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The Bone Tree Audiobook

The Bone Tree: A Novel

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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, April 2015 - For those of you (myself included) who have been waiting to see what happens to Penn and Caitlin and Tom after the cliffhanger ending from Greg Iles' previous book Natchez Burning, the wait is over. In The Bone Tree we are dropped right back into the Deep South, where past and present collide, and where old hatreds are still prevalent today. When an old woman comes home to die it brings to light secrets of evils long thought buried, with startling ties to some of the most significant atrocities in our nation's history. After finishing The Bone Tree I find myself in a familiar position, not being able to wait to see where Iles and new narrator to the series Robert Petkoff take us next! –John, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

Greg Iles continues the electrifying story begun in his smash New York Times best seller Natchez Burning in this highly anticipated second installment of an epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice, featuring Southern lawyer Penn Cage.

Former prosecutor Penn Cage and his fiancee, reporter and publisher Caitlin Masters, have barely escaped with their lives after being attacked by wealthy businessman Brody Royal and his Double Eagles, a KKK sect with ties to some of Mississippi's most powerful men. But the real danger has only begun as FBI Special Agent John Kaiser warns Penn that Brody isn't the true leader of the Double Eagles. The puppeteer who actually controls the terrorist group is a man far more fearsome: the chief of the state police's Criminal Investigations Bureau, Forrest Knox.

The only way Penn can save his father, Dr. Tom Cage - who is fleeing a murder charge as well as corrupt cops bent on killing him - is either to make a devil's bargain with Knox or destroy him. While Penn desperately pursues both options, Caitlin uncovers the real story behind a series of unsolved civil rights murders that may hold the key to the Double Eagles' downfall. The trail leads her deep into the past, into the black backwaters of the Mississippi River, to a secret killing ground used by slave owners and the Klan for more than 200 years...a place of terrifying evil known only as "the bone tree".

The Bone Tree is an explosive, action-packed thriller full of twisting intrigue and deadly secrets, a tale that explores the conflicts and casualties that result when the darkest truths of American history come to light. It puts us inside the skin of a noble man who has always fought for justice - now finally pushed beyond his limits.

Just how far will Penn Cage, the hero we thought we knew, go to protect those he loves?

©2015 Greg Iles (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (1541 )
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4.5 (1389 )
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Performance
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  •  
    R. Ford 06-24-15
    R. Ford 06-24-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Ok but definitely could put it down."

    Story seemed labored and pedantic at times. After such a loooong read, the ending was disappointing and too obvious set up for sequel. Though talented writer, Mr Iles has succumbed to the money go-round.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia L. Walker 05-28-15 Member Since 2008

    clwalker IT Admin

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    "Depressing and frustrating"

    Greg Iles writes an excellent, attention holding story, but this series has become so depressing it makes me consider not reading any more of them. Tragedy abounds and the characters who should know better keep doing incredibly stupid, careless things which cause even more grief. The main character, Penn comes across as petulant and childish in this book when he has been imminently sensible and capable before. Considering the subject matter, I suppose the characters can't possibly win this one, but I found the book sad and frustrating, even though well written and the narration excellent. Not an experience I am anxious to repeat.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeannett Loma Linda, CA, United States 06-04-15
    Jeannett Loma Linda, CA, United States 06-04-15 Member Since 2013
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    "A big let down"

    I was so disappointed with this story. "Surely, crap happens, but golly jee whiz, does any one in the story get a break! The death of who I believe is the heroine was so anti- climactic that could not believe that she was really dead. I demand a re-write. Let's back up and change the story from that point. It would feel so much better.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA, United States 04-26-15
    Janet PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA, United States 04-26-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Narrator a problem"

    After listening to the first four Penn Cage books so brilliantly narrated by Dick Hill, I was beside myself with disappointment and grief that Natchez Burning was NOT narrated by the incomparable Mr. Hill. I protested in every way I could and truly hoped that Robert Petkoff would do a good job with The Bone Tree. But sadly, The residents of the deep south do not have southern accents in his voice and I find that very disturbing. I am going to return this audible version and buy the book in print. Then I can read it and imagine Dick Hill's voice and the mood and rhythm of the south that is totally lacking in Petkoff's narration.
    Again, I feel abandoned as an audible consumer of this series. Very sad.

