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Mississippi Blood


New York Times bestselling author Greg Iles illuminates the brutal history of...
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Discuss Mississippi Blood by Greg Iles:
Looking at the 3-part series as a whole, what do you think of the overall story arc?

Created: 06/23/18

Replies: 23

Posted Jun. 23, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

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Looking at the 3-part series as a whole, what do you think of the overall story arc?

Looking at the 3-part series as a whole, what do you think of the overall story arc?


Posted Jun. 24, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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deby

Join Date: 10/21/10

Posts: 19

RE: Looking at the 3-part series as a whole, what do you think of the overall story arc?

I had forgotten how much I enjoyed Greg Iles and to have three BIG books to read and have them be connected is such a sweet treat!!!! The story arc, I wished it had gone on and on. Please read them; they are stand-alones, but are best read consecutively. Do yourself a HUGE favor.


Posted Jun. 24, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianeh

Join Date: 08/01/16

Posts: 26

RE: Looking at the 3-part series as a whole, what do you think of the overall story arc?

I agree. Greg Isles has done an amazing job of tying the three books together. This story would make a great mini series on Netflix or a wonderful movie. I was sorry to come to the end of Mississippi Blood.


Posted Jun. 24, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
robertaw

Join Date: 04/20/16

Posts: 18

RE: Looking at the 3-part series as a whole, what do you think of the overall story arc?

I thought this was a great trilogy. I had not read any of it and would have doubted that I could read three 800 page books in a relatively short period of time, but I couldn't put them down. I am actually missing reading them now. I did feel at times, that the JFK subplot got to be a bit tedious in the second book and was glad that it was barely mentioned in the third book. Also, for me, the Serenity character seemed like it didn't belong, but other than that, I thought it was a tremendous story. In hindsight I would have made a flow chart of the characters because I had a hard time keeping all the characters straight---namely who were the good guys and who were the bad guys.


Posted Jun. 25, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susiej

Join Date: 10/15/14

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RE: Looking at the 3-part series as a whole, what do you think of the overall story arc?

As I mentioned earlier, this was my first exposure to Iles's work. His first book in the trilogy had me interested, and I was eager to see where he might take it - yet there were things in that work alone that seemed a bit off or unreal to me. The relationship between Penn and his fiancé, for example, which I expected to be of major importance to him, did not ring true. The two characters did not interact as often or as closely, or in ways I would think normal. Later, in books two and three, he does not seem to mourn her as I would expect he might and his involvement with another woman so soon, especially with his daughter supposedly so important to him - somehow was not developed realistically, or timely, in my view. So that part of the story arc seems weak to me; but in addition, as the trilogy develops it seems that both good and evil become blown way out of proportion - the end result for me is that the three pieces - though interesting and clever in many aspects - try to cover too much territory and thus become almost out of control. This idea, for me, includes character development as well as theme.

I am returning to this point after 24 hours, and I am grateful that some of you also support the idea that the trilogy is in some instances unrealistic or exaggerated to fill space. I wanted to point out specifically the character of Lincoln Turner. Iles uses him to get the ball rolling in book one; it is Lincoln who accuses Tom Cage of murdering his mother, and throughout the trilogy Lincoln shows up - always the agitator - until book three when he helps out - but why does Iles choose to have him then suddenly leave? And his leave-taking is, if I remember correctly by announcement in a note. He just suddenly disappears - back to Chicago. Maybe this will be Iles way of beginning a next book. If it is, I hope he keeps it in Chicago and leaves Natchez on the back burner for a long while. Somehow, ending this trilogy in this manner left me feeling that the arc of these works was more than a bit off balance!


Posted Jun. 25, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianeh

Join Date: 08/01/16

Posts: 26

RE: Looking at the 3-part series as a whole, what do you think of the overall story arc?

I too had my first exposure to Isles work with this trilogy and was enthralled with both the story line and the style of writing.
I disagree that the relationship between Penn and his fiance did not ring true. They were both hard driven ambitious people and, in the case of Caitlin, she was bound and determined to get at the truth and expose the perpetrators of the horrific crimes.


Posted Jun. 25, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
juliep

Join Date: 04/07/12

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RE: Looking at the 3-part series as a whole, what do you think of the overall story arc?

I agree with susiej that the story arc seemed to try to cover too much and many times was unbelievable. Of course, I know it’s fiction and sometimes that’s the whole point! Fiction can be as unbelievable as it wants, and that’s what keeps us interested. But over the course of 3 700-800 page books, there was a lot to take in and try to remember, which was the hardest part for me.


Posted Jun. 25, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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pauj

Join Date: 04/26/14

Posts: 31

RE: Looking at the 3-part series as a whole, what do you think of the overall story arc?

The first book of the trilogy was also my first exposure to Isles. I was blown away by the whole trilogy. The story seemed entirely believable to me.


Posted Jun. 25, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Suzanne

Join Date: 04/21/11

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RE: Looking at the 3-part series as a whole, what do you think of the overall story arc?

