As two of the most prominent citizens of Natchez, Drew and Penn sit on the school board of their alma mater, St. Stephen's Prep. When the nude body of a young female student is found near the Mississippi River, the entire community is shocked - but no one more than Penn, who discovers that his best friend was entangled in a passionate relationship with the girl and may be accused of her murder.
On the surface, Kate Townsend seems the most unlikely murder victim imaginable. A star student and athlete, she'd been accepted to Harvard and carried the hope and pride of the town on her shoulders. But like her school and her town, Kate also had a secret life - one about which her adult lover knew little.
When Drew begs Penn to defend him, Penn allows his sense of obligation to override his instinct and agrees. Yet before he can begin, both men are drawn into a dangerous web of blackmail and violence. Penn finds himself doubting his friend's motives and searching for a path out of harm's way.
More dangerous yet is Shad Johnson, the black district attorney whose dream is to send a rich white man to death row in Mississippi. At Shad's order, Drew is jailed, the police cease hunting Kate's killer, and Penn realizes that only by finding Kate's murderer himself can he save his friend's life.
With his daughter's babysitter as his guide, Penn penetrates the secret world of St. Stephen's, a place that parents never see, where reality veers so radically from appearance that Penn risks losing his own moral compass. St. Stephen's is a dark mirror of the adult world, one populated by steroid-crazed jocks, girls desperate for attention, and jaded teens flirting with nihilism. And hidden among them all is one true psychopath.
©2005 Greg Iles; (P)2005 Brilliance Audio
I am very pleased I purchased this book. I knew nothing of Iles work and took a chance on it based on the customer reviews and the narrator and am glad I did. Great character development and enough action/mystery to keep anyone that likes this genre entertained. Personally, I think Dick Hill is he best in the business at capturing exactly how the author intended the emotions of the characters to come across, without being too dramatic. I can't wait to listen to more from this author to see if the work is consistent.
I read both Cross books and Spaudau Phoenix, (and can highly recommend them), so I thought I'd try another Greg Isle book of a different genre and this one was recommended to me by a coworker. It's clear Mr Isle can hold his own in this arena as well and of course you can't go wrong with Dick Hill as your narrator. The character development was excellent. The story flowed well and the author filled in the blanks as it progressed. The ending was not a shocker by any means, but it had the right feel and brought the book to a nice conclusion. There???s no doubt some readers may find a few of the topics a bit off color, but I thought the author did a good job blending them into the story making them necessary and not just included for shock value. My only criticism would be I thought some of the characters, while developed well, were a bit farfetched and hard to believe. That said I truly enjoyed this book and would have given it 4.5 stars if I could have. I look forward to reading True Evil.
Retired former magazine editor who is working harder than ever as Mr. Mom to his 10-year-old daughter.
I enjoyed this book despite the implausible plot and sub plots. Penn Cage is a likable enough protagonist who is a very believable. Most of the other characters in this book strain credulity. You have a well-respected middle-aged dentist who plans to divorce his Lorcet addicted trophy wife to run off with a beautiful 17-year old high school class valedictorian. You have a Croatian teen who has conspired with an African-American drug dealer to market narcotics to college students in Louisiana and Mississippi. You have another beautiful high school student who babysits for Page and yearns for a one-nighter with him and risks life and some other things to help Cage find a killer. You have an African-American DA conspiring with a redneck sheriff to get the DA elected mayor. Then you have an amorphous gang of Asian thugs who appear and disappear when Iles needs to tie up loose ends. You get the picture. I'm not sure why I enjoyed the book. Maybe it was because it was slightly over the edge. But I look forward to listening to another in the Cage series, hoping for improved story telling. I listened to the abridged version of The Quiet Game where Iles introduced Penn Cage and the potential is there. Dick Hill's narration wasn't as good as usual in this offering, with his voice trailing off at times making it difficult to hear. An average book which I believe will evoke neither hate nor excessive praise.
I have transformed from a bookworm into an audio-monster.
What a wonderful protagonist! The female characters are a little one-dimensional but great flawed man-heros. The story is nearly impossible to put down.
This book made me a huge fan of Greg Isles and the narrator, Dick Hill. It had me hooked from the beginning and it was hard to put it down. Looking forward to many more!!
I have quickly become a fan of Greg's work now finishing my 4th read or listen of his works.
The clever title reveals it's meaning late in the book and is a pleasant /clever surprise.
formerly user Audible2day
Great book, excellent narration and very well written. Pass miles like a roller coaster ride.
I loved Iles book Black Cross, so I had high hopes for all of his books. It was well written and narrated. I guess the plot was only average in my opinion. Not a bad book but I would not recommend it.
I would recommend this book because it is a very interesting, well written and narrated book in the Penn
Cage series. Which I think this is the second book. It was sad but not depressing, a mystery "who done it" type and diffidently not a sexy or G rated book. I couldn't stop listening from the first day I downloaded it to my ipod. I finished it in a couple of days... it was that good.
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