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The Quiet Game (Penn Cage Novels) Paperback – July 1, 2000

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Is there space in the overcrowded courtroom for one more writer of sharp, very suspenseful legal thrillers? Yes--if that writer is Greg Iles, who has proven in such varied efforts as Black Cross, Mortal Fear, and Spandau Phoenix that he knows how to squeeze the last drop of suspense out of all sorts of situations.

Iles immediately makes us feel both sympathy and empathy for his glossy hero, Penn Cage--a former ace Texas prosecutor turned suspense novelist whose sales are up there in the John Grisham Himalayan range.

Trying to cope with the recent death of his wife, Cage takes his 5-year-old daughter to Florida's Disney World, where the child sadly sees visions of her mother everywhere in the fantasy-filled environment. Wouldn't a trip to his parents' stately home in Natchez be more soothing for all concerned? Wrong, as it turns out--and before Cage can catch his breath, he's deeply involved in several dangerous matters. His father, a dedicated doctor, is being blackmailed for a past mistake in judgment, and a powerful judge (who just happens to be the father of Penn's high school sweetheart) has a nasty personal agenda of his own. Then there's the unsolved 1968 murder case of a black man, which Cage insists on reopening with the help of an attractive, ambitious newspaper publisher.

Iles does for Natchez what John Berendt did for Savannah in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, creating a gothic Southern landscape where elegance and depravity walk hand in hand. --Dick Adler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Although it takes place in Natchez, Miss., and is flavored with the violence and seamy undertones of a Southern Gothic, this fourth thriller by Iles (Spandau Phoenix) owes just as much to a familiar parallel universe where wealthy male lawyers double as tragic heroes, women are invariably smart and attractive, and trials are by definition "high profile." After his wife's death, Penn Cage, a former Houston prosecutor and a bestselling suspense novelist, retreats to his parents' home in Natchez with his grieving young daughter. The healing process is interrupted when Cage learns that someone is blackmailing his father, a saintly family doctor who once made a lethal mistake. In tracing the source of his father's moral dilemma, Cage stumbles upon a trail of lies surrounding the unsolved murder of a black man in 1968. He determines to reopen the case, even though his antebellum hometown is smoldering with racial tension. With the assistance of Caitlin Masters, the attractive, smart and ambitious publisher of the local newspaper, Cage gradually uncovers an intricate conspiracy that reaches up to the highest levels of the FBI. Forced to confront powerful Judge Leo Marston, who nearly destroyed his father in pursuing an unrelated, unfounded malpractice accusation decades before, Cage must also face Marston's daughter, Livy, his old high school sweetheart, who tries to persuade Cage to let sleeping dogs lie. It is difficult at times to sympathize with Cage, who proselytizes about truth, justice and obligation, yet destroys evidence to protect his father and fails to properly shield his loved ones as he single-mindedly pursues the case. Still, this ably crafted, richly atmospheric legal thriller is engrossing, and readers will forgive Iles's protagonist a few shortcomings. Agent, Aaron Priest. Major ad/promo; 15-city author tour; British rights to Hodder Headline; audio rights to Recorded Books. (Sept.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Penn Cage Novels (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (July 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451180429
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451180421
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.3 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,051 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,697 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Greg Iles was born in 1960 in Germany where his father ran the US Embassy medical clinic during the height of the Cold War. After graduating from the University of Mississippi in 1983 he performed for several years with the rock band Frankly Scarlet and is currently member of the band The Rock Bottom Remainders. His first novel, Spandau Phoenix, a thriller about war criminal Rudolf Hess, was published in 1993 and became a New York Times bestseller. Iles went on to write ten bestselling novels, including Third Degree, True Evil, Turning Angel, Blood Memory, The Footprints of God, and 24 Hours (released by Sony Pictures as Trapped, with full screenwriting credit for Iles). He lives in Natchez, Mississippi.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

