The Devil's Punchbowl
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"A knockout thriller that's just the right degree of chilly to combat the dog days of summer... Iles' knack for perfectly integrating character and plot could serve as a master's class for other authors." -- The Dallas Morning News --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the 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. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Many thrillers attempt to engage you by causing you to empathize with the hero or heroine who is being threatened with some horrible fate. The Devil's Punchbowl takes this technique to an extreme by successfully providing lots of good reasons to feel threatened if you empathize with any of a dozen characters in the book, each of whom is pushed to the edge of what anyone can expect to stand. Greg Iles takes that technique one step further by repeatedly providing hope of escape . . . before utterly wiping out the opportunity.
Before going further, let me caution you that this book contains more scenes involving disgusting forms of inhumanity to man and animals than I can remember among novels I've read in recent years. If one awful crime doesn't leave you feeling horrible, another one will. This book definitely disturbed my sleep . . . and it may do the same for you.
The story involves Penn Cage, who has appeared in two earlier novels, The Quiet Game and Turning Angel. In The Devil's Punchbowl, Cage is halfway through his first term as mayor of Natchez. He gave up being a novelist in hopes of reforming his old hometown through bringing white students back into the public schools. That hope hasn't been realized, and the major change he's brought about is aiding legalized gambling on riverboats. An old school friend, Tim Jessup, approaches Cage with the bad news that the riverboats have brought more than a new source of jobs and taxes . . . they've brought corruption of the worst kinds involving blood "sports" and prostitution involving underage girls. Tim promises to deliver the goods to nail the criminals, and Cage has to decide how to handle it all.Read more ›
Dog-fighting. It's not mentioned on the cover summary, but this is one of those things you really need to know beforehand. It's extremely graphic. DO NOT READ CHAPTER 31. I did, and I wish I hadn't. Just trust me on this. Nothing in that chapter happens plot-wise that isn't summarised later, so it's okay to skip.
The novel ends on a cliff-hanger, which I've heard is resolved in an e-novella, THE DEATH FACTORY. Which is annoying, because I still haven't found a DRM-free, non-geo-restricted, PayPal-welcome online bookstore that sells it. Grr...
I'm racing through all of Greg Iles novels at a furious rate -- he's been my go to guy over the summer for a great read. This one didn't disappoint and I am now eagerly awaiting the next Penn Cage novel after Natchez Burning ...
Grab it and be prepared to stay up late -- it's a bit of the same characters mixed in with some new baddies and the formula works. If you can, start at the beginning of the Penn Cage novels and you will have enough reading material for several months -- hurry up Greg with that next book!