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THE BONE TREE: BOOK TWO OF THE NATCHEZ BURNING TRILOGY ~GREG ILES

Monday, September 12th, 2016

Southern Lawyer Penn Cage and his fiancée Caitlin Masters the newspaper publisher have just escaped being set on fire by a ruthless businessman Brody Royal and are still searching for Dr. Tom Cage, Penn’s father, who is being accused of killing a black nurse who worked for him as we finish the exciting book NATCHEZ BURNING, which is the first in the Trilogy by Greg Iles.

TLC Book Tours  sent me book two in plenty of time to keep right on reading this compelling saga about family, about the KKK, about racism, corruption, the brutal history and the on-going conspiracy theories about the Kennedy assassinations and Martin Luther King-the South revealed.

The writing in this story is fabulous and amazingly spellbinding.  As Stephen King says, “ You just want more.

“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.” (From TLC webpage)

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Harper Collins Review

The incredible “hate” over family generations and how it manifests is fascinating to follow and just how does one help families that are so tainted by violence that they can be changed into decent, contemporary people for the future generations?  Will this kind of family system be destine to repeat itself – forever?  Do our social systems have any impact?

I have over the years often found book two of trilogies to be more of a fill in book adding more detail and transitioning to the big finish.  Yes, there is some transition material in this book and yet it is full of new components to the story and more contemporary problems that are proceeding because of the search being brought to the foreground.  It is riveting in it’s own right.  Another 800 pages of thrilling material and the death of new individuals is spelled out as the corruption and dastardly economic systems are spelled out and more and more African Americans lose their land and life in the re-building of New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina.

I have personally shared 5 copies of NATCHEZ BURNING with friends and the word is – The writing is amazing and thrilling – The pace and details are extraordinary – It is quite the read and perfect timing.

All the things you thought were going on in the South – They are!   It is nearly impossible to put this book down.  THE BONE TREE will not disappoint.

My copy had a reader’s book group guide at the back of the book and plenty of reference and acknowledgement material proves to be extremely interesting.

Book Three will be available March 2017.

Related:
Natchez Burning
The Contractors
Mississippi Blood

TRUTH LIKE THE SUN: A NOVEL ~JIM LYNCH

Monday, September 23rd, 2013


I just love reading a book by Jim Lynch.  He is one of the stars of my hometown and although he has lived elsewhere Jim Lynch has come home to share his family and words with us.   TRUTH LIKE THE SUN is his third novel and was just recently published.  Although not as funny as the other two novels we all enjoyed, this one is true to form.

TRUTH LIKE THE SUN takes place in 1962 and 2001 in Seattle, Washington.  Maybe you remember that a World’s Fair took place in Seattle in 1962 and it was all about the 21Century – visions of the future.  It was amazing that Seattle had the audacity to put on a World’s Fair, let alone that it was all about the future.  I only attended the fair one afternoon as a child (it was very expensive) and I have yet to enjoy the top of the Space Needle.  I have been to the science center many times and once rode the Monorail.  It was wonderful to revisit the things I remembered such as TV phones and the GE home of the future and then compare notes with my smart phone and how my home looks today.  There are lots of those little details in the story to spark the memories.

Lynch’s form in his novels it to take real events of history and compress them into his own time frames. In TRUTH LIKE THE SUN we join the fair activity with the graft of the dark side of several decades:  the Police and Mayoral corruption scandals of protection for gambling and prostitution, the Boeing machinists unions strikes, the planning of the fair and the developers paying their way into scams to route the freeways and maximize the views to build lots of apartments in the downtown corridor.  I knew about all those events but they became clearer as they were superimposed into a short time frame and revealed by a savvy, aggressive reporter who has just moved to town (fresh observations)  is covering the 2001 primary election candidate for Mayor and assigned a retrospective on the World’s Fair for its anniversary. One of the 2001 candidates was the Fair Master in 1962 and because of his love and historical knowledge of the city is known as Mr. Seattle.

My second book group read this book for our September read and was disappointed that the book was not as funny as previous books; overall enjoyed TRUTH LIKE THE SUN.  The two members who had been to the World’s Fair and knew of the scandals and had followed the stories in the news over the years had a stronger favorable opinion of the story.  We thought the woman reporter was quite the pit bull but then she was from the eastern part of the USA and that is always how the east treats Seattle.  The city is very young and very Independent.   Seattle always needs to defend itself from East Coast traditions and control issues.  I believe the author caught that spirit in his writing.

BORDER SONGS was Lynch’s second book and it packaged up the problems and history of the Washington-Canadian border into a one year event of a young man’s first job on the border patrol.  Much of that history has maybe changed now with the legalization of marijuana, but since the border is primarily just a ditch between the two countries I am sure there are more and more problems to be revealed.  There were as many pounds of humor as there were bales of weed floating down the slough!

THE HIGHEST TIDE was Lynch’s first novel and he took 20 years of weather related events that happened here in my city and compressed it into a young boy’s coming of age story that was an unbeatable read and became the city read book for the summer it was popular all across the United States.

Both BORDER SONGS and THE HIGHEST TIDE  have been made into plays and I heard that one was headed for a movie studio soon.

Because Jim Lynch lives in my town he always starts his book tours here and it is before a packed crowd. It is a delightful way to learn history and review what one remembers; a remarkable storyteller.

Jim Lynch on Facebook with a great sailboat picture.

TRUTH LIKE THE SUN is from my own library and I have autographed copies of each of the three books on my shelf.   No one asked me to review this book and I did not receive any remuneration or proof copies.

If you purchase anything from this site from Amazon or Powell’s will receive a few blossoms in my bouquet.  Thank you. Donations also welcomed.

Related Reading:
The Highest Tide
Border Songs (Amazon)

Half As Happy 
Walter’s Muse