The Bone Tree by Greg Iles
Release Date - April 21, 2015
Book Review by Bob Walch
Those who read Natchez Burning by Greg Iles will certainly want to read the second novel in this southern gothic trilogy featuring Penn Cage. The Bone Tree picks up with Cage’s father, Dr. Tom Cage, still on the run for murder.
The Double Eagles, a vicious offshoot of the KKK, continues to be a force to deal with and a series of unsolved civil rights murders will take the principal characters to a secret burial ground known simply as “the bone tree deep” in the swamp. Deep in the swamp, this has been final resting place for over 200 years of folks who just disappear and are never heard from again.
Not only is Penn Cage determined to find his father, but he also wants to find out why he has taken flight. Obvious the Double Eagles’ interest in Tom has a lot to do with it, and some of the members of the society seem to know more about the doctor’s past than his own son.
This family quest drops Penn right in the center of some of the most important events of the 1960s, including the assassination of JFK. Somehow Tom Cage is a link to not only a number of unsolved civil rights murders but also to some of the unanswered questions left by the president’s death.
As this lengthy novel unfolds, it becomes clear that Viola Turner’s death, she was Tom’s former nurse, holds the key to some of the darkest chapters in American history. The more questions he asks and the closer he comes to the truth, Penn Cage realizes that he is getting close to exposing a group of audacious southern power brokers who range from the New Orleans Mafia and Double Eagles to political and financial power brokers.
At just a tad over 800 pages, this is a lengthy read but, as with the first novel in this trilogy, The Bone Tree is such an explosive and fast action thriller that the pages will just melt away. Even if you don’t usually tackle long books like this, you’ll be surprised how fluid the plot is and how riveting this tale of dark secrets and headline making events is.
Also, don’t worry if you didn’t read Natchez Burning . That won’t interfere with your enjoyment of The Bone Tree. This is southern fiction at its best, so give it a try; you won’t be disappointed.