The Devil's Punchbowl: A Novel

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The Devil's Punchbowl: A Novel

by Greg Iles

Scribner | July 7, 2009 | Hardcover

The Devil's Punchbowl: A Novel is rated 4.6667 out of 5 by 3.
From New York Times bestselling author Greg Iles comes his most electrifying thriller yet. The Devil''s Punchbowl reveals a world of depravity, sex, violence, and the corruption of a Southern town.

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:

  • Caitlin Masters, the lover Penn found in The Quiet Can Game and lost in Turning Angel
  • Danny McDavitt, the heroic helicopter pilot from Third Degree
  • Tom Cage, Penn''s father and legendary local family physician
  • Walt Garrity, a retired Texas Ranger who served with Penn''s father during the Korean War
  • Together they must defeat a sophisticated killer who has an almost preternatural ability to anticipate -- and counter -- their every move. Ultimately, victory will depend on a bold stroke that will leave one of Penn''s allies dead -- and Natchez changed forever.

    After appearing in two of Iles''s most popular novels, Penn Cage makes his triumphant return as a brilliant, honorable, and courageous hero. Rich with Southern atmosphere and marked by one jaw-dropping plot turn after another, The Devil''s Punchbowl confirms that Greg Iles is America''s master of suspense.

    Format: Hardcover

    Dimensions: 592 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.8 in

    Published: July 7, 2009

    Publisher: Scribner

    Language: English

    The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

    ISBN - 10: 0743292510

    ISBN - 13: 9780743292511

    Found in: Mystery and Suspense

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    Reviews

    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wonderful page-turner An action-packed story with complex characters that quickly pull you in.
    Date published: 2013-12-03
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic - on the edge Of the volumes of books that I have read, Greg Iles hits a five star every time. The suspense will keep you on the edge for the duration. Cage is back and a super hero he is. The incident with his Dad on the last few pages kind of "hangs" but then this is Iles style. Do not miss this one. I am looking forward to the next Cage adventure.
    Date published: 2010-10-17
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Iles at his best...excellent read! This novel follows The Quiet Game and Turning Angel, being the third of the Penn Cage series. Although you don't have to read the first two to understand the characters or plot of the novel, they are also outstanding reads. Greg Iles once again excellently executes a novel around the dark, morbid underbelly of American society. It is set in Natchez, Mississippi, like the first two novels, where Penn Cage (now being the Mayor of Natchez) allows a casino to be built in order to boost the economy of this quiet town. This casino provides for more job opportunities for the town as well as draws customers from abroad. What Cage doesn't know, however, is that the casino is a front for an underground dog fighting ring. Caitlin Masters returns in this novel and joins forces with Cage as he fights to restore justice and peace in his beloved hometown. This is arguably the best novel of the series and a must read if you are an Iles fan!
    Date published: 2009-12-04

    – More About This Product –

    The Devil's Punchbowl: A Novel

    by Greg Iles

    Format: Hardcover

    Dimensions: 592 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.8 in

    Published: July 7, 2009

    Publisher: Scribner

    Language: English

    The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

    ISBN - 10: 0743292510

    ISBN - 13: 9780743292511

    Read from the Book

    Chapter 1 Midnight in the garden of the dead. A silver-white moon hangs high over the mirror-black river and the tired levee, shedding cold light on the Louisiana delta stretching off toward Texas. I stand among the luminous stones on the Mississippi side, shivering like the only living man for miles. At my feet lies a stark slab of granite, and under that stone lies the body of my wife. The monument at its head reads: SARAH ELIZABETH CAGE 1963-1998 Daughter. Wife. Mother. Teacher. She is loved. I haven''t sneaked into the cemetery at midnight to visit my wife''s grave. I''ve come at the urgent request of a friend. But I didn''t come here for the sake of friendship. I came out of guilt. And fear. The man I''m waiting for is forty-five years old, yet in my mind he will always be nine. That''s when our friendship peaked, during the Apollo 11 moon landing. But you don''t often make friends like those you make as a boy, so the debt is a long one. My guilt is the kind you feel when someone slips away and you don''t do enough to maintain the tie, all the more painful because over the years Tim Jessup managed to get himself into quite a bit of trouble, and after the first eight or nine times, I wasn''t there to get him out of it. My fear has nothing to do with Tim; he''s merely a messenger, one who may bear tidings I have no wish to hear. News that confirms the rumors being murmured over golf greens at the country club, bellowed between plays beside high school gridirons, and whispe
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    From the Publisher

    From New York Times bestselling author Greg Iles comes his most electrifying thriller yet. The Devil''s Punchbowl reveals a world of depravity, sex, violence, and the corruption of a Southern town.

    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:

  • Caitlin Masters, the lover Penn found in The Quiet Can Game and lost in Turning Angel
  • Danny McDavitt, the heroic helicopter pilot from Third Degree
  • Tom Cage, Penn''s father and legendary local family physician
  • Walt Garrity, a retired Texas Ranger who served with Penn''s father during the Korean War
  • Together they must defeat a sophisticated killer who has an almost preternatural ability to anticipate -- and counter -- their every move. Ultimately, victory will depend on a bold stroke that will leave one of Penn''s allies dead -- and Natchez changed forever.

    After appearing in two of Iles''s most popular novels, Penn Cage makes his triumphant return as a brilliant, honorable, and courageous hero. Rich with Southern atmosphere and marked by one jaw-dropping plot turn after another, The Devil''s Punchbowl confirms that Greg Iles is America''s master of suspense.

    About the Author

    Greg Iles was born in Stuttgart, Germany, where his father was in charge of the medical clinic at the U.S. Embassy, in 1961. He graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1983. Iles's first three novels, Spandau Phoenix, Black Cross, and Mortal Fear, have made the New York Times bestseller list. His second, Black Cross, was awarded the Mississippi Author's Award for Fiction in 1995.

    Editorial Reviews

    "A knockout thriller that''s just the right degree of chilly to combat the dog days of summer... Iles'' knack for perfectly integrating character and plot could serve as a master''s class for other authors."-- The Dallas Morning News
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