    37 of 43 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Denise Brown 05-17-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Could have been half as long and twice as good"

    The idea of the story was great.
    I've loved the other books in the series- but this one seemed like he was getting paid per page.

    It did serve nicely to listen to on the airplane, though. If I fell asleep for an hour, I didn't miss much.

    13 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rollin Cholula, Mexico 05-10-15
    Rollin Cholula, Mexico 05-10-15 Member Since 2016
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    "A very long airport paperback"
    What disappointed you about The Bone Tree?

    Although the plot is quite interesting, weaving racist violence in Mississippi with hypotheses about the Kennedy assassination (sometimes a bit improbable), the style is childish and repetitive. The characters are always feeling "chills on their spine" or "trembling knees" and shaking hands when faced with danger, which by the way is ALL the time. I'm disappointed in Iles, having read other good books by him.


    Has The Bone Tree turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Not in this genre but I'm turned off Iles.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Actually, the narrator does a very creditable job, with several voices, black and white, male and female.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Bone Tree?

    There are many scenes that could disappear without affecting the novel, for example all the intimate soul searching scenes by the characters which turn out to be corny and lifeless. Some good surgery would actually improve it.


    Any additional comments?

    I think Iles bit off more than he could chew with this one.

    17 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John tallevast, FL, United States 07-02-15
    John tallevast, FL, United States 07-02-15 Member Since 2011

    List of favorite books: Woodcutter - Reginald Hill, Consent to Kill, First Deadly Sin - Lawrence Sanders, Sniper Elite - Scott McEwen

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    "I took the time to regurgitate a little"

    This is the beginning to chapter 1

    "Tonight, death and time showed me their true faces. We spend our lives plotting blindly through the slaughterhouse gate between past and future. Every second is annihilation. The death of this moment, the birth of this moment. There is no next moment. There is only now. While the pace of life seems stately in the living, we funnel through that gate like driven cattle. Fearful, obedient, insensate. Even while we sleep, now becomes then, as relentless as a river wearing away a rock. Cells burn oxygen, repair proteins, die and replace themselves in a seemingly endless train.Yet from the womb, those internal clocks are winding down to a final disorder. Only in the shadow of death do we sense the true velocity of time. While adrenaline blasts through our systems, eternity becomes tangible, and all else blurs in the background. It is then, paradoxically, that seconds seem to stretch. Experience becomes hyper real, and flesh and spirit unite it the battle to remain breathing, conscious, aware. Afloat in the rushing stream of time. If we survive the threat, our existential epiphany quickly fades, for we cannot bear it long. Yet somewhere within us a dividing line remains. Before and after. Tonight, time slowed down so much I could taste it like copper on my tongue. I felt it against my skin, dense and heavy. resisting every move. Mortality hovered at my shoulder, a watchful beast of prey."


    From here - This goes straight into a story we're supposed to jump into as if we know the background? Or maybe this is one of those end before the beginning books. I couldn't care less. Did you read the beginning? I couldn't go even a little bit further. I'm deep sometimes - But come on man - I'm not bottomless. Maybe Greg is a Walt Disney fan and dropped some acid before throwing up his brain on the pages of this..... Now that's good writing =0)

    I listened to the first Penn Cage book.... It was so so - Long =0

    There is 32 hours of 'The Bone Tree'.... More KKKraziness same ole same ole....



    For what it's worth, J

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mel USA 05-07-15
    Mel USA 05-07-15 Member Since 2009
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    "A book that wants to be a movie"


    I began this novel with an outward groan, not just in contemplation of the 816 pgs. (32 1/2 hrs. audio) facing me, but in reflection of part 1 of this trilogy, Natchez Burning. It was a brick of a book. It contained all the hallmarks of an entertaining read, but was weighed down with detail so burdensome I couldn't get momentum. The 32 hrs. felt like reading real-time. With that premise: Just a few days ago (book-wise), Penn Cage and his fiancée Caitlin Masters, barely escaped with their lives after a gruesome torture session at the hands of a sadistic break-off cell of the KKK. Bone Tree picks up on Day 2 and from the get-go it's clear, TBT loses no time tossing the barely on their feet couple back into the grinder. Wisely, Iles lays down a refresher course for those of us that can't recall the who-what-where & why's to the 35 hr. prequel. It's quick, but thorough.

