The Bone Treeby Greg Iles (Website, Facebook, Twitter)
Series: Natchez Burning Trilogy, Penn Cage
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks on Reprint Edition September 13, 2016
Genres: Adult, Alternate History, Crime, Kidnapping, Law & Crime, Thriller, Violence
Length: 32 hours and 25 minutes
Source: Bought, TLC Book Tours
Amazon • Book Depository • Goodreads
I received this book for free from Bought, TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Greg Iles continues the electrifying story begun in his smashNew York Times bestseller 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 fiancée, 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 wasn’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 over two hundred 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?
Fresh off my read through of book one in this series, Natchez Burning, and facing another quite large page count for the second installment, The Bone Tree, I decided to do things a little differently with this middle book and listen to the audiobook instead of making my way through the 800-plus pages of the paperback provided for the tour by Harper Collins and TLC Book Tours. I’m glad that I purchased the Kindle version and added the audio for a few dollars more, since I could go back and forth (minus a few glitches that are on Amazon’s part with their app) from the audio to the e-book quite seamlessly from listening while at work to reading on the train. And The Bone Tree really shone in audio, with narrator Robert Petkoff doing an outstanding job of the many characters that make up this series. It really made the book come effortlessly to life for me and I didn’t want to stop listening, especially for the last 200 pages worth.
Picking up where Natchez Burning left off–and with a nice recap for people who haven’t read the first book–Dr. Tom Cage is still on the run after being accused of murdering his former nurse, Viola Turner, who’d returned to Natchez, Mississippi to die of cancer. The doctor’s son, Mayor Penn Cage, is determined to prove that his father is innocent, and it was actually a splinter group of the KKK called the Double Eagles who murdered Viola because she’d returned to Natchez after she was warned to never return forty years earlier. Penn’s newspaper reporter/fiancee Caitlin Masters has taken over the mantle for Henry Sexton and his investigation of the Double Eagles and the murders of Civil Rights Activists in the 1960s, but in her quest to find the mythical Bone Tree–a cypress deep in the swamp where many murders have supposedly taken place over the years, she’s heading into more danger than she’s ever known before.
Where Natchez Burning focused more on the murders and flashed back and forth to the past, The Bone Tree turns more towards conspiracy theories and real life public figures such as JFK, RFK, and MLK. FBI agent Kaiser is mainly interested in solving the JFK assassination, but he’s willing to work with Penn and the local police to get the information out of the notoriously tight-lipped and deadly Double Eagles that he needs. But the Double Eagles are in their seventies now, and they only answer to their deceased founding member’s son, Forrest Knox–who just happens to be a high ranking officer in Louisiana’s Criminal Investigations Bureau, and he’s as mean, dirty, and nasty as the come. Forrest Knox has spies all over the two states, and he even has his own black ops tactical unit that will kill for him. This book is full of dirty cops, good cops and agents who just won’t play well with each other, and good guys who skirt way too close to the wrong side of the law or just skip right on over to survive. It’s like the wild west down in the modern day South.
I give The Bone Tree a four out of five. I definitely enjoyed listening to the book more than reading it since the narrative was dialogue heavy and it flowed more nicely when it was read to me. This second installment was a bit repetitive in spots and could have used with a bit of a page cut down to tighten it up. The bad guys were mean, despicable, and just downright nasty–and I can’t wait to finally see them get their comeuppance in book three. The heroes seemed to be a bit single-minded about their goals, even if they could get killed or get others hurt on their journey, but this made the book more thrilling for the most part. The settings were very vivid, and I really enjoyed listening to this second book. This series is a trilogy with the last book, Mississippi Blood, due out March 2017.
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About Greg Iles
Greg Iles spent most of his youth in Natchez, Mississippi. His first novel, Spandau Phoenix, was the first of thirteen New York Times bestsellers, and his new trilogy continues the story of Penn Cage, protagonist of The Quiet Game, Turning Angel, and #1 New York Times bestseller The Devil’s Punchbowl. Iles’s novels have been made into films and published in more than thirty-five countries. He lives in Natchez with his wife and has two children.
Connect with Greg Iles
Greg Ile’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS for THE BONE TREE:
Tuesday, September 13th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Tuesday, September 13th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Thursday, September 15th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Thursday, September 15th: Bibliophiliac
Friday, September 16th: Mama Reads Hazel Sleeps
Tuesday, September 20th: she treads softly
Thursday, September 22nd: Peeking Between the Pages
Friday, September 23rd: Art @ Home
Monday, September 26th: A Bookish Way of Life
Thursday, September 29th: Tina Says…
Friday, September 30th: Lit and Life
Friday, September 30th: Literary Quicksand
Monday, October 3rd: I Brought a Book
Monday, October 3rd: Jaffa Reads Too
Tuesday, October 4th: Ms.Bookish.com
Tuesday, October 4th: Bewitched Bookworms
Tuesday, October 4th: Liz Loves Books
Wednesday, October 5th: Comfy Reading
Wednesday, October 5th: For Winter Nights
Thursday, October 6th: Reader Dad
Thursday, October 6th: Ace and Hoser Blook
Friday, October 7th: Book Addict Shaun
Wednesday, October 12th: Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile
TBD: Dreams, Etc.