My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Bone Tree was the first Greg Iles novel I ever picked up. About twenty pages in, I put it down and hunted up a copy of Natchez Burning. Bone tree starts right in the middle of a complicated plot involving dozens of characters and years of background. You MUST read Natchez Burning first.
It might even be a good idea to go back and read the first three Penn Cage thrillers. Bone Tree is number five in the series. I think that’s what I will do, because Natchez Burning and Bone Tree are so good, I want to see how the story begins. These novels are deeply layered, surface nail-biting suspense is backed by a deeper story of family trust and betrayal. Beyond the corruption of government officials and lawmen is the deeper corruption of a tragic history buried beneath generations of fear and mistrust.
Greg Iles is brilliant in his use of setting: from the bluffs above Natchez to the odorous swamps across the river in Louisiana, he puts you in the scene and makes each moment so real, later you feel you were really there, the scene not an imagined place, but a part of your own memory.
The Bone Tree will be published April 21, 2015. I read an advance galley provided by the publisher.