113 of 126 people found the following review helpful By Timothy F. Halloran on January 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Greg Iles has possibly the greatest range of any current suspense novelist: WWII, Internet Sex, Secrets of the Deep South... Iles weaves into his books the historical texture of Caleb Carr, double the plot twists of Grisham, and thrice the build-up of Crichton. Speaking of those two, they should be reminded there are writers like Iles who put in the effort to allow a book to stand on its own merits without the carrot of a movie deal.
Despite Iles' harsh characterization of my native Boston (perhaps he is as misinformed of New England as he believes I am of his home) I became entranced by his use of setting as character and his portrayal of imperfect heroes and revered heels. He uses enough misleading foreshadowing to annoy me into staying up late to try to come to a conclusion.
I believe Black Cross was his best work, this his second, Mortal Fear third and Spandau Phoenix fourth. Funny that most people have read only Spandau Phoenix. I do have one complaint - please hurry up on your next book. Stephen King may be from dreaded New England, but for God's sake, at least he puts out a book every now and then! Maybe then more would learn there are great alternatives to the latest drivel from the big boys.
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52 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Dave on December 15, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Not that I have any problem with John Grisham, but he seems to be compared quite often to Iles and I honestly don't see it. Grisham, although sometimes entertaining, tends to write screenplays rather than novels. The Quiet Game, although as familiar as Grisham in landscape, takes you on an absolute roller coaster of intrigue with a diverse cast of players leaving you with an uncontrollable passion to continue turning pages.
Parts of this tale are certainly predictable, who the bad guys are is no secret, and the majority of the plot is far fetched,... but isn't that what fiction is supposed to be all about? Particularly fiction in the thriller genre?
Iles has a gift for making even the predictable components of the story exciting to read as well as taking ordinary dialog and making it compelling. His use of the first person narrative, which I am not often a fan of, was an excellent choice for unfolding the story in a Whodunnit fashion that grips you and steadily immerses you into Natchez Mississippi and the heart of this story.
This is Iles' 4th book, and very different from the rest, and I loved them all. He's just replaced Crichton as my personal favorite author. I recommend him to anybody.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Bulman, Adrian F. on January 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
If you are an avid reader every once in a while you stumble onto a book that is impossible to put down. I am delighted that I found Mr. Iles and this terrific book. An absolutely wonderful read.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By h halperin on September 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
It was one of the best books I have read in quite a long time. I don't see the comparison between Greg Iles and Grisham. He writes in a more intelligent manner, and does a far better job of developing his characters. What I especially liked about it was the fact that his character Penn Cage touched on emotional issues as well, and I felt like I was reading a mystery thriller, that was much more than a mystery thriller.
The premise of the novel kept me going and I had a hard time putting it down. I enjoyed the historical references, and the plot development.
I'm probably not helping anyone by not describing the plot, or characters, but I don't choose what I read based on plot alone. My main reason for reading the book was that I picked up the book and liked the way the story was being told and it didn't let me down one bit. My initial impression remained the same. I figure that other reviews will discuss the story content and plot.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Joseph L Burke on July 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
A quote on the cover of "The Quiet Game" says, "Rivals Grisham's best - Will transfix the reader until the very last page." Sorry! Grisham can't write this well. I read three or four books a week and have for many years. This is one of the best books I have ever read; for plot, for character, for ambience, for entertaiment, for instruction; for every conceivable reason I can think of. I very much enjoyed the other books this author has written but he seems to improve with every subsequent book. I loved this book and I will hold onto it and reread it from time to time. Thank you, Greg Iles!
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49 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Virginia Lore on October 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
Nothing gets in the way of the story in The Quiet Game, a suspenseful page-turner that keeps the pace through over 400 pages.
Penn Cage, a prosecutor from Houston and an author of legal thrillers, returns to his boyhood home in Natchez, Mississippi to help his daughter Annie recover from his wife's death. In an interview with an ambitious local journalist, he mentions the Del Payton case, a racial murder that has remained unsolved for thirty years.
Suddenly Cage finds himself in the midst of a storm of racial tensions, crime and political intrigue in which all the major suspects are playing The Quiet Game, a game of waiting to see who breaks first.
Greg Iles has done a wonderful job writing a book that is hard to put down. Not only is it well-plotted, but the characters are likable and the setting is well-established. The swamps of Natchez yield not only old grudges, but new insights about race relations as Cage works to bring the murderer to justice. Definitely a 5-star read.
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