Review: The Bone Tree

April 27, 2015 book review, Greg Iles, southern lit, Uncategorized, William Morrow 4

The Bone Tree

  • Written by:  Greg Iles
  • Published by William Morrow Books, April 21, 2015
  • Length: 816 pages
  • Source: TLC Book Tours and publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher’s Summary: Greg Iles continues the electrifying story begun in his smash New 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?

My Thoughts:  Picking up exactly where his previous novel Natchez Burning ended, author Greg Iles doesn’t disappoint with this second in a trilogy about Penn Cage and his search for answers about murder, murder plots and other heinous crimes committed in the name of brother hood by the notorious Double Eagles.  This is a case where you really must read the first book to understand the subsequent books.

Penn Cage and his finance Caitlin are happy to be alive, but they also know things that makes them sought after by the local and state police, and the FBI.  The game of who do you trust is real for them.  Penn wants justice for his father, and Caitlyn wants to uncover all the corruption and bring justice to fellow journalist Henry Sexton.

It’s nearly impossible to review this book without spoilers, and I don’t want to do that.  This book is riveting and full of secrets and back woods tales and mystery as Isles first tale.  There are details of historic events and most of all there is the way that Greg Isles weaves a tale.  It puts you right there in Mississippi and Louisiana, in the bayous and deltas and in the homes of now old men who are ready to tell their secrets.

This book did move a little slower for me than I had expected and because I knew must of the story perhaps some could have been cut shorter.  The Bone Tree is an excellent book of southern fiction, but I’m not sure it lives up the love I had for Natchez Burning.  I am still amazed I read two 800+ page books, not typical for me.  I’m looking forward to the last of the Penn Cage trilogy, and no matter the length I’ll be there!  I highly recommend this book to lovers of southern fiction, history of racism in the south and Greg Iles fans.

Thank you to TLC for asking me to participate in this book tour.  The other stops along the tour are:

Tuesday, April 21st: My Bookshelf
Wednesday, April 22nd: Snowdrop Dreams of Books
Friday, April 24th: Dwell in Possibility
Monday, April 27th: Anita Loves Books
Wednesday, April 29th: Joyfully Retired
Thursday, April 30th: Books That Hook
Tuesday, May 5th: Worth Getting in Bed For
Wednesday, May 6th: Cerebral Girl in a Redneck World
Thursday, May 7th: A Bookworm’s World
Monday, May 11th: Lit and Life
Tuesday, May 12th: Always With a Book
About Greg Iles
Greg Iles spent most of his youth in Natchez, Mississippi, and studied the American novel under acclaimed southern writer Willie Morris at the University of 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 GameTurning 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 is a member of the lit-rock group “The Rock Bottom Remainders” and lives in Natchez with his two teenaged children.

Find out more about Greg at his website, follow him on Twitter, and connect with him on Facebook.

4 Responses to “Review: The Bone Tree”

  1. trish

    I’ve heard such good things about Greg Iles! I can’t wait to dig in to one of his books.

  2. litandlife

    My mom just reviewed this one for me and I think she felt a lot the same way as you did but she was wondering if there was enough story left for the third book.

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