I have to defer to the official cover copy here for my synopsis today - I'm beat and short on time, readers! Ugh.
Warning: Possible spoilers ahead if you haven't yet read Natchez Burning!
Former prosecutor Penn Cage and his fiancée, reporter and publisher Caitlin Masters, have barely escaped with their lives after being attacked by wealthy businessman Brody Royal and his Double Eagles, a KKK sect with ties to some of Mississippi’s most powerful men. But the real danger has only begun as FBI Special Agent John Kaiser warns Penn that Brody wasn’t the true leader of the Double Eagles. The puppeteer who actually controls the terrorist group is a man far more fearsome: the chief of the state police’s Criminal Investigations Bureau, Forrest Knox.
The only way Penn can save his father, Dr. Tom Cage—who is fleeing a murder charge as well as corrupt cops bent on killing him—is either to make a devil’s bargain with Knox or destroy him. While Penn desperately pursues both options, Caitlin uncovers the real story behind a series of unsolved civil rights murders that may hold the key to the Double Eagles’ downfall. The trail leads her deep into the past, into the black backwaters of the Mississippi River, to a secret killing ground used by slave owners and the Klan for over two hundred years . . . a place of terrifying evil known only as “the bone tree.”
Just how far will Penn Cage, the hero we thought we knew, go to protect those he loves?
The Bone Tree picks up right where Natchez Burning left off. Penn's father is on the run and Penn and Caitlin have narrowly escaped the fire at Brody Royal's house. Meanwhile, FBI agent John Kaiser, who has now officially labeled the Double Eagles a terrorist organization, is determined to see justice done and the group held responsible for their crimes.
It's clear to me exactly why so many readers and writers love Iles's work. Even Stephen King blurbed the series! The plot is so carefully and intricately built with wonderful attention paid to every little detail. These are smart books and, as further evidence to just how smart, they're easy to read. Easy in terms of being completely sucked in, that is. The story itself deals with a very dark aspect of our (ongoing) history.
The Bone Tree is another doorstopper like it's predecessor. But like Natchez Burning, this second in the trilogy continues the almost breakneck pace set by Natchez. And yes even though there is a tiny bit of a recap in the prologue, you do need to read - at the very least - Natchez Burning before diving into The Bone Tree.
As mentioned in my post on Natchez Burning, Natchez Burning and The Bone Tree are both out now. Mississippi Blood is due out next spring. You don't have to have read the prior three Penn Cage books in order to dive into the trilogy, but here's the full series list if you're interested:
The Quiet Game
The Devil's Punchbowl
The Bone Tree
To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.
For more on Greg Iles and his work you can visit his website here. You can also like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.