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Mystery of the Month for 1st October 2012 TURNING ANGEL by Greg Iles

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Showing 151-175 of 236 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2012 9:27:18 AM PDT
I have bought it and plan to read it soon. Thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2012 10:51:15 PM PDT
Barbara Lane says:
James and all
parts were disturbing but very plausible.
when I read reviews on amazon so many criticised the story.

why!!! older men ending up with younger girls does happen (sadly)
drugs (does happen) girls keeping sexual diaries on how and when and with who does happen!!!!! so this book is not out of the ball park at all It all could happen. (and probably does more times than we want to think about)

One reviewer thought the plot seemed a bit cumbersome burdened by too many characters and too many supplots.
I felt only at one place it slowed but for the rest of the book it was a 5 star story.

re Greg Iles is good at writing something that lits the story above the cliche or totally predictable. I sure didn't guess who had done it I suspected so many and was shocked at the ending.

Re some people said the writing of this story is not as good as some of his other work.
gee I have only read one other of his books and I thought it was great also.

re I like the book I like the way Iles tells lots of little stories around the big story. He is a good author. 9 in my opinion)

Barb down Under

Posted on Oct 15, 2012 11:05:26 PM PDT
L. M. Keefer says:
Barb and all:

re: there being too many characters, I didn't think so. The only ones I got confused were the sherriffs, deputies, police etc. What characters were on the perimeter? Asian guys, the prof couple who got murdered, Board members, Cyrus?

I'm trying to think what the subplots were....central conflict was who murdered Kate?

Other conflicts/subplots:
Cyrus and drug operation
Penn and Mia's attraction
Penn's issues with Caitlin
Drew's wife's drug problem
Penn running for mayor
Croatian guy's illegal activities

What else?

I'll finish the book now if we're ready to discuss the ending.

Posted on Oct 16, 2012 8:54:39 AM PDT
(Re some people said the writing of this story is not as good as some of his other work.
gee I have only read one other of his books and I thought it was great also.)

With TURNING ANGEL, I have now read three of Greg Isles' books. SPANDAU PHOENIX was the first. I highly enjoyed all three and all the novels were unique and very different. He is a highly talented and entertaining author. I plan to read his others eventually over time.

Posted on Oct 16, 2012 9:04:55 AM PDT
I read first Penn book, THE QUIET GAME, and the third, THE DEVIL'S PUNCHBOWL, in addition to the BOM. Really, rally like him

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 22, 2012 8:42:54 AM PDT
Annie M. says:
It has been five days now since anyone has posted about this book. I thought you were going to discuss the ending. Did I miss it?

Posted on Oct 22, 2012 10:35:52 AM PDT
What did people think of the ending?

Posted on Oct 22, 2012 12:09:57 PM PDT
I had two major problems with the latter part of TURNING ANGEL. One was with the character of Cyrus. Does it make sense that a stone cold drug dealer and killer would keep Penn alive, using expensively pure heroin to keep him quiet, heroin that could be more profitably sold, rather than just killing him outright and causing his body to disappear? I don't see it, because keeping Penn alive was simply more trouble than it was worth to him. I don't recall a reason ever being given for Cyrus's keeping him alive.

Granted that Cyrus keeps Penn alive (obviously Greg Iles may not be finished with this character), how probable is it that his hideout is one with which Penn is familiar (the old battery factory), one that still contains components that Penn can engineer to escape?

I thought both of these were just a bit too good to be true. Did they strike anyone else this way? Why or why not?

Linda S.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 22, 2012 1:47:12 PM PDT
Linda, I guess you are right, but at that point I was so caught up in the story and my disbelief was so suspended that I didn't even think.

It's okay to ralk about the whole book now?

Posted on Oct 22, 2012 2:23:28 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 22, 2012 2:25:28 PM PDT

I assumed so. I also don't understand why Cyrus, if he's so obsessed with Kate, didn't just rape her or withhold the drugs until she sleeps with him. We aren't talking about Prince Charming here. Cyrus is a stone cold killer and drug dealer. I don't think finer considerations like Kate's feelings would prevent his taking what he wanted, maybe even getting a little extra kick out of it because he knows she DOESN'T want him.

