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Turning Angel (Penn Cage #2)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  19,965 Ratings  ·  1,205 Reviews
After winning the most dangerous case of his career, prosecutor Penn Cage decides to remain in his Southern hometown to raise his young daughter in a safe haven. But nowhere is truly safe -- not from long-buried secrets, or murder....When the nude body of prep school student Kate Townsend is found near the Mississippi River, Penn's best friend, Drew Elliott, is desperate f ...more
Paperback, 672 pages
Published November 21st 2006 by Pocket Books (first published December 27th 2005)
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Ross Rawnsley You don't necessarily have to start with The Quiet Game, as the stories do stand alone. But there are many references to characters and story lines…moreYou don't necessarily have to start with The Quiet Game, as the stories do stand alone. But there are many references to characters and story lines that you won't understand without reading it first. It doesn't really take anything away from Turning Angel, but I would recommend starting at the top. Enjoy!(less)
Ross Rawnsley I am told its not an official prequel to Natchez Burning, as each story stands alone, but there are certainly characters and back stories running…moreI am told its not an official prequel to Natchez Burning, as each story stands alone, but there are certainly characters and back stories running through them.

I know that Natchez Burning is the beginning of a trilogy which includes the Bone Tree and then one more to be released in 2016. I loved Natchez Burning!(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Sep 20, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Morons
This is easily the worst book I've ever read, and I've read Jewel's book of poetry. The story seems to exist only as a vehicle for Iles to create this ludicrous world in which sexy, teenage girls are unable to keep from flinging themselves at every middle-aged man that comes along. This might make for some great poker night b.s. stories for Iles and his buddies, but as a novel, it comes off as a pervert's collection of fantasties. Just creepy. Imagine if John Mark Karr rewrote Lolita, and you've ...more
Edward Lorn
Jul 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Greg Iles should be ashamed of himself. I had shit to do yesterday. Important shit, I tell ya. But I spent all of yesterday (and yesternight, as my three-year-old son would say) devouring the last 250 pages of yonder book. Past a certain point, I couldn't stop reading. Iles wouldn't let me. I regret nothing.

Turning Angel is the second book I've read by Iles, and the second book in the Penn Cage series. I expected a similar setup and delivery as I received in the first Penn Cage novel, The Quiet
Oct 21, 2009 rated it it was ok
Greg Iles has written a 500 page novel which would make any person's stomach turn when thinking of the corruption of Natchez, Mississippi or I guess Anytown USA. This was at the core a murder mystery with a fairly engaging lawyer/writer Penn Cage. He is a good core character, but what ruined it for me and I can bet lots of fans was the disgusting portrayal of the affair of the town's 40 year old physician and resident hottie with the town's 17 year old high school queen. I'm not naive I know the ...more
Feb 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
If you're just reading Greg Iles for the first time, here's his advice on the order in which to read his books:
If you have just read Turning Angel, you should next read The Quiet Game, the novel in which Penn Cage first appeared, and which many readers believe is my best book. Blood Memory was written before Turning Angel, and Penn’s father Tom Cage appears there in a supporting role, but I would read “Blood Memory” after “The Quiet Game,” not before. You will appreciate Tom much more then.

Of my
Aug 20, 2009 rated it it was ok
I disliked this book the more I read it ...I'm sure that the reason I, as a Black man, put it on my to read list is because some review must have said that it dealt with race relations in the Deep South, a murder mystery, and it had an abundance of Black characters. And it did. But I could not shake the feeling that all of the black folks were "others". None were drawn as real people but more like central character..the ex-army drug dealer..hunh? was so cartoonishly drawn as to be lu ...more
Lewis Weinstein
Nov 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
I have enjoyed other novels by Greg Iles, but this one was disappointing, on several levels.

For one thing, it was way too long; I found myself skimming through scenes that didn't seem to me to be either essential or interesting, including the ending, which should have been a high point but wasn't.

Several of the characters were portrayed in what to me was a very unrealistic manner. That may be because I am not familiar with the teenage sexual habits that Iles described in such great detail. May
Nov 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery-suspense
Greg Iles used to be one of my favourite authors. Mortal Fear still remains one of the top psychological thrillers I've read. Since then, most of what I've read from him has been quite good, steadily meriting 4-star reviews from yours truly, but none have measured up to Mortal Fear.
The Quiet Game I quite enjoyed, and yet after that, Iles had dropped off my radar. Blame Goodreads for exposing me to a gazillion more books. Whatever, that doesn't take away from the guy's talent and when I saw some
Oct 25, 2011 rated it it was ok
When I started reading Turning Angel, I found myself arguing about reasons why I should like it.

