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Cemetery Road

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  16,216 ratings  ·  2,034 reviews
Marshall McEwan is one of the most successful journalists in Washington, DC. But his father is terminally ill, and he must return to his childhood home - a place he vowed he would never go back to.

Bienville, Mississippi, is no longer the city Marshall remembers. His family's 150-year-old newspaper is failing, and Jet Talal, the love of his youth, has married into the famil
Hardcover, 590 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by William Morrow & Company
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Randy It jumped out at me too. I found the constant references to "my iPhone" or "her iPhone to be particularly jarring. No one talks like that! You only sa…moreIt jumped out at me too. I found the constant references to "my iPhone" or "her iPhone to be particularly jarring. No one talks like that! You only say "iPhone" or "Samsung" when you're differentiating between phones--not every time you pull your phone out of your pocket. This was just one awful aspect of an awful, completely preposterous and silly book masquerading as weighty social commentary.(less)
Maureen Contact the publisher directly which is what I did when I never received a book won in Goodreads contest. I finally received the book from Nov. recent…moreContact the publisher directly which is what I did when I never received a book won in Goodreads contest. I finally received the book from Nov. recently. Also be sure to let Goodreads know on their Giveaway support site that you never received it. They, too, can contact the publisher. Good Luck.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  16,216 ratings  ·  2,034 reviews

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Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a standalone thriller from Greg Iles, set in a small southern town, Bienville, in Mississippi with all the elements for a riveting read set in Trump's US, and all that entails. No-one here is free from flaws in this story of murder and twisted intrigues, least of all the protagonist, Marshall McEwan, estranged from his father, a Pulitizer prize winning journalist in the 1960s for his coverage of the Civil Rights movement. After 26 years away, Marshall returns to run the struggling newspa ...more
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
I am afraid my thoughts on the latest novel by Greg Iles will not be that praising as in the case of the Natchez Burning Trilogy …. I was really looking forward to reading Cemetery Road since the deep south of the United States holds some allure that I can’t resist. The allure is still there, however, the novel disappointed me with regard to the characters, their secrets and their psychological development. I am sorry but I did not find their actions and reactions believable ……. The idea of puni ...more
Cemetery Road by Greg Iles is a 2019 William Morrow publication.

Small town corruption, family tragedies, betrayals, and murder-

In other words- quintessential Greg Iles.

In this standalone novel, award winning journalist, Marshall McEwan, returns home to Bienville, Mississippi to be closer to his parents after his estranged father is diagnosed with Parkinson’s. At least that’s what he tells himself. Deep in his heart, however, he acknowledges an ulterior motive- reuniting with his first love- a
Joey R.
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars —This is the 10th book by Greg Iles I have read. Needless to say, if he wasn’t one of the best storytellers around, I wouldn’t have read 10 of his 16 novels. “Cemetery Road” is a stand alone book which doesn’t star Penn Cage, Iles’ most famous and well liked protagonists. It also doesn’t include one courtroom scene, which makes it different from most of Iles’ other books. However, despite these differences, this book does not disappoint. “Cemetery Road” tells its story through the eyes ...more
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is your usual Iles. A crusading and prize winning journalist returns to his small town Mississippi home to a less than functional family and barely functioning family newspaper. There is a murder which provides the impetus for the narrative. A cabal controls this town and nice men they are not. They are plenty of lies, deceit, betrayal and backstabbing. As I said, your usual Iles which is always entertaining.
Susanne  Strong
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss
4 Stars.

Complex, Twisty, Dark and Gritty.

“Cemetery Road” is a standalone novel by Greg Iles. It is a brilliant character driven novel about family, friendship, love and politics in a small Mississippi town.

Marshall McEwan is a reporter who returns to Bienville after a long absence. His father is ill and he has been tasked with taking over his dad’s ailing newspaper, The Watchman. Returning to Bienville is something he thought he’d never do - it holds too many bad memories for Marshall - the l
Kimber Silver
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Cemetery Road is like a carnival ride … a carnival ride with plenty of drownings!

