[simpleazon-image align=”left” asin=”0062311093″ locale=”us” height=”500″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51GItEdKlaL.jpg” width=”280″][simpleazon-link asin=”0062311093″ locale=”us”]Natchez Burning: A Novel (Penn Cage Novels)[/simpleazon-link] by Greg Iles
My rating:4 of 5 stars
Obviously well-researched novel that covers history, civil rights, dirty politics and family secrets. Brutal, heart-breaking, intense, and emotional with the Southern Gothic themes of redemption and regret well-played. The first half of the book takes time because so much information is packed into the narrative: a large, complex network of characters, fictionalized historical events several of which are monstrous acts that are gut-wrenching to imagine, and the unique politics and character of Natchez, Mississippi. Many of the images are violent and graphic. The mysteries are perplexing and compelling. Conspiracy theories and political intrigue weave throughout the story. A heavy, but rewarding read rich in character. While it took me a few days to read the first half due to the amount of information to digest, I devoured the second half, the denouement, in one very late night. Once everything hit the fan, the pace of the novel ratcheted up to an adrenaline-fueled ride. It was all I could do not to pick up [simpleazon-link asin=”0062311115″ locale=”us”]The Bone Tree (Penn Cage)[/simpleazon-link] and keep going right away. Despite a few contrivances that seemed a bit too convenient, I thought this was an excellent book. Fans of Southern Gothic, political thrillers, and civil rights era historical fiction, should definitely read this book.
“…anybody who’d read any history knew that great civilizations always crumbled from within” (p. 31).
“Trying to keep the past buried was like trying to stop kudzu from growing. Short of pouring gasoline on the ground and killing the earth itself, you couldn’t do it” (p. 134).
“The lesson of history was that every great fortune was built upon a great crime…” (p. 151).
“The faith of children is an awesome thing to behold. If only we could all be worthy of it” (p. 295).
For more information click here: http://www.gregiles.com/
Find the author on Twitter: @GregIles
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