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Natchez Burning: A Novel | [Greg Iles]

Natchez Burning: A Novel

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

Raised in the historic southern splendor of Natchez, Mississippi, Penn Cage learned all he knows of honor and duty from his father, Dr. Tom Cage. But now the beloved family doctor has been accused of murdering Viola Turner, the African-American nurse with whom he worked in the dark days of the 1960s. Penn is determined to save his father, but Tom, stubbornly invoking doctor-patient privilege, refuses to even 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 waiting to tear their family apart. This long-buried sin is only a single thread in a conspiracy of greed and murder involving the vicious Double Eagles, an offshoot of the KKK. Penn is forced to confront the most wrenching dilemma of his life: Does a man of honor choose his father or the truth?

Drenched in southern atmosphere, Natchez Burning marks the brilliant return of a genuine American master of suspense. Tense, disturbing, and filled with electrifying plot twists, this novel commences the most explosive and ambitious story Greg Iles has ever written.

©2014 Greg Iles (P)2014 HarperCollinsPublishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (1242 )
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  •  
    Carolyn Spartanburg SC 04-29-14
    Carolyn Spartanburg SC 04-29-14

    Avid book listener. I love anything James Lee Burke,John Sandford and Nelson Demille. Stephen King has entertained me recently.

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    "Can't get past reader"
    What made the experience of listening to Natchez Burning the most enjoyable?

    Just started book but worst reader ever. I can't hear story because of extreme theatrics of reader.. This is very disappointing.


    72 of 77 people found this review helpful
  •  
    W Perry Hall 05-02-14 Member Since 2015

    Easy Writer

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    "Mississippi Burned"

    The audio version of NATCHEZ BURNING is such a disappointment. I'm finishing it in hardcover.

    Perhaps I'd have a different view had the narrator (and the producer) not decided that this should be orally portrayed as a Shakespearean tragedy to be shout-acted from the stage.

    Maybe that too could have worked if he could call on the range of voices needed for the myriad characters introduced in the first quarter of the book (I've heard). But, he doesn't; nor does he have the requisite acting skills. His gaudy effusions evoke a blushing empathy and recollections of my summertime TV conflicts with Mom to drown out the latest, worst soap opera hero.

    Our narrator here sounds as if he's going for the voice of a 1960s Southern black from the documentaries on the civil rights battles of the 50s and 60s: FOR ALL OF HIS CHARACTERS (with some slight moderations), from the 1960s African American to the numerous KKK rednecks-from-hell to the lily-white main character, a Southern mayor in the 2000s.

    In short, the narrator gets in the way of THE STORY. I bought the audiobook because of THE STORY. It seems like the publisher would want to hire a narrator that at least, if he couldn't help the story, would not hurt it.

    On the bright side though, I've purchased the book in hardcover and look forward to finishing it in the ink. My parents grew up in Natchez during the early period of the book so I was looking forward to this in audio. Oh well.

    48 of 51 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kimberly 05-06-14
    kimberly 05-06-14 Member Since 2015
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    "I enjoyed it. "

    Perhaps more than one narrator would have made the performance better. At times Mr. Ledoux and his various accents left a bit to be desired. Other than that, I love Greg Isle and I'm getting ready to start Bone Tree right now.

    32 of 34 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Memphis TN 38117 05-03-14
    Mary Memphis TN 38117 05-03-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Terrible Narrator - Really, really BAD"
    What would have made Natchez Burning better?

    Someone else reading it. A pro like Scott Brick or Dick Hill. Lorelei King would have been a million times better than this guy!


    What could Greg Iles have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Love Greg Iles - hate this narrator's performance so much that I could not get through the first chapter.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    In everyway possible. Over-acted, no enunciation, way too much voice inflection. Just terrible, terrible performance. The company that released it would do well to just toss this performance and get someone else to read it.


    What character would you cut from Natchez Burning?

    none. I couldn't get through the first chapter because of the narrator.


    Any additional comments?

    I vote to permanently ban the narrator from ever performing on another audio book.

    40 of 44 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Johni Draper, UT, United States 05-09-14
    Johni Draper, UT, United States 05-09-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Giving the Narrator One Star is Generous!"

    I couldn't listen for more than 30 minutes because the reader is HORRIBLE! Why would anyone choose him over Dick Hill? I recommend buying the Kindle edition for a more enjoyable experience.

    28 of 31 people found this review helpful
  •  
    shelley Raleigh, NC 05-01-14
    shelley Raleigh, NC 05-01-14 Member Since 2010
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    "WHERE IS DICK HILL????"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The narrator! I am having such a hard time listening to this. I think I would be better off reading it. Story is great but I am having such a hard time enjoying this because of the narrator.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    This is the worst narrator I have ever listened to. After listening to all of the previous with Dick Hill who is wonderful, I am so disappointed. His inflections and candece is just wrong and no southern accent.


    Any additional comments?

    Who picks the narrator? They should be forced to listen to this!

    51 of 58 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Charlotte, NC 04-29-14
    Eric Charlotte, NC 04-29-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Worst narration of an audio book in history!"
    What disappointed you about Natchez Burning?

    I have been a fan of Greg Iles for a long time and have been waiting for this book for YEARS! The previous narrator in the series (dick hill) was THE voice of these characters and the nuance he added to the story helped make them my favorite audio books. Why they would change to a new narrator is beyond me and why they would use someone who from the sound of it has never actually heard someone from the south speak is flabbergasting. I've never been more disappointed in a book in my life.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The end of the screeching


    What didn’t you like about David Ledoux’s performance?

    Nothing to like. AWFUL


    43 of 49 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PDavis 05-31-14
    PDavis 05-31-14
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    "Read it in Print - Terrible Narration"
    If you could sum up Natchez Burning in three words, what would they be?

    Natchez Burning is a very good book, violent at times, yes, but it represents such a time in our history. I am reading it in print and wanted to listen when I could not read. The narrator is just awful. I have belonged to Audible.com for almost 5 years and this is only the second book I could not get through because of narration. I would recommend it in print but skip the audio book.


    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joan Indian Harbour Beach, Florida, United States 05-02-14
    Joan Indian Harbour Beach, Florida, United States 05-02-14 Member Since 2014
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    "My favourite author"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Without a doubt, the author. I think he got paid by the word.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Greg Iles again?

    O yes! Except for this one, I have always enjoyed reading Greg Iles.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of David Ledoux?

    Scott Brick


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Yes but it took far too long to get to them - I couldn't finish it and the narrator was pathetic.


    Any additional comments?

    I look forward to reading and listening to better stories from him.

    23 of 29 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mel USA 01-02-15
    Mel USA 01-02-15 Member Since 2009
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    "Iles Returns to Writing, Returns to Natchez-Almost"

    After a near death collision in 2011, Iles has struggled back to give readers what he says is the *first of a trilogy,* the very ambitious Natchez Burning. From what little I've read about his accident it seems a miracle the author made this return. It's good to know that Iles is recuperating well and will continue to write. Whether or not I'll continue to read...I'm still uncertain. The word *trilogy* attached to this 800 page behemoth has me feeling like someone just offered me a piece of pie after I just finished a pie eating contest.

    I've liked this author's previous books and especially found his portrayal of Mississippi seductive. Though his novels are consistently heavy on the violence, the morality of Penn Cage and his dedication to family, truth, and justice, as well as his love for the South, have always kept me wanting to return. Natchez Burning was the first of his books that I've had to force myself to continue. Substantial in both page count and story, Iles has over achieved in ways, and may have sacrificed some of the important points he is trying to make regarding the racial history of the American South. In comparison with the previous Iles novels I've read, this one was poorly edited (very poorly edited), congested with an overabundance of psychopathic sadists, and stuffed with pointless digressions and repetition, repetition, repetition. For me, much of the book seemed implausible, and the focus drifted from the civil unrest of the South that I was interested in following, to the gratuitous violence of Iles' characterizations of vitriolic *good 'ol boys* in white hoods.

    Dick Hill has always been as much of the Iles novels as Will Patton is James Lee Burke, Ray Porter and Jonathan Mayberry...but I came to accept Ledoux, more than I accepted this work of Iles. There is a good and entertaining story here, but in so many ways, this was not the Iles I'm used to. Sadly, not up to my expectations.





    18 of 23 people found this review helpful

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