Kate is apparently willing to sleep with most anything male in almost any way possible, so why is she so resistant to the idea of Cyrus? She is as much a user of other people as he is, so is her squeamishness about him in character?

Linda S.

Posted on Oct 22, 2012 3:02:54 PM PDT

You make some good points. Some things were a little too convenient Overall I thought it was a good ending though and summed things up nicely. I did find Kate's reluctance to sleep with Cyrus strange gibven that she went with anyone in pants.

Posted on Oct 22, 2012 3:17:28 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 22, 2012 3:17:43 PM PDT
Barbara Lane says:
re I did find Kate's reluctance to sleep with Cyrus strange given that she went with anyone in pants

I laughed at your comment. How true I was suprised also. Then again she was in love and maybe was starting to behave herself a little. (Her diary was incredible who she slept with and what type of sex they liked etc)

I definately didn't pick the killer until it was all out in the open.
How many of you picked the killer early on???

Annie glad you have joined us.

Barb down Under

Posted on Oct 22, 2012 3:32:43 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 22, 2012 3:35:22 PM PDT
I suspected the killer early on but for the middle portion of the book accepted his alibi at face value. I'm not sure the point at which I realized the alibi as fake, but I came back to him when Ellen confessed to Kate's murder.

Which brings up another question--if Marko had both anal and vaginal intercourse with Kate, why wasn't his semen found in her anus as well as Drew's? From watching and reading various true crime stories, DNA should have been found from both men. Of course, that would make the evidence against Drew less conclusive.

Same question for Marko as for Cyrus--if he wanted Kate, why didn't he just take her? Is it in character for him to not do so? He certainly didn't seem to respect any other law of God or man.

What do you think of Mia's being fitted with a wire to get evidence against Marko? I found that almost as bad as Drew's relationship with Kate, in that it's putting a teenager in danger without her having the maturity to give informed consent. Mia wanted to do it, no question, but shouldn't the adults in her life been more concerned about her safety? Teenagers get carried away with the idea of bravery and drama, and Mia's intent on demonstrating her maturity and cool to Penn. Is it right to let her risk her life?

Linda S.

Posted on Oct 22, 2012 7:17:48 PM PDT
Hi everyone!
I'm back!

Linda and all,
I didn't find the part of the book where Cyrus had Penn "penned" up at the old factory and on drugs at all believable. It made no sense to me other than Iles wasn't ready to kill off our hero. This whole section is where the story fell apart completely for me. Yes, it was exciting, but just not believable. Cracks in the story began for me when he studied the pictures with Mia. There was no rehabilitation when Mia was wired. That made no sense considering she was a kid!

I guess I was caught up enough in the story that I didn't see the killer revelation coming.

I enjoyed the book (even though I found it unbelievable) enough to want to read more by Iles. I read THE DEVIL'S PUNCHBOWL and I look forward to future books by Iles. So even though I found fault with the story, I liked the book.

Posted on Oct 22, 2012 7:43:37 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 22, 2012 7:58:54 PM PDT
My other major question about the ending of TURNING ANGEL is the purpose of Marko's asking Penn to be his attorney and insisting on telling the story of his life. What did that story do except add shock value? It did not establish Marko's character as we'd seen it developed in the body of the novel. It was not essential to the main story line of the plot. The only thing I see it doing is supporting Penn's mother's theme statement about "you never know what's cooking in someone else's pot." But essential? I just don't see it.

My impression is that Iles wrote it as back story, then decided it was too good not to include. (Much my same theory on the Queen Mab speech in ROMEO AND JULIET--it was originally intended for A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM but then didn't fit in the finished version, but it was too good to throw away, so Shakespeare tucked it into the other play he was writing about the same time.)

I'd like others' impressions on Marko's story.

Linda S.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 22, 2012 9:24:13 PM PDT
L. M. Keefer says:
Barb and all,

Who was the killer in your mind?

