In the south of the 60s, many civil rights cases went ignored by local authorities and the FBI. Iles brings light to this with a story of Penn Cage, mayor of Natchez, Mississippi and Henry Sexton, journalist and the only person that seems interested in solving these crimes. The story takes place in current day with a few flash backs to the 60s. Penn is a product of the 60s, his father a reputed doctor who helped both the African American community and the Klan, out of fear. While Sexton is on the verge of a breakthrough in hunting down a group of Klan members that called themselves the Double Eagles, Penn finds out that his dad is going to be charged for the murder of the nurse that served his office during the 60s. Penn suspects this is because the local DA and sheriff can't stand him. But soon he and Henry find that what they are working on may be connected.
This book is 800 pages and just the first of a trilogy. However it's also the 4th Penn Cage book. It was my first introduction to Penn and though there were some mentions of cases and relationships from the past, it was easy to understand what was going on. The quality and scope of these books remind me of Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth/World Without End. It just takes place over a much shorter time frame.
For such a long book, the story seemed to only take place over a matter of a few days. Despite this, the events of the day didn't seem crammed at all. I really got sucked in to this novel and was immersed in the story, though it did take me a while to read!
There were some great climactic moments in this book and I was surprised at the outcome, which I feel doesn't happen that much to me these days. There are a lot of questions I have for the remaining two books. I hope they are answered; specifically the targets that were put on Martin Luther King and JFK. How exactly did these play out?
I really enjoyed book one. I'll start reading book two soon.
Thank you to TLC Book Tours for letting me be a part of this tour!
First Line: "Albert Norris sang a few bars of Howlin' Wolf's 'Natchez Burnin'' to cover the sounds of the couple making love in the back of his ship."
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