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Mississippi Blood

A Novel
By: Greg Iles
Narrated by: Scott Brick
Series: Penn Cage, Book 6
Length: 28 hrs and 9 mins
4 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Summary

The endgame is at hand for Penn Cage, his family, and the enemies bent on destroying them in this revelatory volume in the epic trilogy set in modern-day Natchez, Mississippi - Greg Iles's epic tale of love and honor, hatred and revenge that explores how the sins of the past continue to haunt the present.

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 an 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 edge of their seats.

©2017 Greg Iles (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic reviews

"It takes gravitas and a quiet dignity to capture the people caught in a racial maelstrom in this concluding volume of Iles's atmospheric trilogy. Narrator Scott Brick lends both these qualities to this audiobook's central characters... Thanks to Brick's stellar narration, this lengthy production never drags, and listeners will want to visit Penn's Natchez again as a result." ( AudioFile)

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Taryn
  • Taryn
  • 17-06-17

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!

14 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • shelley
  • 22-03-17

This book hooked me during the prologue ! WOW'!!!

This is such a good book, I almost think it's the best in this trilogy. I was completely hooked within the first few minutes of starting it with the prologue. Wow! Kaitlin has been murdered and Daniel Kelly is missing in Afghanistan. Tom Cage is going on trial and Penn is falling apart.
The bulk of this book takes place in or around the courtroom. Quentin Avery is the attorney but not putting up much of a defense. Everyone begins thinking that he has either lost his courtroom savvy or has dementia.
The story continues by dragging in everyone from past books to come to terms with any evils they may have perpetrated (not just this trilogy, but from prior books as well). Throw the Double Eagles in and a threat on the Cage family lives and you've got a real nail biter going on.
I can't say more without spoiling the book or the outcome for anyone, suffice to say it is a riveting story that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
I can't say enough about this book other than to HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you get it.
If you found this review helpful please indicate so.
Thank You.

58 people found this helpful

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  • Lyle Prouse
  • 02-08-18

Outstanding!!

Wow! What a book! Scott Brick is one of THE best audio readers I've ever listened to! This whole audio book was absolutely terrific!

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Christopher J. Britt
  • 27-06-17

Love the series.

I love the series. great story. well told and narrated. lots of twists and turns.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Calmeridian Tink
  • 01-04-17

Disappointing End to a Long Awaited Conclusion

*POSSIBLE SPOILERS*
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.

21 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Ellen
  • 03-04-17

Disapppointing

Any additional comments?

Penn Cage's constant doubts and fears, which almost always turn out to be incorrect, quickly become extremely tedious. I enjoyed the earlier books in this series but this latest entry is very weak.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Mary Beth Hebert
  • 10-05-18

not as good as first 2

The first 2 books of the trilogy we're very good, in spite of the author's hyperbolic tendencies. This book is primarily a courtroom drama, though, which I find tiresome. .And, the protagonist's hyperbole in this one sounds ded, at times, like a teenaged girl. How many "truly unbelievable' moments can one trial have?
Still, if you've enjoyed the ride if the first two books, finish out the trip.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Robert S
  • 26-06-17

Melodramatic End of Series

Would you try another book from Greg Iles and/or Scott Brick?

I will avoid any more books read by Scott Brick. Mr. Brick reads like the overcompensated actor in the local community theater. I had just finished another series read by him, and was so glad to be finished with his voice. This book was the end of a series, of which I had read all the others. Imagine my horror when I had downloaded this book and once again heard Brick's voice! He has no voice for Mississippi, particularly the lead character.

How could the performance have been better?

The narrator needed at least a Southern accent. Seriously, it can't be that difficult.

Any additional comments?

I had enjoyed all the other books in this series, but was always troubled by the main character's father. He was written as a saint, but unbelievably so. This book was the culmination in this too good to be true doctor's story who took unrealistic liberties as a physician, both big and small. I wonder just how many times my eyes rolled as I listened to his story. The book became melodramatic and boring at times, especially the long drawn out courtroom saga. By the end, I no longer cared about any of the characters and happily say good-bye to the town of Nachez.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jay H.
  • 19-06-17

Yes!

Though I loved the story from the very beginning, I wanted the court room drama. the first two never hit that, but this one exceeded what I was wanting. Probably one of the best trilogies I've completed. wish I would have picked up earlier in the Penn Cage series.

Third book in the series, third narrator. Taking nothing away from away from Scott Brick, I wish the series had the same narrator. starting at one and finishing with the third changes the way you view characters from narrator to narrator.

the first was probably the best at getting the black southern accent, but Scott is the best performer.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for John Welch
  • John Welch
  • 27-04-17

Forget every author but Greg Iles

I first discovered Greg Iles when my brother loaned me the cd audiobook for Mortal Fear. I have never enjoyed another writer's work as much as I have his. His story structure and character development is superior. Ten members of my family have now had their lives taken over by his books.

1 person found this helpful