Synopsis: In a small American town in the South called Natchez, a high school girl called Kate Townsend is found dead. Beautiful, intelligent, and popular, her death sends the town reeling. Penn Cage, for whom this book is the second in his series, finds even more surprises. Namely, that his long-time friend, Drew Elliot, admits to having sex with the deceased girl. And by the way, this isn't a spoile
Mar 08, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mysteries
This could have been a good book. Leave out all of Mr. Iles' sexual fantasies involving underage girls and gymnastic-grade positions, and it would have been a decent mystery. (And a 350 page book instead of 644.)
Sep 19, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Sweet Christ. This book is basically a dirty old man's fantasy: what all 16-year-old girls really want--no, what it BEST for them, is to have sex with a 40-year-old man. I get it, Greg Iles, you're having a midlife crisis. Do I have to read about it?
Apr 03, 2010 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: A dumpster
I found this book disturbing on many levels not the least was the relationships between a high school girl and a doctor more than twice her age. Along with this, the doctor allows the girl to get into dangerous situations in helping him supply pain killers for his addicted wife.
Penn Cage, his friend whose life the doctor saved, is sexually tempted by his daughter's babysitter, Mia Burke. Cage also puts Mia, another high school student, in tremendous danger when she helps him unravel the myster
Dec 09, 2008 rated it did not like it
I hated this book. It's filled with completely unrealistic story lines, characters that are patently unbelievable in a small Southern town, and the dialogue is extremely preachy and contrived. Additionally, the relationships between the protaganist and his babysitter has got to be a joke, right? She's constantly having this sophisticated and ultra-intelligent, yet sensitive and seductive conversations with Penn Cage, and it literally had me rolling my eyes. Also, if you have any sort of opinions ...more
Mar 25, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
From BookList:
Call this one a well-written misfire.
Oh, so true.

I don't think I can even list all the reasons I dislike this book. So, I'll list only two: characters and plot. Pretty much sums it up for me. (I have to add that the conclusion ... no, just no.)

Plenty of one and two star reviews on page 1 that pretty much hit the nail on the head. Read them instead of the book.

*Looking at page 1 reviews, others mention that Dr. Drew with high school senior Kate and protagonist Penn with high sch
Steven Z.
Oct 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Penn Cage returns in Greg Iles’ novel TURNING ANGEL. Five years have passed since Cage solved a civil rights case that dated back to the 1970s and he has settled into his new life as an author in Natchez, MI. Cage a former prosecutor in Houston is a widower and the father of a young girl. Now a successful author he finds himself a pillar of the community serving on the St. Catherine’s School Board among other official duties. The story begins at a School Board meeting when the school secretary i ...more
Dec 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars. This was an excellent follow-up to the first book in the Penn Cage Series, The Quiet Game. The events in this book take place five years after the first book and revolve around the murder of a girl two weeks before her 18th Birthday and the affair she was having with a married Doctor. Was he responsible for her murder or was there something else going on in her life that led to her murder? Call in Penn Cage, the doctor's best friend, to investigate.

This is quite an in-depth story with
Susan Crowe
Jun 04, 2014 rated it liked it
While this was an excellent book with great writing, just as the others have been, the subject matter made me very uncomfortable.
I actually look at Penn Cage a little differently now. He's come down a couple of notches.
Now, on to The Devil's Punchbowl.
Jul 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
A page-turner that I put down halfway through because I felt like I needed a shower every time I read some more. The descriptions of the 40 something doctor having sex with a 17 year old turned my stomach, as did the vague rationalizations by the protagonist. Yuck.
Feb 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
A young lady turns up dead in Natchez, Mississippi and the town secrets are about to tear the place apart. A very fast paced page turner that ends each chapter with a teasing glance at things to come. This seems to hook the reader and pull you into reading just one mere chapter. Until I found myself losing sleep because I could not put the book down. A very good mystery that moves at a great pace.

