. At the time I couldn't imagine something like this took place here, but I later found out these stories were real.(less)

Community Reviews

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4.14  · 
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 ·  29,408 ratings  ·  3,642 reviews


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Arah-Lynda
May 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lets-get-real, top, i-said
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
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Susan May
May 03, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014
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.
Susanne  Strong
Sep 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
5 Stars.
A Riveting and Monumental Beginning to an Incredible Trilogy.

Natchez Burning is an epic story of family, friends, the KKK, an off shoot group called the Double Eagles and race relations in the South. How far each group will go to take care of and protect each other. Loyalties are tested. And the past refuses to stay buried.

At the heart of this story is Penn Cage, the Mayor of Natchez, Mississippi and his father, Dr. Tom Cage. Penn is a former prosecutor. His dad, Dr. Cage is an old scho
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Carol
Jan 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
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Julie
Dec 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Natchez Burning by Greg Iles is a 2014 William Morrow publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Since we last caught up with Penn Cage, his father has survived a heart attack and Penn is now the mayor of Natchez and preparing to marry his long time girlfriend Caitlyn. Before the wedding can take place all hell breaks loose, literally.
A former nurse for Tom Cage has died of terminal cancer. Her son, Lincoln, believes Dr. Cage
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Paula Kalin
Wow 800 pages and what a ride! Natchez Burning by Greg Iles brings us back to the 1960s in Natchez, Mississippi. His multiple plot twists include the Civil Rights movement, the KKK, the Kennedys, and those involved in committing the crimes and those trying to solve them years later.

Interesting is the story behind Mayor Penn Cage finding out his father, Dr. Tom Cage, beloved by the black and white communities, is not what he seems. I was glad to see the introduction of fiancee Caitlin Masters, pu
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Katrina
May 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
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.
Cathrine ☯️
Apr 22, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
Shelves: waste-of-my-time
☆☆☆☆☆

“não” “nee” “neit” “nein” “no"

Oh, I’m sorry. Am I being repetitive? Does that bug you? You might not want to read this for that and numerous other reasons.

A GR 2014 nominee for Mystery & Thriller. Described as an intelligent thriller which is probably why I added it to my tbr and why I had to wait a l-o-n-g time for my turn on Overdrive. What I don’t know and cannot understand is why I finished the 850 pages. Admittedly I was liking the first 400 when the plane started losing power an
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Lin Roberts
May 14, 2014 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
Kenya Brooks
Jun 26, 2014 rated it did not like it
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
Jeanette
Apr 24, 2014 rated it liked it
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
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Edward Lorn
Apr 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How quickly I read this (862 pages in 9 days; that's almost a hundred pages a day, which is a lot for me nowadays, given how busy my life has become) is a testament to how fucking amazing Greg Iles is. Anyone who can make almost 900 pages consistently and constantly thrilling gots to be a damn wizard, yo. (#IlesTheGray) There are authors working with half this page count who can't hold my attention for more than 200 pages.

*coughsjamespattersoncoughsdanbrowncoughsjohngrishamchokestodeath*

But, bo
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Tez
Apr 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Hannah
Apr 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
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RM(Alwaysdaddygirl) Griffin (alwaysdaddyprincess)
I give it three stars due to the cliffhanger.
Tom Mathews
I really like Greg Iles' writing style and the world of Penn Cage's Mississippi but, holy cow! Does his publisher pay him by the word? One would think that, given 880 pages in which to do it, an author could tell a complete story. But no. Readers who stick it out and get to the end of Natchez Burning will find that quite a few of the bad guys are still alive and free and that many of the good guys are not. Never fear, though. The Bone Tree is now in the bookstores and after just 816 more pages, ...more
Erin Clemence
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
When Penn Cage finds out his beloved father, Dr. Tom Cage, is being charged with the murder of his former nurse, Viola Davis, Penn sets out to fight for his father’s freedom. However, his father is not talking and as he continues his quest for his father’s innocence he begins to uncover deep-rooted, racially-motivated town secrets, secrets that highly influential and powerful people are willing to kill to keep hidden. With the help of his fiancée and local reporter, Henry Sexton, Penn becomes d ...more
Luanne Ollivier
Apr 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.

Pr
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Liz Barnsley
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
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Suzy
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
Lynne Thomas
Mar 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
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Susan
May 27, 2014 rated it it was ok
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.
Adam Light
Greg Iles serves up another complex, engrossing, and suspenseful chapter in the Penn Cage series. If you are a fan of Iles, you should definitely read this book. If you haven't read him yet, then what are you waiting for?
Emma
Oct 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book sure was an experience. What else could it be at nearly 800 pages?

The book has its problems (length/repetition) but I think it wouldn't have been the same kind of story if it had been tightened up. My main issue was Penn Cage- I found him to be rather annoying. Thankfully, the other characters more than make up for him.

The historical background was fascinating but also caused me some problems. My assumption is that most Americans are taught about the period at school (?), the same wa
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Deb
May 28, 2014 rated it did not like it
The book was advertised as bridging the gap between popular fiction and fine literature. Don't you believe it. The characters are two dimensional. There's a cliche on every page. There are few descriptions of what the male characters look like but plenty of time describing the women's sexual attributes. One of the primary characters is described by everyone as near saint like yet he bumbles through the book making decisions that place people in emotional turmoil or physical danger and then caps ...more
Mike Keeler
Jul 08, 2014 rated it did not like it
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.
Judy Collins
TOP 30 BOOKS OF 2014

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.

I highly recommend the audiobook, as you definitely get your money’s worth with (35 hrs./ 53 minutes) in 5 downloads of pure adrenaline, heart-po
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Barbara
Aug 06, 2014 rated it did not like it
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
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Should Greg Iles books be read in a certain order? 2 119 Mar 20, 2017 10:52AM  
Crime, Mysteries ...: Natchez Burning - December 2014 & January 2015 83 128 Apr 15, 2015 07:40AM  
Absolutely fantastic book 22 149 Mar 06, 2015 12:11PM  
The Reading For P...: Book club Buddy read Natchez Burning with Holly, Iasa and others 82 34 Jan 02, 2015 12:01PM  
Flower Mound Publ...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Natchez Burning 5 35 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
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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)
  • Mississippi Blood (Penn Cage, #6)
“Man plans, God laughs,” 7 likes
“People make a grievous error thinking that a list of facts is the truth. Facts are just the bare bones out of which truth is made.” 5 likes
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