MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Reader reviews and comments on Natchez Burning, plus links to write your own review.

Summary |  Excerpt |  Discuss |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Natchez Burning

A Penn Cage Novel, Natchez Burning Trilogy #1

by Greg Iles

Natchez Burning by Greg Iles X
Natchez Burning by Greg Iles
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Apr 2014, 800 pages
    Aug 2015, 816 pages


  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this Book


Page 1 of 1
There are currently 7 reader reviews for Natchez Burning
Order Reviews by:

Write your own review!

Al H

Natchez Burning Displays Immense Iles Talent
Can’t-put-it-down intrigue, but also deep and extraordinarily-well-communicated pathos, for the victim’s of brutal men and times. Iles leaves the event itself in pure simple description, then creeps up on you later to relate in beautifully rendered language the lingering personal and communal significance of he who was destroyed. Deeply moving...
Barbara P.

An Addictive Read
From the first page of this book, I was hooked. Having grown up in the 1970's in an active Klan area, the moral dilemma and social complexities described in the book were very disturbing and relate-able. How does one react when they are suddenly the focus of such evil? I look forward to learning more about Penn Cage in previous and future books. Thank you, Greg Iles for being a masterful storyteller.
Power Reviewer

Iles creates an amazing mystery with loads of historical references, the setting pulls you into the south and its environs and culture. You will not be bored, rather you will find yourself enthralled with the characters and all that's unearthed. The ending is perfect, you'll want to continue with the trilogy to see where Iles takes us as well as his memorable characters in the incredible journey. I rarely read series, this is clearly an exception as I anxiously await the next installment.
Vivian T.

A Change is Coming...
Natchez Burning presents a variety of societal issues without any sugarcoating, such as rampant racism, racially motivated torture and killings, rape, intimidation, adultery, illegal drugs, family, injustice, and, the worst thing of all, secrets. How far do you go to protect your past? How far do you go to protect the past of others? How far are you willing to go to protect a way of life?

I've enjoyed reading all of the previous novels by Greg Iles that included the character Penn Cage, and Natchez Burning is definitely included in that list. However, Natchez Burning is now my favorite Greg Iles novel and the reasons why are multitudinous. Penn Cage is a flawed yet honorable man. This book presents Penn with the worst possible dilemma, supporting the truth or his family. Natchez Burning presents a painful part of American history that is not too distant and not easily addressed, if at all, by government officials or even appeased by the truth. Racism is still a part of American culture regardless as what some in the media may say. Natchez Burning points a bright spotlight on this ongoing issue and the past behaviors of a small group of racists that killed ruthlessly with impunity.

I found Natchez Burning to be a difficult read simply because it spotlights hate crimes and the perpetrators in such a realistic manner. Reading about torture, killings, and rape, even if fictionalized, had me putting aside the book for a few hours before resuming. Natchez Burning portrays the South in a dark, gritty and realistic way that surpasses what has been revealed in other books dealing with racism and injustice. Yet even with the dark and heart-wrenching themes, Mr. Iles provides the reader with a sense of hope that justice will prevail and "truth will out."

I could go on and on about the different characters, those I liked and those I despised. I could go on and on about the tragedies that are revealed, many in the past and some contemporary. I could rave about the amazing writing of Mr. Iles or the fact that this book is just as much literary masterpiece as it is mystery-suspense masterpiece. However the only thing I really need to tell you is to read this book! If you never take any other bookish recommendation from me, take this one — go out and buy a copy of Natchez Burning and read this book! For myself, I'll be re-reading Natchez Burning as I anxiously await the next book in this trilogy, The Bone Tree.

Reality check
Natchez Burning is truly a book worth reading. The author put me into Viola's, Penn's, Shad's, Tom's, Jimmy's, Glenn's, Albert"s lives as if I were living them & felt completely baffled by how a human being, both men, women, and children, could do such horrific acts. Halfway through the book I was struck by an overwhelming empathy and understanding of what life must have been like in the deep, manic South not just during the past but what the feelings are now in the 21st century. SC has finally taken the confederacy flag from the capitol. Now we have to take it from the South's hearts. Bravo Greg Iles for a beautifully written novel. This book is in my top 5 best novels.
Gail B

Natchez Burning
Exciting to meet Greg Iles at last. Natchez Burning explores the complexity that still exists in the Deep South, plus strengths/weaknesses of family relationships. Interweaving of history and mystery is masterful -- though at times a bit bloody. Such evil exists, but her Penn Cage comes to the rescue. Can't wait to dig into another Iles book, it's fascinating. My only criticism is the length (800 pages), but what to cut???
Vivian H.

Love Greg Iles & Penn Cage
I nearly convinced my husband to move to Natchez because I've been so entranced with Ile's books. Unlike many authors who write series, the Penn Cage books get better with each new chapter. And like Game of Thrones nobody, no matter how beloved, is safe.
  • Page
  • 1

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Mercies
    The Mercies
    by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
    It's 1617 and a violent storm has claimed the lives of 40 fishermen off the coast of Vardø, a ...
  • Book Jacket
    Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree
    by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
    Ya Ta, the main character in Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani's novel, Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree, ...
  • Book Jacket: Run Me to Earth
    Run Me to Earth
    by Paul Yoon
    Suspenseful and elegant storytelling in Run Me to Earth kept me turning pages even through traumatic...
  • Book Jacket: Beheld
    by TaraShea Nesbit
    Much like her debut novel The Wives of Los Alamos, TaraShea Nesbit's Beheld imagines a familiar ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    And They Called It Camelot
    by Stephanie Marie Thornton

    An unforgettable portrait of American legend Jackie O.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    by Anne Enright

    From the Man Booker Prize–winner, a brilliant and moving novel about celebrity, and power.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Things They Carried
by Tim O'Brien

The classic, ground-breaking meditation on war and the redemptive power of storytelling.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win The Firsts

The Inside Story of the Women Reshaping Congress

[I]ntimately told ...detailed and thought-provoking" - New York Times



Solve this clue:

T Die I C

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.