There was a moment where I swore that if one more person drowned I was going to scream! That being said, there are redeeming features within these pages. The writing is on point, and the author captured the essence of what a thriller should be with an edge-of-your-seat feeling throughout—despite the number of people who ended up in Davey Jones’ Locker. The main character, Marshall, is a bit of a douche; a likeable o
Nilufer Ozmekik
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Different, complex, twisting story, a perfect combination of a family drama and real events on Florida mystery! An absorbing crime story,grief, betrayal in Southern community!
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is fiction, but damn it, I know that what happens in this book happens in real life.

A group of men obtain riches and power. The more they have, the more they want. They die and pass everything to their sons and then their sons. Starting after the Civil War in Mississippi, this group of men has played a long game. They spread their arms wide and circle the pot of poker chips in the middle of the table and pull the pile to themselves. In Bienville, this group of men is known as the Poker
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
Trump and capitalism bashing, PTSD, gay character, affairs, suicide, racist white old southern men, detail... mafia....check, check, check.....the list continues...all trendy topics thrown in for a rather pointless plot with unlikable characters. Would not recommend. Hang up the newspaper industry and write about something else. Seriously...twice in this story sex .... pubic hair and anal a plot role or twist. The author lost me on this. Is this the best he could do ...more
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
Multiple plot lines become sullied and muddled until the end. By then, it's hard to care much for the characters. 3 of 10 stars ...more
I usually really like this author, but this book was tough for me. I didn't care for any of the characters, hated what they were doing. As things went on things go messy, so very messy. About the time I started to like a character something would happen and I hated them again. By the end of the book I was just glad to be done and didn't really care if anyone found any happiness. ...more
Jonathan K
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Having read 4 of Greg's books, "The Footprints of God" was the only one that lacked a family-driven theme. Brilliant at building momentum, adding plot twists when least expected, his storytelling is masterful. Opening with the murder of Buck Ferris, an old friend, the reader is immersed into the world of Marshall McEwan, a Pulitzer prize winning writer and journalist. Greg inserts the Poker Club as primary suspect, a group of high rolling, political manipulators about to cash in on a deal cut wi ...more
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
A Southern cesspool of murder, deceit, corruption and revenge.

After hearing everyone laud the Natchez trilogy by this author I decided to dip a toe in the waters of the Mississippi and give his standalone a try. And I can say I was riveted to this rather lengthy book, swept up by the current of secrets, power and politics. A hometown hero is murdered, native son who’s come home to help his ailing, alcoholic father soon runs afoul of a bunch of good ‘ole boys who run the town and call themsel
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A first rate journey into a small town’s corrupt power brokers and the length they will go to protect their pockets.

Marshall McEwan vowed never to return to his hometown, Beinville Mississippi when he left at age eighteen. He moved to Washington D.C. and became an extremely successful and award-winning journalist. But now his father is now dying and his mother needs Marshall to help with the debt-ridden family newspaper, The Watchman.

Soon after Marshall’s return to Beinville, his boyhoo
Feb 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
The rating is only for the writing. I did enjoy the initial half of the book for the story but later continued reading because of the writing alone. It was spectacular. The setting of the story is in a small town called Bienville. The characters were so life like, I believe I can find them if I take a trip to that place.

Marshall McEwan is a Pulitzer prize winning reporter at Washington. He returns back to his hometown to take care of his sick father who is on his deathbed. Things remain mostly
Ruth Askea
Mar 15, 2019 rated it did not like it
I have read and enjoyed all the other books by Greg Iles but... I was so disappointed by the intrusion of current politics in this one. I read fiction for a reason, to escape and I don't need an author's political opinion (left or right) when doing this! I can turn the TV on if I want that!
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ominous, pacey, and tragic!

Cemetery Road is a gritty, engrossing novel about life in Bienville, Mississippi, a small town struggling with socioeconomic depression, corruption, murder, scheming politicians, and powerful, rich, white businessmen with no scruples.

The prose is descriptive and tight. The characters are tormented, scarred, and complex. And the plot is a rollercoaster ride of twists, turns, deception, allegiances, revelations, greed, power, violence, infidelity, integrity, heartbreak,
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
This is a well written novel by Greg Iles. Only problem is it is a crappy story. As others have said it is like there was a checklist to make sure all the nasties of life were included. But I have to say as in real life there are flowers in the patch of weeds. Buck, Quinn and Marshall's mom. Was there really anyone else to like? ...more
Apr 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like his Penn Cage series, this is classic Greg Iles: the main character is a writer, it is set in a small Southern city (Bienville), with a plot combining long-buried secrets, southern culture, complicated family dynamics, and nasty politics. Bienville is struggling with socioeconomic depression, corruption, murder, scheming politicians, and powerful, rich, white businessmen with no scruples (the Poker Club.)

