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Shattered by grief and dreaming of vengeance, Penn Cage sees his family and his world collapsing around him. The woman he loves is gone, his principles have been irrevocably compromised, and his father, once a paragon of the community that Penn leads as mayor, is about to be tried for the murder of a former lover. Most terrifying of all, Dr. Cage seems bent on self-destruction. Despite Penn's experience as a prosecutor in major murder trials, his father has frozen him out of the trial preparations - preferring to risk dying in prison to revealing the truth of the crime to his son.
During 40 years practicing medicine, Tom Cage made himself the most respected and beloved physician in Natchez, Mississippi. But this revered Southern figure has secrets known only to himself and a handful of others. Among them, Tom has a second son, the product of a 1960s affair with his devoted African American nurse, Viola Turner. It is Viola who has been murdered, and her bitter son - Penn's half brother - who sets in motion the murder case against his father. The resulting investigation exhumes dangerous ghosts from Mississippi's violent past. In some way that Penn cannot fathom, Viola Turner was a nexus point between his father and the Double Eagles, a savage splinter cell of the KKK. More troubling still, the long-buried secrets shared by Dr. Cage and the former Klansmen may hold the key to the most devastating assassinations of the 1960s. The surviving Double Eagles will stop at nothing to keep their past crimes buried, and with the help of some of the most influential men in the state, they seek to ensure that Dr. Cage either takes the fall for them or takes his secrets to an early grave.
Tom Cage's murder trial sets a terrible clock in motion, and unless Penn can pierce the veil of the past and exonerate his father, his family will be destroyed. Unable to trust anyone around him - not even his own mother - Penn joins forces with Serenity Butler, a famous young black author who has come to Natchez to write about his father's case. Together Penn and Serenity - a former soldier - battle to crack the Double Eagles and discover the secret history of the Cage family and the South itself, a desperate move that risks the only thing they have left to gamble: their lives.
Mississippi Blood is the enthralling conclusion to a breathtaking trilogy seven years in the making - one that has kept listeners on the edges of their seats.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Taryn on 06-17-17
Good ending to the trilogy
I am a bit surprised by some of the reviews of this book. I am a fan of Iles and Brick so maybe I am biased.
I did not find Brick's narration to be tedious or overly dramatic - I think it was on-target.
As for the storyline, this is the conclusion of a fantastic melodrama - its so far from reality you cant judge it to be believable. Pieces of the story can be somewhat believable but taken in its entirety it's crazy FICTION! Some readers were mad about Penn's sexual relationship so soon after the death of his fiance, it can be explained as grief or anger over her death or not -maybe the author just wanted to throw in another crazy relationship. The same goes for the courtroom scenes and the relationship with his 1/2 brother Lincoln. Its all a retreat into fantasy. I enjoyed it, then again, I was looking to escape and got my money's worth!
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
By Calmeridian Tink on 04-01-17
Disappointing End to a Long Awaited Conclusion
I was so incredibly excited when I saw this book in the "Featured Pre-Orders" section, having loved Natchez Burning and the Bone Tree I could not wait for it's release. To begin, I find most people love or hate Scott Brick--I love him but did find his performance in this book to be somewhat over dramatic. That being said, it wasn't intolerable to me.
Moving on, I have to admit I was really hoping that Caitlin's death was some sort of play by the FBI to protect her as a federal witness. While her death was fitting considering her penchant towards putting herself in dangerous situations I felt as though having Penn Cage lose two women who played such a prominent role in his life was somewhat setting him up for martyrdom. Additionally, I assume making Caitlin pregnant at the time of her death was to add to Penn's grief. Yet, his ability to move so swiftly into another sexual relationship was intensely disappointing for me. He states, at one point to his sister, "I haven't been with anyone since Caitlin's death"...but Caitlin had only been dead for 3 months! Had Isles spent any time expressing some inner conflict held by Cage in entering this relationship, I may have found it more respectable. As it was, I found this aspect of the novel to do an exceptional disservice to Caitlin's memory as well as the longstanding relationship they had held.
Next, I found the courtroom scenes unrealistic, specifically the cross examination of Dr. Cage. While it was certainly established that Avery's performance at the beginning of the trial seemed incompetent, at the time of the cross examination that had supposedly changed. And yet the DA spent more time going off on tangents that were so obviously objectionable it was ridiculous. While there was one sustained objection, it continued to play out that way through the course of the cross examination right up to the end. Additionally, Penn persistently commented on how Johnson had the jury's rapt attention, giving the "best closing argument I have ever heard". However, by the end Penn felt more than confident his father would be acquitted based on the fact that Dr. Cage stated he had the lethal drug responsible for Viola's death in his bag and didn't use it. At this information the DA was thrown into a tizzy, knocked off his game, not previously having that information. This made absolutely no sense to me. Wouldn't Dr. Cage's confession he had the drug point more to his guilt than innocence? And finally, why didn't the DA call Penn to the stand? Whether he had any revealing information or not, given their longstanding contentious relationship this would seem like an obvious move.
I gave this novel 4 stars because I absolutely love Greg Isles and the previous two books in this series were among the best I've ever read. But I have to admit the final installment felt somewhat contrived and not very well thought out. I don't believe this is the end of the Penn Cage series and will continue to read whatever Isles puts out. However, I do hope more thought goes into creating situations that are more believable in the future.
18 of 22 people found this review helpful