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The Devil's Punchbowl

A Novel

By Greg Iles

The Devil's Punchbowl
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  • Published in USA  Jul 2009,
    592 pages.

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jack lafaye (06/13/10)

eliptical enigma
This whole storyline is filled with clues that are indeed, eliptical enigmas. That is puzzels with omissions. Caitlin masters is the first. what happened to the filmmaker, Jan? why did caitlin bring him to Natchez? How did she end her relationship with jan, or did she? Is she really going to be happy in Natchez, even for two years? Is she lying to Penn about not having intimate relationships in Boston? What was her real reason for leaving Penn eighteen months ago? was she pregnant when Caitlin offered her condition of marriage to Penn, as he asked her in jest? Why didn't Penn ask her about her and Jan's status before agreeing to marry her. He is too smart to be that dumb, or is she right about him being the smartest dumb man that she has ever met, right? Does Penn realize that he's about to marry a sexual diletante? Are we also supposed to believe that only twentyfour hours in a dog kennel, has changed her arrogant, intimidating, persona. I might have sucumbed to this theory if she had been raped. That she is now cleansed of her hubris approach to life? I have pondered over these questions since I read the novel in september of 2009. Some clues I have gathered an answer for; like where she met jan. He's a filmmaker, she has been on Antigua. He was filming the corporate retreat that she attended there. They became lovers, thus why he appears in Natchez and is hidden away, probably in an executive reserved suite, retained by her paper. That was the reason she didn't announce her return to Natchez to Penn, and why she didn't let Jan stay in her house across the street from Penn's. She didn't want Penn to know that he was with her.This had to be the author's method of highten our desire for the sequel... Unwritten Laws. Well... Greg, it worked. At least for moi.Please try and answer some of these enigmas in the sequel. Sorry about your illness. Hope all is well now.
regards, Jack
June 13, 2010.
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