    This is a marathon of action (and listening), literally stuffed to capacity with new secrets that seem to begat more secrets, widening the circle of conspirators, and dangers for Penn, his family and dwindling support team...and I only wished for an editor occasionally this time out. While better than Natchez Burning, the same issues that tormented me through NB still appear in the pages of TBT: glut. But it's Iles' book and if he wants to include the dalliances of sandwich making and downloading Google Maps between dodging snipers and ever lurking ne'er-do-wells, then so be it. (I'd still argue a savvy editor would do some hefty pruning.) Tracking all the people and past events demands attention; the trivialities came close to being distracting. Keeping up with the KKK, the FBI, JFK, RFK, MLK, Castro, Snake, and so on, is mental charting for Mensa members.

    Somewhere in the surfeit of detail and double-crosses, the quest switches from solving the murder of Dr. Tom Cage's African-American nurse Viola Turner in Natchez, to digging into questions about conspiracies in the murders of JFK, RFK, MLK. It seems a giant leap away from the South to Castro, but Iles says the trilogy is completed, which I interpret to mean he knows where it's all going. Book 2 avoids the *middle novel* doldrums with new revelations and unexpected twists, but it does continue that tradition of the hanging non-conclusion. Be warned that if you enter here, you're committed to the 3rd book. (If nothing else, you're so going to want to see how & if Snake gets what's coming to him.) Kennedy conspiracies seem overplayed, but I admit I'm curious to see how Iles answers his own questions; how he combines the facts that are his framework with his fictional story.

    After the disappointment of NB, I didn't think I would continue with the trilogy. Two things changed my mind (and my son-in-law who's reading this with me):
    - First of all, I didn't care for the narrator of NB, a choice that affected my experience of the book. But, I noticed that people who read, rather than listened to, the book, overwhelmingly liked it. Optimistically, I counted on a change of narrators to improve the *Penn Cage* experience. Petkoff is a talented, accomplished actor/narrator. He is expressive, energetic, and noteworthy...better than NB, but again, not how I hear Penn Cage. Why Dick Hill isn't narrating this trilogy...? I wondered if he was still working, and Google says he is. I miss the quality of voice he brought to Penn -- that laid back Southern Comfort that embodied the characters, the history and the place. Hoping for a better suited narrator with TBT turned out to be wishful thinking.
    - Secondly, NB and TBT are both novels that border on the farcical, considering the characters, the collusion, complexity, conspiracy, and the nine lives of the all the players...at least I thought so, until I read about the very real journalist Stanley Nelson, the editor of The Concordia Sentinel, and Pulitzer Prize finalist. Nelson is fictionally portrayed by Iles as journalist Henry Sexton, and it's his journalistic work researching the '64 real-life killing of Frank Morris (depicted in NB as musician Albert Norris) by a KKK terrorist cell known as the Silver Dollar Group (depicted in NB as the Double Eagles) that inspired Iles' Natchez Burning. Unless Iles has painted himself into a corner, this can only have one heck of a conclusion.

    For me, this book was the better book; the history added depth to the characters and their philosophies, and the story began to have direction and substance beyond just sensational violence. With the roots of the story embedded in history the book became more significant. "Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction..." to quote another Southerner.

    While I was hesitant about part 2, I'm anxious for the conclusion. Then there's that issue of the narration.........
    *[Natchez Burning is to become a cable series with Sony and Amazon Studios, produced by Tobey Maguire and David Hudgins]

    27 of 35 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Myron Gilbert 06-08-15
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    "Around 20 hours too long"

    And it ended with a lead to the next book. I needed to force myself to continue after the first 10 hours & it was a waste of time.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Ann Stine Clinton, WA, US 04-29-15
    Mary Ann Stine Clinton, WA, US 04-29-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Disappointing"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I am not sure if it is the narrator or the story, I love Greg Iles, but I am finding it extremely boring to listen to this narration. I have only listened for about an hour. But am honestly deciding if I will even listen!


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Not there and am not sure I will ever be!


    Would you be willing to try another one of Robert Petkoff’s performances?

    NO


    Do you think The Bone Tree needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Unable to tell


    7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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