Every time I would look at Goodreads or Amazon or any other book reviewing website in 2014 for good mysteries, Natchez Burning by Greg Iles always came up. At one point I was on hold at the library for the book because there’s nothing I like more than a gothic southern mystery. At some point, however, I realized that Natchez Burning, while it proclaims to be a standalone book, is actually the fourth in a series. I’m somewhat of a stickler about reading books in order, (I like to watch characters develop) so I immediately determined I would start with the first in the series, The Quiet Game.
I’m so glad I did, as it gave me really good background on the main character – Penn Cage – and his personality.
Cage grew up in Natchez, Mississippi, and eventually became a lawyer, married, and practiced law in Houston, Texas. He returns to Natchez with his daughter following the death of his wife. Both he and his daughter are heartbroken and need the steadiness and love of his mother and father.
They are definitely welcomed with open arms by his parents, but it becomes abundantly clear almost immediately that things are not right in Paradise. His father, a highly-respected and well-loved doctor, is being blackmailed by a ruthless foe who has knowledge about a long-ago mistake the doctor made.
In addition to his parents’ problems, Cage is drawn into a long-ago murder case that has racial implications, and has the potential to bring down not only local and statewide officials, but it could impact the very head of the FBI.
The mystery is strongly compelling (I simply couldn’t put the book down), but I was also drawn into the lives of the characters themselves. I love southern fiction, and this was that at its very best. As many mysteries as I read, I have gotten quite good at figuring things out, but this one kept me guessing until the very end. Not necessarily whodunit, but how they were going to prove it. There were even times I doubted the good doctor. It seems lots of people know something, but they are all playing “the quiet game.”
I am so very glad that there are a few more in this series, and am eager to begin to work my way towards the critically-acclaimed Natchez Burning.
Buy The Quiet Game at Amazon here.
Buy The Quiet Game at Barnes and Noble here.
Buy The Quiet Game at Tattered Cover here.
Buy The Quiet Game at Changing Hands here.