I re-read the first two books. There was a lot I'd forgotten and truthfully I’d enjoyed the series a few years ago, including the three beginning books characterizing Penn.

So many plots to keep track of and then to remember all the new plots in Mississippi Blood seemed to take over my life the last few weeks. I felt there was just too much information to really enjoy the whole story. Too many minor conversations, too many irrelevant inner thoughts for Penn, too many characters. The series as a whole was too long and although it was fiction, often realism wasn’t honored. Much was disjointed, and seemed not to add to the story. I almost had the impression Greg Iles needed to get the most out of the fact he began a series and wanted to keep up the idea that more is better. And I just know there will be another book since much was left up in the air! My view, of course.


Posted Jun. 25, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
terriej

Join Date: 07/28/11

Posts: 148

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RE: Looking at the 3-part series as a whole, what do you think of the overall story arc?

I loved these books. The first two books set the story for the courtroom in the third. I thought they were well written, the length was good and they told the racism story in a great way.


Posted Jun. 26, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lauriew

Join Date: 08/11/16

Posts: 27

RE: Looking at the 3-part series as a whole, what do you think of the overall story arc?

I think the story arc is perfect. A little confusing at times because of the huge amounts of information and all the characters, but the keeps me on my toes. I loved the historical references and the in-depth development of the characters we come to love or hate throughout the novels.All in all perfection!


Posted Jun. 26, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
gdlenehan

Join Date: 06/22/11

Posts: 28

RE: Looking at the 3-part series as a whole, what do you think of the overall story arc?

I enjoyed the trilogy in spite of the length! I especially enjoyed the historical story that it told and was less taken by the idea that it was a crime novel. The development of the Tom Cage character throughout the story was very well done and really drove the story line and the history that is discovered. All three books would have benefitted from some editing. I would definitely recommend this trilogy by Greg Iles.


Posted Jun. 27, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pattys

Join Date: 09/17/11

Posts: 19

RE: Looking at the 3-part series as a whole, what do you think of the overall story arc?

I decided to read the first three Penn Cage books before reading the trilogy because I'm weird about starting a series apart from the beginning. By doing so, I had three books worth of really admiring Tom Cage before learning of his past. It made the trilogy of books 4-6 more surprising. Though I can't believe I read six 800-page books in a row, I'm glad I did because Penn and Caitlin had more time to become a couple. Several of the points noted in comments above I think would be resolved in those first three books of the Penn Cage series.

As for the arc of the story, I wish Iles wouldn't have just ended the JFK story line with a plane crash and I would have liked to have been made aware of the VK gang before the last book. That story line just didn't make sense to me. Where were they in the past? Weird to just drop them in at the end and make them so important to the story. I really enjoyed each book separately but taken together, there was just something a little far-fetched for me.


Posted Jun. 29, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kdowney25

Join Date: 01/25/16

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RE: Looking at the 3-part series as a whole, what do you think of the overall story arc?

I really enjoyed this trilogy, but thought it was very fast-paced. There was a lot of action in a very short period of time. I think the first two books took place over only three or four days! When a character mentioned that such and such an event happened last night I found myself asking really? That was only last night? It was action-packed and so much driving back and forth from Mississippi and Louisiana, that I sometimes lost track of where things were. Overall though I really enjoyed it. I've recommended it to others.


Posted Jun. 29, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
vivianh

Join Date: 11/14/11

Posts: 44

RE: Looking at the 3-part series as a whole, what do you think of the overall story arc?

Once Caitlin died for me the story got too disjointed. The Tom Cage that I grew to love and admire through out the prior Penn Cage books would never have had an affair with his nurse, would never have lived a lie. The entire JFK plot reminded me too much of Oliver Stone’s conspiracy filled JFK. The entire premise of Lincoln Turner showing up & accusing Tom Cage of murder felt hollow to me. I know Louisiana has a long history of corruption in politics, but the extent of violence by Forrest & his gang seemed over,y exaggerated for the times. The 1960’s and 1970’s and prior times saw terrible crimes by racists & mans inhumanity to man reached unfathomable levels....but do people today go to such extremes to hide crimes of the past? Maybe I just don’t want to believe that.


Posted Jun. 30, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
g-demo

Join Date: 06/06/16

Posts: 4

RE: Looking at the 3-part series as a whole, what do you think of the overall story arc?

I think Greg Iles is an excellent writer, but not without flaws as are most people in one area or another. The first book I read of his was The Quiet Game, Caitlin is still alive in that one and their relationship is still new. I liked it but didn't rush out to get another book by him. Enter the trilogy offer, three additional books of his to read, all numbering in the 800 page range with a reasonable deadline to have them all read, but still a deadline, and such fat books! Natchez Burning, was very good. Then there was The Bone Tree, equally good enjoyed reading both. Nit picking now, as a teenager 1960's, when the Kennedy assassination took place, I saw Lee Harvey Oswald get real time shot dead by Jack Ruby covered live on our small and fuzzy black and white TV. I grew up knowing all the assassination theories. I could have done without dragging out newer untrue (i.e,fictional) theories, but that is just me.
Mississippi Blood was, as others have described, mostly courtroom drama with a certain amount of yawn, but still had a few surprises. Greg Iles writes a good novel, I'll be looking forward to what he tries next.


