BOOK REVIEW: The Bone Tree (Penn Cage #5) by Greg Iles

Publication Date: April 21, 2015
Format: Hardcover
Genre:  Legal Thriller

Publisher: William Morrow
814  pages
Buy:  Paperback | Kindle


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.”


This book was crazy from the beginning to the end.  It doesn't feel like it is 800 plus pages because it moves so fast. I found myself staying up too late, and grabbing it first thing when my eyes opened needing to find out what happens next.  

Dr. Tom Cage is still on the run and Penn is trying to find a way to bring him in safely. With the death of a cop hanging over him every cop in the county is out for blood. As Penn's fiancé and newspaper reporter starts to uncover the real story behind several unsolved civil rights murders and an even more explosive murder that took place in Dallas she puts her life and Penn's in the line of fire.  The Double Eagles will protect their secrets until the end and if Caitlin finds the Bone Tree many of their misdeeds may come to light.  

I think my mind is still reeling from all the action in this book, so many deaths, and not all of them the bad guys! Luckily the Cage's have a lot of people who have their back but not all of them will come out of this unscathed.  From murder, to planting of evidence, to who shot JFK this book will take you on a ride that will leave you feeling like you just went through a war.  I decided to read this one instead of listening to it like I did all the other Penn Cage novels because I can read faster than I can listen and I needed to know what was going to happen.  There is still so much more to come but I think I need to take a breath before I can dive into Mississippi Blood which I believe ties up much of this craziness my blood pressure will thank me.

This is not a stand alone book but you don't need to really start at book 1 either.  I feel that the Penn Cage novels are actually two series of trilogies and this one begins with Natchez Burning.  This is an epic adventure through some of the darkest American history.  I highly recommend it and Greg Iles crafts characters that you either love or hate, but they are very 3 dimensional, you feel like you know these people for good or ill.  

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