Tuesday, August 23, 2016

BLOG TOUR: Natchez Burning by Greg Iles

Hi guys!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

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If you're a frequent visitor, you may have noticed a bit of blog silence for the past few days.  There's a reason for that.  You see, I was off from work a couple of days and while that usually gives you MORE time, I had home things to accomplish which occupied most of my hours...and an 816 page book to read.  Yep.  That's right.  A hefty 816 pages of wordy wonder to read, digest, and formulate my thoughts on for today's post.  Good reason, huh?  ^-^  Speaking of the wordy wonder...

Today, we're playing host to the first of THREE TLC Book Tours promotions starring a particular trilogy from author Greg Iles.  Name ring a bell?  It should because even though this was the first time I had read his work, it didn't mean the titles in question weren't on my radar...because they were.  I just hadn't had the opportunity to delve into them and this promotion gave me the PERFECT chance to indulge.  Ladies and gents, today's featured title is...

William Morrow Paperbacks

About the book...
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Greg Iles comes the first novel in his Natchez Burning trilogy—which also includes The Bone Tree and the upcoming Mississippi Blood—an epic trilogy that interweaves crimes, lies, and secrets past and present in a mesmerizing thriller featuring Southern lawyer and former prosecutor Penn Cage.

Raised in the southern splendor of Natchez, Mississippi, Penn Cage learned all he knows of duty from his father, Dr. Tom Cage. But now the beloved family doctor has been accused of murdering the African American nurse with whom he worked in the dark days of the 1960s. Once a crusading prosecutor, Penn is determined to save his father, but Tom, stubbornly invoking doctor-patient privilege, refuses even to speak in his own defense.

Penn's quest for the truth sends him deep into his father's past, where a sexually charged secret lies. More chilling, this long-buried sin is only one thread in a conspiracy of greed and murder involving the vicious Double Eagles, an offshoot of the KKK controlled by some of the most powerful men in the state. Aided by a dedicated reporter privy to Natchez's oldest secrets and by his fiancée, Caitlin Masters, Penn uncovers a trail of corruption and brutality that places his family squarely in the Double Eagles' crosshairs.

With every step costing blood and faith, Penn is forced to confront the most wrenching dilemma of his life: Does a man of honor choose his father or the truth?

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Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


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First things first...
This book is not for the faint of heart in MANY respects.  It contains adult situations, heinous acts of hatred, violence so ugly it could make your blood curdle, and perhaps the scariest part of all...most of it COULD (if not DID) happen.

From the moment you embark on this journey, you know it's going to be a memorable yet hard read, much for the same reasons ironically enough. The author has the ability to place you right there in the situation, whether you like it or not.  You're a witness to things that no one should have to endure one moment and fighting alongside Penn to save his friends and family the next.  One second, it's a normal day spent in meetings and house calls, the next you're dodging bullets and trying not to become a dish best served flambé.  There's heartache and action, racism at its ugliest and heroic deeds done solely because they should be, not because notoriety may come as a result.  I felt Mr. Albert's pride in being able to serve a need in the community (in more ways than one) as well as his fear for Pooky as he was trying to make his escape.  When he met an untimely and ghastly end, I mourned the loss of this fair fellow as much as the residents of Natchez.  The moment Dr. Cage was put in the spotlight, I worried for his health as well as his well being.  It was good to see Dr Cage have a devoted fan base but will that and whatever truth comes to light be enough?  You'll have to read it to find out, but trust me on one point with this sweet doctor...there's more to him than meets the eye

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That same sentiment can be used to label several people in this remarkable story.  From Penn Cage, fighting the good fight however he can, to his fiancé Caitlin Masters, using her words to strike out at those that would mean them and others harm (though I did find it odd that a journalist and a politician would make a good couple...it just seems like you'd be constantly waiting for something to happen!), Mr. Kaiser, who despite his bureau's reputation actually makes things happen, to Henry Sexton, the solo reporter who took it upon himself to solve these atrocious crimes from yesteryear (at what cost?), there are so many innocent souls on the line, St Peter would have to install a waiting room just to sort through them all.  As for the wicked, I'm not certain I can truly represent the degree of revulsion I felt for them without oversharing, so I'll have to let you discover that end of the spectrum for yourselves.  It's enough to say that any of them that met their maker this time around deserved a WHOLE LOT WORSE.

In the end, I was hollowed out from my experience in Natchez.  It truly drained me emotionally, mentally, and physically.  So much hatred. So much rage. Yet even in the darkest of hours, there were glimpses of light... hope. The past is to be learned from but the here and now part is what's really killing me. I know it's fiction but gheesh! People actually believing things like that, talking like that, acting like that... horrible.  I mean, WHAT A STORY!  It just shows how man is capable of great evil as well as good; it all depends on the path we choose.  If you go through life with blinders on, only believing what others tell us, and never seeking truth for ourselves, then what an unfulfilled life it will be.  No adventure.  Nothing of ourselves invested in the outcome.  I prefer to subscribe to the notions that folks like Albert Norris, Penn Cage, Caitlin Masters, and especially Henry Sexton upheld.  They may have faltered here and there, but in their heart of hearts (and when it truly counted), they were all in. 

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Recommended read for adult readers due to content (both sexual and gory) and the heft of the topics covered.


About the author...

Greg Iles spent most of his youth in Natchez, Mississippi. His first novel, Spandau Phoenix, was the first of thirteen New York Times bestsellers, and his new trilogy continues the story of Penn Cage, protagonist of The Quiet GameTurning Angel, and #1 New York Times bestseller The Devil’s Punchbowl. Iles’s novels have been made into films and published in more than thirty-five countries. He lives in Natchez with his wife and has two children.

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Special thanks to Trish at TLC Book Tours and William Morrow Paperbacks for the chance to bring this tour to you as well as the copy for review. (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the trilogy, the author, the publisher, or those promotions forthcoming, feel free to click through the links provided above.  Don't forget to check out the other stops on THIS TOUR for other insights, features, and chances to win...and be sure to stay tuned as we continue next month with a review of book 2, The Bone Tree.

Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!


  1. I am such a weenie. I can't handle lots of adult content like that. It makes me sick to my stomach to read it, and it makes me grouchy IRL. It sounds like it was an amazing story, but I'll have to pass on this one!

    Dena @ Batch of Books

  2. I'm halfway through this book myself, and sometimes it's hard to remember that civil rights is still a very young movement. It's really hard to look at much of the hate in the world, but it's the glimmers of hope that make it bearable! I have to say, this is the fourth Iles book I've read in a month, and he's quickly become a favorite!

    Thanks for being on the tour!