Posted Jul. 01, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorothym

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 37

RE: Looking at the 3-part series as a whole, what do you think of the overall story arc?over

I have been traveling and haven’t had a chance to comment on the books. I had read the first in the series some time again and was looking forward to reading the rest. The second book was a disappointment to me because I am not a conspiracy fan and I thought that bringing that element in - for me - cast doubt on the reality of the rest of the story. (And I realize that the conspiracy that he postulates is one that has been out there for a while). I liked the final book in the series better - and he certainly writes page turners. BUT - my overall impression is one of sadness. What I came away with is the feeling that Isles is saying that the only way to combat monsters is to become one. That vigilante justice is the only justice available. That the people in charge mostly can’t be trusted. In our current climate, I find that very sad.


Posted Jul. 04, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
BuffaloGirl

Join Date: 01/13/18

Posts: 13

RE: Looking at the 3-part series as a whole, what do you think of the overall story arc?

I found the first book and third book to be much better than the second book. The conspiracy theory was interesting, but really didn't grab me. I was 11 years old when President Kennedy was assassinated and grew up and lived hearing the conspiracy theories.

I felt that the second book was 800 pages of repeating, repeating, repeating things from the first book as well as the second over and over. I felt like the author had been given an 800 page assignment in high school English Composition and he was just repeating things over and over to fill the 800 pages. Caitlin was not a sympathetic character to me at all; she seemed to care only about the story and not about the people being affected. She withheld information from the FBI and law enforcement and went off on her own tangents, which led to her demise. Penn did the same things, also, but luckily didn't meet his end. The addition of Serenity as a sex interest (notice that I didn't say love interest as there didn't seem to be any intention of that) didn't see to add anything to the book in my opinion.

The author does write extremely good action scenes that definitely keep the reader engaged. I also think he did a good job of conveying how difficult life was for blacks in the Jim Crow South, during the desegregation movement, and up to the present time. Every American needs to read the Blood of Emmett Till.


Posted Jul. 06, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alycet

Join Date: 04/23/12

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RE: Looking at the 3-part series as a whole, what do you think of the overall story arc?

I loved the books. I think any one of them could be a "stand alone" but I strongly advise readers to read all three in order. I don't know why I had not discovered Greg Isles before this. He left me spell bound and wishing for book 4! Another 800 pages will be fine.


Posted Jul. 10, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianaps

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 256

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RE: Looking at the 3-part series as a whole, what do you think of the overall story arc?

No complaints from me. I was totally absorbed in all three of them.


Posted Jul. 11, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
freyah

Join Date: 01/06/16

Posts: 4

RE: Looking at the 3-part series as a whole, what do you think of the overall story arc?

I am a long-time fan of Greg Iles and this series didn't disappoint. Kudos!


Posted Jul. 12, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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alwaysdaddygirl

Join Date: 09/04/16

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RE: Looking at the 3-part series as a whole, what do you think of the overall story arc?

I gave the first one three stars and book two and three one stars. I feel the author did not need to put his own liberal opinions in the story. Yes, this subject matter can be done without putting your personal views and just stick to the subject. Book two and three had a couple scenes that were just unrealistic. I love history much that I got a bachelor's degree in it. It was the history geek in me, that was intrigued by JFK conspiracy. I ffelt it was overdrawn and need a tune-up. By the way, I am mix and GOP gal. My parents were married in 1968. I have learn so much through their stories.

The phone is starting to freeze. Sorry for the grammar.


Posted Jul. 14, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
labbelee

Join Date: 04/29/11

Posts: 11

RE: Looking at the 3-part series as a whole, what do you think of the overall story arc?

I reread book one, because I had read it four years ago and I posted the following review on Goodreads.
“Very intriguing story, fast paced, good cast of well developed characters, a definite four. And then, subtract one for the most repeats I've ever read in any book. How many times can you write ‘she was raped’ (same victim) before it looses the reader. Another minus for the most unbelievable contrived ending. The sane, intelligent, bad guy, who has escaped conviction for years, suddenly loses it all and resorts to violence, torture, threaths, and guns to escape the inevitable. Ignore this last minute insanity, and enjoy a fast paced, original story and make up your own ending.”
I did not change my mind. Book two and three were disappointments, how could two intelligent people, like Tom and his father, lose the love and trust they had shown for each other and make such unbelieveable decisions. Just read book one, minus the absurb ending. 2 out of 4


Posted Jul. 17, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Tired Bookreader

Join Date: 08/19/11

Posts: 87

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RE: Looking at the 3-part series as a whole, what do you think of the overall story arc?

Personally, I was hoping for closure about the bone tree. There was certainly more to that story, not that I want more pages (just sayin’). The writing, at times, had me rolling my eyes...which made it hard to read the next paragraph. I’ve read other series with the southern theme. Glad to have it completed.


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