I saw this for £1.99 in a special issue combined with another Iles book, "24 Hours", and considering Dead Sleep was OK, I thought these would be worth a go.
This story is about Penn Cage, who used to be a prosecutor and is now a thriller writer (I don't think Iles used to be a prosecutor although Jeffrey Deaver was a lawyer before taking up writing). Cage returns to his Mississippi home-town to stay with his parents after his wife has died, and finds himself drawn to investigate a thirty-year old murder. It soon becomes clear that Cage has his own demons to exorcise, as do old friends and members of his family, so his motives for pursuing the investigation are blurred.
The story is a bit implausible, being based on a conspiracy that involves Hoover and the current director of the FBI, and there's nothing particularly original or surprising plot-twist wise, but it is effectively told.
This book was OK, but could have done with a bit of editing at the beginning. Once it got towards the end, with the pieces of the puzzle falling into place, and the courtroom end-game, it became quite compulsive, but the earlier sections went on too long: I think we could have done without some of the back-story and history. Perhaps the reason we had so much of this is that the town in which the novel takes place appears is Iles' own hometown, and he maybe felt there were things he wanted to say about it.
Completed : 09-Mar-2004