I thought the author presented two killers.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 22, 2012 9:27:26 PM PDT
L. M. Keefer says:
Annie and James and all,

What did you think of the ending?

Someone said something about a surprise ending--what was the surprise to you?

After Ellen confessed there was the suspicion that there was someone else, right, because she was raped?

Did anyone find what happened to Marko ultimately a surprise? Was that the surprise ending folks were referrring to or the fact that two people ultimately were involved in Kate's death?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 22, 2012 9:33:58 PM PDT
L. M. Keefer says:
Kathy, Linda S, Barb, Magnolia and all:

Kathy, welcome back. What was the killer revelation you were referring to? I thought there were several revelations.

Linda S., Barb, James, Magnolia and all: regarding Kate's promiscuity and Cyrus, I thought once Kate started going out with Drew, she wasn't sleeping around as much. That she really thought she was going to marry him and he'd move to Harvard area. So, that's one reason why Cyrus didn't score. Also, Kate seemed to enjoy the chase of getting men and Cyrus was too needy in wanting her. And at that time she was getting drugs for Drew and his wife so was more into Drew.

Regarding Marko, he seemed to enjoy the "chase" with Kate--and played hard to get so he didn't just rape her. That wouldn't have been enticing as winning her. Of course, once she was about gone, he decided to have her after all.

I thought the author liked including sexually shocking and violent stuff in the book and it's part of his genre so he would include lurid back story of characters, descriptions of pictures etc. I'm pretty visual when I read and I don't reading that kind of stuff. I think you can have good mysteries without it, but that's subjective personal taste.

Posted on Oct 22, 2012 9:38:19 PM PDT
I didn't expect Ellen to confess. I didn't expect 2 killers. But then, I rarely try to guess stuff while reading a mystery. I just let it unfold. Once in awhile it is very obvious. Now, in a movie - I guess and often am correct when the rest of my family has told me I'm nuts. I don't know why I try to figure out one and not the other.

Posted on Oct 23, 2012 6:57:40 AM PDT
I will get back to this later this afternoon. I spotted the killer and the set up very early on (whenever I said so earlier). Iles left too many clues. I thought that there could be one of those set up jobs in which female leaves male sperm to frame male. Thought Ellen might do that to Drew. then, Marko enterd and it was really clear.

I thought Kate didn't sleep with Cyrus from racial prejudice.

Posted on Oct 23, 2012 11:56:32 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 23, 2012 11:57:11 AM PDT
Good point about the racial prejudice, Magnolia. Possible especially in the south.

Did other folks notice that Greg Isles wrote this book in the present tense. threw me at first. I am so used to the third person past tense, particularly as a journalist, but I adapted and felt it gave it more immediacy. What did others think? Did you like it or not? A departure from his other books I think.

Posted on Oct 23, 2012 11:58:31 AM PDT
What is the next book up for discussion? I've lost track.

Posted on Oct 23, 2012 12:31:19 PM PDT

We haven't voted on one.

Linda S.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 23, 2012 12:44:31 PM PDT
Ok. Thanks, Linda S.

Posted on Oct 23, 2012 1:38:09 PM PDT
L. M. Keefer says:
James, Magnolia and all:

regarding the tense of the book

The tense led to the tension, that's for sure....good choice.

So, are we to assume that Drew is going to stay with his wife and she's going to get counseling?

And is Penn running for mayor?

And are Caitlin and he breaking up? He made the decision to stay in Natchez.

Thought it interesting how he had Penn say that if you're from the South people will think less of your abilities and use that to your advantage. I wonder if that's true--do people in the Northeast, Midwest, West Coast think less of someone from the South as far as abilities, savoir-faire, sophistication etc.

Magnolia, I think you wanted us to pay attention to the graduation speech--when reading it I wondered what Magnolia wanted me to particularly note...wasn't sure....are we talking about Mia's speech? Or Penn?

And what about Mia and Penn--where does their relationship stand now?
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Discussion in:  Mystery forum
Participants:  10
Total posts:  236
Initial post:  Sep 17, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 5, 2012

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