The Devil's Punchbowl : Penn Cage

  • by Greg Iles
  • Narrated by Jeff Harding
  • Series: Penn Cage
  • 21 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

As a prosecuting attorney Penn Cage sent hardened killers to death row. But it is as mayor of his hometown that he will face his most dangerous enemy.
In its quest for new jobs and fresh money, the town of Natchez has turned to gambling. Five fantastical steamboats float on the river, but one boat isn’t like the others. Rumour has it that the Magnolia Queen has found a way to pull in the big players. And with them comes an unquenchable taste for blood sport, and the dark vices that go with it.
When a childhood friend of Penn’s, who brings him evidence of the sickening crimes, is murdered, he begins a dangerous quest to find those responsible.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

This time Greg Iles overdoes.....

Our favorite hero –Penn Cage- is approached by on old classmate friend who works as a blackjack dealer on one of the casino boats (The Devil’s Punchbowl). The friend reports -before being savagely murdered- of vicious activities (drugs, prostitution, money laundry, rapes and vicious dog fighting) being orchestrated by the casino manager.
As usual, Greg Iles knows how to build the plot with both suspense and drama gradually growing so that the reader gets irresistibly hooked to the story. I honestly could not resist and went through the 23 hours of reading in a few days. However I felt afterwards as someone having had too much junk food in a short time. Like for junk food, the basic ingredients of the book are simple and basically appealing: terrifying bad guys, a fast paced action, a bit of sex and a good hero. However, here everything is in excessive doses: the bad guys are way too bad and good guys lily white (so much for character complexity…) . Violence is at gore movies level and toward the second half the story gets so fast paced that you feel being in a Road Runner and Wile E Coyote movie (so much for the sense of drama… ).
Jeff Harding comes across a very rhetoric, which, given the context, does not help….

I enjoyed this way less than the others Greg Iles books. However, to be honest, I think that I will not resist and shall read the next one (Nantchez burning). At times junk food makes you feel good…… (or simply full ?!)
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- antonio

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-04-2010
  • Publisher: ISIS Audio Books