As a prosecuting attorney in Houston, Penn Cage sent hardened killers to death row. But it is as mayor of his hometown -- Natchez, Mississippi -- that Penn will face his most dangerous threat. Urged by old friends to try to restore this fading jewel of the Old South, Penn has ridden into office on a tide of support for change. But in its quest for new jobs and fresh money, Natchez, like other Mississippi towns, has turned to casino gambling, and now five fantastical steamboats float on the river beside the old slave market at Natchez like props from Gone With the Wind.
But one boat isn't like the others.
Rumor has it that the Magnolia Queen has found a way to pull the big players from Las Vegas to its Mississippi backwater. And with them -- on sleek private jets that slip in and out of town like whispers in the night -- come pro football players, rap stars, and international gamblers, all sharing an unquenchable taste for one thing: blood sport -- and the dark vices that go with it. When a childhood friend of Penn's who brings him evidence of these crimes is brutally murdered, the full weight of Penn's failure to protect his city hits home. So begins his quest to find the men responsible. But it's a hunt he begins alone, for the local authorities have been corrupted by the money and power of his hidden enemy. With his family's lives at stake, Penn realizes his only allies in his one-man war are those bound to him by blood or honor.
Together they must defeat a sophisticated killer who has an almost preternatural ability to anticipate -- and counter -- their every move. Ultimately, victory will depend on a bold stroke that will leave one of Penn's allies dead -- and Natchez changed forever.
After appearing in two of Iles's most popular novels, Penn Cage makes his triumphant return as a brilliant, honorable, and courageous hero. Rich with Southern atmosphere and marked by one jaw-dropping plot turn after another, The Devil's Punchbowl confirms that Greg Iles is America's master of suspense.
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"Starred Review. Iles brilliantly creates opportunities for his characters to demonstrate principle and courage, both on a large and small scale, making this much more than just an exciting read." - Publishers Weekly
"Iles's latest provides a thrill a minute, as Cage calls in long-owed favors to protect his family while employing every strategy in his command against a savvy, conscienceless killer." - Library Journal
"Just right for beach reading at Gulfport - or Tunica, for that matter: a whodunit that aspires to literature, albeit of the Southern Gothic variety." - Kirkus Reviews.
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Greg Iles was born in Germany in 1960, where his father ran the US Embassy Medical Clinic during the height of the Cold War. Iles spent his youth in Natchez, Mississippi, and graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1983. While attending Ole Miss, Greg lived in the cabin where William Faulkner and his brothers listened to countless stories told by "Mammy Callie," their beloved nanny, who had been born a slave.
Iles wrote his first novel in 1993, a thriller about Nazi war criminal Rudolf Hess, which became the first of twelve New York Times bestsellers. His novels have been made into films, translated into more than twenty languages, and published in more than thirty-five countries worldwide. His trilogy, which begins with Natchet Burning (2014) continues the story of Penn ...
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