************* Personal Note: I just had to do this. I read some very unfavorable reviews on this boo
Apr 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
Natchez, MS is really a small town. Everybody knows everyone. So, when Kate Townsend, Queen of the small private school where Penn Cage attended, is killed, the whole town starts looking over its shoulder. And, when it becomes apparent Drew Elliot, a highly-esteemed doctor and Penn's best fried knows far too much about Kate, he becomes the prime suspect. Teenagers in Natchez, like teens around the world, are not as innocent as their parents were. And teens at St. Stephen's know way too much abou ...more
Aug 05, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This audio book got us from Leemore, CA to home. While it kept my interest (I just wanted to see/hear how stupid it would actually get), it will/should not win any awards for literature. As a man, I am insulted by the characterization of men in general and their apparent lack of ability to think with their big head...not the other one...especially concerning teenage girls. Redeeming qualities? Maybe the middle aged professional(?) men of the world who live on their high school glory can come awa ...more
Adam Light
Turning Angel was a superb follow up to The Quiet Game, the first book in the Penn Cage series, which had me turning pages at a fever pitch to unravel the complex and riveting plot. It kept me guessing what would happen all the way through, and the outcome was a surprise, to say the least. Greg Iles has a profound mastery of the language that I find second to none. This story is set five years after the events of The Quiet Game. Once again, Penn Cage finds himself embroiled in a mind-bending mur ...more
Mar 10, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to enjoy this book seeing how much I liked The Quiet Game, but my discomfort for it steadily increased the further I read. Iles kept repeating the ideology that girls today aren't the same as back then, thus trying to persuade the reader to have sympathy for 40-year-old Drew's relationship with 17-year-old Kate. Nowhere did the author discuss how boys today aren't the same either (isn't it some type of rite of passage for boys nowadays to sexually assault and/or harass at least o ...more
Mar 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the author's 2nd book to feature prosecutor turned writer Penn Cage. After successfully solving a 30 year old murder in the previous book Penn has decided to remain in Natchez to raise his daughter there, after all that's where he grew up and he didn't turn out so bad. He even serves on the school board of his old school, where Annie also now attends. Another member of the board is his friend from childhood, who also happens to be a successful Doctor. Then the school's star pupil turns ...more
Mar 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
As a murder mystery this novel does keep you reading till the end. But that said, I did have problems with the adult men in positions of authority and respect being sexually involved with teenaged girls. This was very disturbing to me. The doctor, the high school coach and Penn as well came across as pretty sleazy and immoral, so I didn't like or care about these characters. Also, I didn't like that the author portrays the high school girls as over sexed nymphomaniacs. How demeaning and disrespe ...more
Jul 29, 2014 marked it as to-read
Currently Reading
Oct 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Set a few years after the 1st in the series, this follows Penn Cage, former Houston prosecutor turned successful author. Settling into his Natchez, Mississippi life, Penn is on the board of the private school his young daughter attends. His paramour, Caitlan, is a successful editor, but is frequently gone on business.

During a board meeting, the news breaks that 17 yr old Kate, Harvard-bound senior, has been found dead. Chief suspect is Penn's friend and distinguished town doctor, Drew.

Good actio
Anne Hawn Smith
I read this book on CD on my trip from Virginia to Florida. It kept my interest, but I am increasingly distressed over the portrayal of supposedly intelligent, successful men who are pillars of the community falling hopelessly in love with high school girls who are beautiful, intelligent, amoral and so sexually sophisticated that they make hookers look like librarians. Real people just don't act this way unless they are deeply flawed and that is usually apparent by their lifestyle.

In reality, t
Sep 28, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
I sincerely hope this is entirely fiction. Parents of teenaged girls, be warned: this book will read more like horror to you.

As far as the investigative side goes, I'd call this a 4-star book. There were plenty of twists, discoveries, and danger for the lead character(s). The characters, too, were interesting, with realistic problems, fears, worries, temptations, friendships, marriages. (view spoiler)
Josh Feinzimer
Feb 12, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery-crime
This was a waste of time, for the most part. I have to admit that I was originally captivated by the first few chapters but as I read further and realized how unrealistic the characters were, I grew increasingly skeptical of the book and its message.

I don't think it's realistic to take a disturbing adult male who is guilty of sexual battery and then immerse him back into society like the crimes he committed were excusable. I know we are a forgiving society but middle-aged men forging sexual rela
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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)
  • 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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“Just because you will not see the work completed does not mean you are free not to take it up.” 4 likes
“When you drive down Cemetery Road, the angel appears to be looking directly at you. Yet once you pass the monument and look back over your shoulder, the angel is still looking at you. Thus the appellation: the Turning Angel.” 3 likes
More quotes…