Mississippi Blood by Greg Iles
A Novel (Natchez Burning)


14 Critic Reviews

Though a side plot about J.F.K.’s assassination stretches credibility, relentless pacing keeps the story churning, with unexpected brutality erupting on nearly every page.
-Publishers Weekly


The #1 New York Times Bestseller

The final installment in the epic Natchez Burning trilogy by Greg Iles

Natchez Burning is extraordinarily entertaining and fiendishly suspenseful. I defy you to start it and find a way to put it down; as long as it is, I wished it were longer. . . . This is an amazing work of popular fiction.”
   — Stephen King

“One of the longest, most successful sustained works of popular fiction in recent memory… Prepare to be surprised. Iles has always been an exceptional storyteller, and he has invested these volumes with an energy and sense of personal urgency that rarely, if ever, falter.”

—    Washington Post

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 forty 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. 

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 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 readers on the edge of their seats. With piercing insight, narrative prowess, and a masterful ability to blend history and imagination, Greg Iles illuminates the brutal history of the American South in a highly atmospheric and suspenseful novel that delivers the shocking resolution his fans have eagerly awaited. 


About Greg Iles

See more books from this Author
Greg Iles was born in 1960 in Germany. He founded the band Frankly Scarlet, plays guitar for the Rock Bottom Remainders, and is the New York Times bestselling author of nine novels, including Blood Memory and 24 Hours. He lives in Natchez, Mississippi.
Published March 21, 2017 by William Morrow. 705 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Crime, History. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
Peak Rank on Apr 09 2017
Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Mississippi Blood
All: 14 | Positive: 13 | Negative: 1


on Dec 26 2016

Faulkner meets John D. MacDonald, and that’s all to the good. A boisterous, spills-and-chills entertainment from start to finish.

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Publishers Weekly

on Jan 24 2017

Though a side plot about J.F.K.’s assassination stretches credibility, relentless pacing keeps the story churning, with unexpected brutality erupting on nearly every page.

Read Full Review of Mississippi Blood: A Novel (N... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Huffington Post

Above average
Reviewed by Jackie K Cooper on Mar 20 2017

If you are going to write a trilogy then have that third and last book contain all the answers to the questions you have been raising. MISSISSIPPI BLOOD does not do that. Still the magnificence of Iles writing is worth the time and effort expended to get through these books.

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Reviewed by Margie Romero on Mar 25 2017

Although an emotional courtroom drama, there is plenty of action in “Mississippi Blood.” Mr. Iles drives his story forward with sturdy sentences but stops often to indulge in purely beautiful writing.

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20Something Reads

Reviewed by Ray Palen on Mar 23 2017

I could not get enough of MISSISSIPPI BLOOD, and not since The Lord of the Rings have I enjoyed the closing title in a trilogy this much...The book deserves to be placed directly on the shelf next to the aforementioned ALL THE KING'S MEN and Harper Lee's classic TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD as the finest Gothic Southern novels of the modern age.

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Reviewed by Laurie Weatherlow on Mar 31 2017

All three of the books in the trilogy are long. Don’t let that intimidate you. I suggest starting with Natchez Burning, then The Bone Tree. The conclusion in Mississippi Blood will moor you to Natchez and you will not want to leave. Now, the withdrawal begins.

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Reviewed by C. F. Foster on Mar 26 2017

Despite the heft, nearly 700 pages, Iles keeps the action churning in and out of the courtroom as (spoiler alert) all questions are eventually answered.

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Reviewed by Rob Scragg on Apr 11 2017

All in all, Mississippi Blood is an utterly enthralling story, expertly told, and cannot recommend highly enough.

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BG Daily News

Reviewed by Fallon Willoughby on Mar 12 2017

Iles does a good job of giving you enough to work with. Not only that, but the plot is for the most part fast-paced, and action-filled, so once you start you really do not want to put the book down.

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Knox News

Above average
Reviewed by Lyda Phillips on Mar 24 2017

...sprawling plunge into some of the worst crimes of the civil-rights era, pulling the murder and rape and torture of black Americans out of oblivion and into the light. Over the course of three long novels, the author exacts a kind of Django Unchained retribution on his fictional villains while also offering an uneasy redemption for the heroes...

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Reviewed by Donna M. Brown on Mar 21 2017

There are tender and gripping moments, especially regarding the stories within the story. Although there are many characters, each one plays an important role in the novel.

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Financial Times

Reviewed by Barry Forshaw on Apr 13 2017

Operatic in its reach, this is still essentially a tough crime procedural, with courtroom drama that is far more blistering than the John Grisham variety. Mississippi Blood is Southern Gothic delivered in the most incarnadine of hues.

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Reviewed by David Pitt on Jan 01 2017

...Iles has told an epic story that rips apart the modern history of Mississippi (he lives in Natchez himself), exposing a secret underbelly that, while fictional, feels real enough to have actually happened.

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Reviewed by Meike Alana on Apr 17 2017

As the novel reveals what really happened the night Viola Turner died, the reader is challenged to view issues of guilt and conscience in new and unsettling ways.

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