Winner of a Pulitzer Prize for a war story, Marshall McEwen returns to Bienville to hel
Carolyn Walsh
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Greg Illes writes thrilling, complex stories set in the deep south of the United States. There are lovely antebellum mansions surrounded by fragrant flower gardens, but he explores the rotten core of these towns, which may contain corruption, murder, racism and injustice. This is a long book of 608 pages, but his compelling previous Natchez Burning trilogy contained 804, 814 and 707 pages without unnecessary filler, and I felt they could have gripped my attention even longer.

In Cemetery Road, t
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019, arc
March 12, 2019: Full review to come.

March 18, 2019: Okay, let's get into this.

This book kicks straight into gear. There is no "easing" into it, you jump straight into action from the very first pages.

And then you get hit with flashbacks. Multiple flashbacks. That get broken up to return to present day.
It pulled me out of the present story to tell me a different one and then I get pulled out of the new story to return to present day. I didn't like that. A flashback is already going to break up
Bret Kramer
Mar 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
OK, this one is hard for me. I'm a big fan of Mr. Iles work. Unfortunately, this one to me felt like a very poorly masked and extremely shallow description of his political views wrapped around a reasonably good story. I listened to the book from Audible and there were many times were I just flat paused the audio, rewinded and said "no". I truly do not mind different political views in the books I read. In fact, I often enjoy them, but I enjoy them when they are thought provoking and offer an ex ...more
Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-mystery
Greg Iles is one of my favorite authors when it comes to southern mystery/crime. I know what I am in for when I settle into one of his books. This one was no exception. I liked it. I liked the MC and the other characters. The plot moved right along and there were a few threads going on at once. They added depth and interest that drew me right in. This author does that well.

Now I will say the ending was a little more complicated (and over the top) than I like, but even with that said, I liked som
Erin Clemence
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
This review is for the audio version of “Cemetery Road”, by Greg Illes, narrated by Scott Brick and published by HarperAudio.

Audio: 4 stars Scott Brick is a renowned narrator, with too many novels under his belt to mention, however he was recognizable to me because of his work in Michael Crichton’s Dragon Teeth. Brick has a distinctly recognizable voice, built up from many years of acting and narrating, that is both clear and expressive. He narrates the entire novel (quite a WHOPPER, too
Tom S
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Greg Iles is my favorite author. The Penn Cage series is the best series that I have ever read. This is a stand alone novel based in Mississippi. Iles writes almost entirely about the south, his stories are full of history, intrigue, and race relations in the South.

Now I probably have to wait 2 years for a new book. Sad.
Mar 28, 2019 rated it did not like it
The good: The story starts off strongly. Greg Iles is a master at engaging the reader from the starting line.
The bad: It doesn’t take very long for the characters to morph into roles of complete predictability.
The good: There’s some beautiful and thoughtful passages just like the Iles of old. But not many.
The bad: Cliché and one-dimensional characters and situations muddy up the flow.
The good: Um, yeah, that’s pretty much it.

Conclusion: Iles – in my opinion, clearly phoned this one in. It pains
Apr 02, 2019 rated it did not like it
I’m not sure you should give serious consideration to this review if trying to make a decision about reading this book or not. I can just tell you that I read several chapters and gave up. Stopping a book before finishing is not a decision I make lightly or often. I feel every piece of work needs a judgment based on the complete picture. But, I just could not get into this one. The characters never came alive for me. This may sound odd to some of you, but, many will understand what I mean when I ...more
Natalie M
Aug 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
A 600-page tome! A male-centric read that was very much the traditional action/adventure genre.

Marshall McEwan returns to run the family newspaper in Bienville, Mississippi. Early in the story, childhood mentor Buck McKibben is murdered and the adventures go from there.

Throw in Marshall’s teenage sweetheart, Jet, and the complications are a plenty. Jet, of course, has married into the powerful Mathieson family, with FIL Max chairing the Bienville Poker Club (who are up to all sorts of skulldugge
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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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