Review of Turning Angel by Greg Iles
By: Stephanie Bardy

If you are a Penn Cage fan, this was a long awaited one. The hero of The Quiet Game, he returns to his home town. He has gone from being a prosecutor to being a novelist. He bring his daughter along, thinking the Mississippi would be a great place to raise her. He grew up there and it was always a safe haven for him.

Until the bodies start dropping. Now he must help a childhood friend defend himself against the accusations of rape and murder of a 17 year old girl.

That is the basis of the story, but it holds so much more. It is well written if a bit dry at times. Cage goes through an emotional transformation of sorts. What was always a save haven has now become dark, troubled and full of rampant sexual promiscuity has created a whole generation of disaffected youth. They don't feel the shock and outrage at the murders, yes murders, that they should.

The more Cage looks into finding the real serial killer, to prove his friends innocence, even though he was having an affair with the girl. Dr. Townsend, from the get go, looks like the perfect suspect. He was planning on leaving his wife for the young woman, they were having a torrid affair. All the pieces line up, which makes Cage suspect there is more to it.

Then more Natchez residents begin turning up sadistically murdered, and the town pulls out every resource it has to catch the killer.

Cage follows the trail in a heart stopping journey that will having you turning page after page, well after you should have turned out the light.

This is a crime novel and has all the elements of such, but Iles brings a deep complexity to the plot. He creates characters that you become invested in, form attachments too. They become real.

While it is a dark and disturbing read, it shines a light on the abhorrent pitfalls that kids in the 21st century are facing. Drugs, sex and rock and roll have a darker meaning within this generation and Greg Iles shines a huge spotlight on it.

There is no hiding from the uncomfortable, the unbearable, or the unthinkable, in this book.

I'm not a fan of crime novels, but this one had me from the first chapter.

I give it 4 stars.

Stephanie J Bardy
Editor in Chief
Executive Director of Publishing Brand