AUDIO BOOK REVIEW: The Devils Punchbowl (Penn Cage #3) by Greg Iles


Publication Date: July 7, 2009
Format: Audio
Genre:  Legal Thriller
Narrators: Dick Hill 

Publisher: Brilliance Audio 
24 hours 58 min
Buy: Kindle | Audio


As a prosecuting attorney in Houston, Penn Cage sent hardened killers to death row. But it is as mayor of his hometown—Natchez, Mississippi—that Penn will face his most dangerous threat. Urged by old friends to try to restore this fading jewel of the Old South, Penn has ridden into office on a tide of support for change. But in its quest for new jobs and fresh money, Natchez, like other Mississippi towns, has turned to casino gambling, and now five fantastical steamboats float on the river beside the old slave market at Natchez like props from Gone With the Wind.

But one boat isn't like the others.

Rumor has it that the Magnolia Queen has found a way to pull the big players from Las Vegas to its Mississippi backwater. And with them—on sleek private jets that slip in and out of town like whispers in the night—come pro football players, rap stars, and international gamblers, all sharing an unquenchable taste for one thing: blood sport—and the dark vices that go with it. When a childhood friend of Penn's who brings him evidence of these crimes is brutally murdered, the full weight of Penn's failure to protect his city hits home. So begins his quest to find the men responsible. But it's a hunt he begins alone, for the local authorities have been corrupted by the money and power of his hidden enemy. With his family's lives at stake, Penn realizes his only allies in his one-man war are those bound to him by blood or honor:


I found this book on Scribd.   

The 3rd book in this series is a bit edgier.  Penn Cage is now the Mayor and is struggling to reconcile his failures to make the big sweeping changes he was hoping for.  As he considers resigning as Mayor his ex-girlfriend comes back to town. 

As Cage struggles with his personal demons he is faced with far more pressing issues.  His high school friend tells him that one of the gambling boats that he brought to town to increase revenue and tourism is bilking the town out of a lot of money, as well as running illegal dog fights, prostitution rings and possible money laundering. 

As Cage gets closer to the truth he finds a foe who is much more dangerous than anyone he has ever dealt with. Someone with the protection of people he can't touch and once again his family is at risk. With his family threatened he calls on the handful of people he can trust to help him. 

This was definitely a darker book than the last few and Cage pushes the boundaries of his moral compass. He finds himself going places that he didn't expect to go and has a new idea of what he is capable of. 

Well written and and atmospheric I really love these books. Iles doesn't hold back from the racist past of the south and the impact that it still has on schools, industries and their way of life. 

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