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Publisher's Summary

Turning Angel marks the long-awaited return of Penn Cage, the lawyer hero of The Quiet Game, and introduces Drew Elliott, the highly respected doctor who saved Penn's life in a hiking accident when they were boys.

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Story

Southern accents are best left to Southerners...

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, for the story. I like suspense and complicated relationships.

What didn’t you like about Dick Hill’s performance?

With the notable exception of the late, great Frank Muller, Southern accents are best left to native Southerners and British actors. I cringed each time I heard Nah'-chez' instead of Natch'-iz, and could'-sue' instead of cud'-zoo. I have always liked Dick Hill's performances, but I far prefer his Jack Reacher-type voice to this one.

Any additional comments?

I had planned to listen the rest of the books in this series, but I'm not sure I'll be able to get around the accent. I know whereof I speak; I am from south Alabama.

37 of 41 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Ed
  • Saint Augustine, FL, United States
  • 01-21-10

Heathers meets Matlock meets Marcus Welby

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.

34 of 38 people found this review helpful

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  • Franklin
  • Tallahassee, Florida, United States
  • 06-14-14

I Kept Waiting For the Trial

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

No. I didn't finish it though I labored almost 3/4 of the way through. Granted I am a late middle aged woman but the explicit, descriptive, detailed sex and the debauched portrayal of teens was more than I could endure. I felt like I needed to wash my brain and erase the images. Somehow I think that it reveals a lack of imagination when authors resort to surrounding their stories with sex instead of interesting characters and plots.

What do you think your next listen will be?

While I enjoyed a previous book by this author, I doubt I will try him again.

What three words best describe Dick Hill’s voice?


Did Turning Angel inspire you to do anything?

Put it down.

44 of 50 people found this review helpful

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Boring, too long and drawn out

Any additional comments?

Nearing the end of the book, I didn't even care anymore what happened to the characters.

24 of 27 people found this review helpful

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I just finished "The Quiet Game" by Greg Iles and was anxious to start another book by this author right away. Unfortunately, after several chapters of "Turning Angel" I've given up hoping the plot, the characters or the narration will improve. I can hardly believe these two books were written by the same author. The characters in Turning Angel are shallow, unrealistic and just plain boring. Can't waste any more time on this one...definitely sending it to the reject bin.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Very Good Read/Listen

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Ted
  • Lancaster, PA, United States
  • 03-13-15

Two Stars? Yep, That's Generous

I had to skip hunks of this story, and crank my iPod to 2X for a lot of the second half.

Iles, who I usually REEEEELY enjoy is a powerful writer, which is why I plowed through to the end of "turning Angel". Unfortunately he's determined here to justify intimacies between middle aged men and high school girls… justify by showing not telling.

Pity, especially since Dick Hill's such a masterful actor that he adds power to Ilies detailed scenes of one couple's graphic experimenting while the other two are voyeuristically immersed in moist details of the other's May/December couplings. It reminds me if the ingenue who explained that her on-screen sexcapades were, of course, fully justified by the plot.

I'm crushed. Until "Turning Angel" Greg Iles was one of my favorite authors. I'm going to VERY carefully read reviews before purchasing another of his novels.

18 of 21 people found this review helpful

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What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

What started out as a good story quickly turned to an unbelievable story. And the underage sex part made me want to puke.

Would you ever listen to anything by Greg Iles again?


Which character – as performed by Dick Hill – was your favorite?


What character would you cut from Turning Angel?


8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Vicki
  • Montpelier, VA, United States
  • 10-18-15

A ridiculous plot line made worse by the narrator

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

It's clear from the review that many people like this book. I found the whole thing absolutely absurd. It needed serious editing and couldn't have more unimaginable stereotypes as characters. Liberal Penn Cage, his girlfriend turning conservative (egads!), the addicted doctor's wife, corrupt politicians, stupid law enforcement, smart but evil black drug dealer, mysterious and superfluous Asian drug ring, smart and worldly high school girls and the troubled exchange student. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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

First the story needed serious editing. The Asian drug ring was completely unnecessary. Second, he could have shown a tiny bit of imagination in character development. I swear he went to Wal-Mart to purchase these pre-fab characters. With some interesting characters the story could have been much better and also possibly plausible.

How could the performance have been better?

Dick Hill needs to be banned from narrating Southern voices. If I had noticed he was the narrator when I picked this book I would have never bought it. He has a special knack for making Southern people sound like complete imbeciles. His snorting, sniffing, coughing, sighing, sobbing and other sound effects are simply way overdone. A great narrator makes you forget about the narration. Dick Hill makes the narration all about him. It's hard to get into a story that he is narrating.

What character would you cut from Turning Angel?

The Asian drug cartel.

Any additional comments?

It's been a long time since I've really hated a book. There are many books that I don't like much but very few make me angry for wasting the time to read it. This was one of those books.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Very Good

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.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful