The endgame is at hand for Penn Cage, his family, and the enemies bent on destroying them in this revelatory volume in the epic trilogy set in modern-day Natchez, Mississippi - Greg Iles' epic tale of love and honor, hatred and revenge that explores how the sins of the past continue to haunt the present.
Shattered by grief and dreaming of vengeance, Penn Cage sees his family and his world collapsing around him. The woman he loves is gone, his principles have been irrevocably compromised, and his father, once a paragon of the community that Penn leads as mayor, is about to be tried for the murder of a former lover. Most terrifying of all, Dr. Cage seems bent on self-destruction. Despite Penn's experience as a prosecutor in major murder trials, his father has frozen him out of the trial preparations - preferring to risk dying in prison to revealing the truth of the crime to his son.
During 40 years practicing medicine, Tom Cage made himself the most respected and beloved physician in Natchez, Mississippi. But this revered Southern figure has secrets known only to himself and a handful of others. Among them, Tom has a second son, the product of a 1960s affair with his devoted African American nurse, Viola Turner. It is Viola who has been murdered, and her bitter son - Penn's half brother - who sets in motion the murder case against his father. The resulting investigation exhumes dangerous ghosts from Mississippi's violent past. In some way that Penn cannot fathom, Viola Turner was a nexus point between his father and the Double Eagles, a savage splinter cell of the KKK. More troubling still, the long-buried secrets shared by Dr. Cage and the former Klansmen may hold the key to the most devastating assassinations of the 1960s. The surviving Double Eagles will stop at nothing to keep their past crimes buried, and with the help of some of the most influential men in the state, they seek to ensure that Dr. Cage either takes the fall for them or takes his secrets to an early grave.
Tom Cage's murder trial sets a terrible clock in motion, and unless Penn can pierce the veil of the past and exonerate his father, his family will be destroyed. Unable to trust anyone around him - not even his own mother - Penn joins forces with Serenity Butler, a famous young black author who has come to Natchez to write about his father's case. Together Penn and Serenity - a former soldier - battle to crack the Double Eagles and discover the secret history of the Cage family and the South itself, a desperate move that risks the only thing they have left to gamble: their lives.
Mississippi Blood is the enthralling conclusion to a breathtaking trilogy seven years in the making - one that has kept listeners on the edges of their seats.
©2017 Greg Iles (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers
This is such a good book, I almost think it's the best in this trilogy. I was completely hooked within the first few minutes of starting it with the prologue. Wow! Kaitlin has been murdered and Daniel Kelly is missing in Afghanistan. Tom Cage is going on trial and Penn is falling apart.
The bulk of this book takes place in or around the courtroom. Quentin Avery is the attorney but not putting up much of a defense. Everyone begins thinking that he has either lost his courtroom savvy or has dementia.
The story continues by dragging in everyone from past books to come to terms with any evils they may have perpetrated (not just this trilogy, but from prior books as well). Throw the Double Eagles in and a threat on the Cage family lives and you've got a real nail biter going on.
I can't say more without spoiling the book or the outcome for anyone, suffice to say it is a riveting story that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
I can't say enough about this book other than to HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you get it.
If you found this review helpful please indicate so.
I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
There are 6 novels in the Penn Cage series the last three of which are the Natchez Burning trilogy consisting of Natchez Burning, The Bone Tree, and this novel Mississippi Blood. The trilogy novels must be read in order (which I did although I reviewed Natchez Burning almost three years after listening to it). Author Greg Iles started writing the 3 books while recovering from a near fatal automobile accident in 2011. The combined pages of the trilogy in hardcover is more than 2300 and the total recorded time in audio is 96 hours.
There is a lot to like about Mississippi Blood in terms of the quality of the story, the surprise twists, and the suspense; this also applies to Natchez Burning and The Bone Tree. The main characters are Natchez mayor (and non-practicing lawyer and novelist) Penn Cage, his 11 year old daughter Annie, his dad Dr. Tom Cage, Tom Cage's black nurse and lover from 1968 Viola Turner, Lincoln Turner (the mixed race child of Tom Cage and Viola Turner that Tom Cage recently learned about), Tom Cage's black lawyer Quentin Avery, Tom Cage's friend from his Army days and retired Texas Ranger Walt, and newspaper publisher Kaitlin Masters (it still irritates me that the author killed Kaitlin off at the end of The Bone Tree). One of my issues with this trilogy is the huge number of characters other than the primary ones, but I suppose that is appropriate for a trilogy as long as this one. Among the characters are a murderous group that broke off from the KKK because the KKK was not violent enough. The other characters that can be considered antagonists include the sheriff and the prosecutor. Ultimately the story of the trilogy is about past (and to a lesser degree current) racism in Mississippi and its continuing impact on people of Black, mixed and white races. The books directly address the past taboo of mixing of the races.
Mississippi Blood is mostly about the trial of 73 year old Dr. Tom Cage for the murder of Viola Turner, his nurse until 1968 and the mother of their child Lincoln Turner (now in his mid 40's). If he did it there is a question about whether it was murder of physician assisted suicide. For those who like legal thrillers with lots of courtroom action Mississippi Blood provides a huge amount.
Penn Cage has been a strong but tragedy driven protagonist from the first of six books in the series. In Mississippi Blood he is often paralyzed into inaction by uncertainty and at times is a wuss of a protagonist. Indeed, although this is the Penn Cage series Dr. Tom Cage is more the protagonist in Mississippi Blood.
There is a major error in this novel when Lincoln Turner plays a tape of the murder to Penn Cage demanding $1 million for it and then there is no further discussion of the tape. Indeed, the ending chapters of the novel when Lincoln and Penn went after the bad guys would have been unnecessary if the tape had existed.
The three novels in this trilogy had 3 different narrators with Scott Brick providing great narration in the final novel.
As a son of the rural south in the days of Jim Crow I believe this novel and the other two are realistic and important. The novels are too long and there are notable inconsistencies, but the task Greg Isle's took on in writing them is huge and he does write the novels filled with action, suspense and realism while telling a compelling story. As such I believe Mississippi does earn a 5 star rating.
Totally addicted to Audible.
I'm still trying to wrap my head around this book. It was violent and too long. But I like Penn Cage and the people around him. I'm not sure I ever want to go to Mississippi again after this though and I would not want to be the love of his life either.
Really looked forward to the finish of this trilogy. But it was way too long and way too melodramatic. Penn Cage becomes so hysterical that I just wanted someone to shoot him and put us out of our misery Even the great Scott Brick gets pretty tiresome after About 12 hours of this silliness
28 Hours With Scott Brick and his overly dramatic, fake emotional delivery; this is a new level of hell. I've been waiting for this conclusion to the trilogy with great anticipation. I will listen, because I have no other option other than asking for a refund of my credit and buying the actual book; I have to know how the story ends. I hope the story is good enough to overcome the narration. I will update this when I'm finished.
Yes, If they have read the first two, then they might as well know what happens to Dr. Cage and the rest.
Would like to know happened to Mia or did I miss it? When you leave someone 150000 in your will, they are significant enough to have some closure.
This was not my favorite Greg Iles book. I used to think that he was a nice blend of Tartt, Harris, and maybe a little Grisham. He was way more Grisham and less Tartt in this book. Also, perplexed by ending. No spoilers but some of the relationship resolutions were a little anti-climactic.
The final book of the trilogy is as engaging as the first two. I found it difficult to put it down until it was finished. Greg has a way of writing that makes you feel as though you there in every scene.
Report Inappropriate Content