Former prosecutor Penn Cage and his fiancee, reporter and publisher Caitlin Masters, have barely escaped with their lives after being attacked by wealthy businessman Brody Royal and his Double Eagles, a KKK sect with ties to some of Mississippi's most powerful men. But the real danger has only begun as FBI Special Agent John Kaiser warns Penn that Brody isn't the true leader of the Double Eagles. The puppeteer who actually controls the terrorist group is a man far more fearsome: the chief of the state police's Criminal Investigations Bureau, Forrest Knox.
The only way Penn can save his father, Dr. Tom Cage - who is fleeing a murder charge as well as corrupt cops bent on killing him - is either to make a devil's bargain with Knox or destroy him. While Penn desperately pursues both options, Caitlin uncovers the real story behind a series of unsolved civil rights murders that may hold the key to the Double Eagles' downfall. The trail leads her deep into the past, into the black backwaters of the Mississippi River, to a secret killing ground used by slave owners and the Klan for more than 200 years...a place of terrifying evil known only as "the bone tree".
The Bone Tree is an explosive, action-packed thriller full of twisting intrigue and deadly secrets, a tale that explores the conflicts and casualties that result when the darkest truths of American history come to light. It puts us inside the skin of a noble man who has always fought for justice - now finally pushed beyond his limits.
Just how far will Penn Cage, the hero we thought we knew, go to protect those he loves?
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Von Nicole Pohl Am hilfreichsten 30.05.2015
Be ready for a sequel full of twists and turns
After listening to all previous released audio books about the protagonist Penn Cage, a former prosecutor, book writer and now mayor of Natchez/Mississippi – I especially treasured "Natchez Burning" – the last part of the series and first one of a trilogy. I think it is quite long ago that I was longing for a sequel of a story so desperately than this time. "The Bone Tree" as the middle part had to bring some lose threads from the previous narration to a knot.
What I can say is: it definitely did. Far beyond my imaginations how the story would be continued it frightened me due to some real vicious men from a far more violent KKK branch - the "Double Eagles" whose motives for their actions get revealed layer by layer and end up into a fictional but quite intelligent thought by Iles that their environment actually might have pulled the strings behind the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963. This part of the narration is so detailed and complex that in one moment I thought this could be rather a serious interpretation than a bold theory! I got the impression that the meticulousness research on that issue seemed gapless. Greg Iles has finely woven the ties of his narration against the background of the Civil Rights Movement, the Cuba Crisis and the Kennedy assassination.
"The Bone Tree" also surprised me by learning that actually Penns father Tom is the character we get the focus upon. As he was an important but even more a supporting character in the earlier stories he now becomes more and more the piece of the puzzle that makes the image complete by realizing how his actions four decades ago do affect the events right now unleashed by the violent death of his former nurse Viola Turner.
Then it shattered me by a twist I never thought (or hoped?) would come to happen and barely kept me up to continue listening at that day. Penn Cage and his league quite get their wings cut. None of them really can measure the consequences by digging in the whole of the rattle snake and realizing that once annoyed it is hardly possible to push it back into its den.
The satisfying thing of all dramatic twists and turns is that the character Penn Cage remains true to himself by defying his opponents and during this he of course can count on some reliable mates. I like the character because of his human behavior. He is not a hero in a classic way but driven by emotions, fears, sometimes impulse and a deep rooted understanding for justice. That all make him credible and authentic as a person I can suffer vicariously with.
But at the end no one can hide from the consequences of his actions – even after a long time: traces never fade completely.
Regarding the speaker of this audio book Robert Petkoff I think the following: I first thought that it is a pity not having David Ledoux again who was an excellent performer narrating “Natchez Burning”. Petkoff does a very good job and what I think is very special: he can of course speak the dialects of the South and that makes the story very authentic as well. Only the voice for Caitlin is not so familiar to me…
Some final words about the writings: The figurative language and the real precise description of human behavior and emotions bring the narration to a big picture experience. Next to that - as already described in my previous reviews - Iles gives each character a stage to perform. So all characters get their raison d'être and even the real bad ones have some hidden stories I get in touch with as a listener and make me thoughtful. So I finally make my own decision how much their lives and destinies leave me cold or not. A clever gambit by Greg Iles because this way he even makes the villains a kind of human.
So, blame me for my lack of objectivity. I can bear it and looking forward to the third and last part of this trilogy - already sad right know as I sense that the stories around Penn Cage then will have an end. My consolation then is that I can watch “Natchez Burning” on TV in the near future. So, all comes up to a happy ending. Please proceed Mr. Iles. You are a great storyteller. And by the way: I would have some ideas for the cast. :-)
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Von Astrid Am hilfreichsten 18.05.2015
Greg Iles in Hochform - aber 'familienfeindlich'
Nach fesselnden 32 Stunden "Natchez Burning" (von Uve Teschner, wie immer, perfekt gelesen) konnte ich dessen offenes Ende kaum ertragen. Glücklicherweise ist vor kurzem der Follow-up "The Bone Tree" erschienen und war innert kürzester Zeit auch bei Audible.de als englisch-sprachiges Hörbuch erhältlich. Robert Petkoff, der amerikanische Sprecher, verstand es, mich von Anfang an weiterhin in den Bann der Familie Cage, der Double Eagles und der US Südstaatengeschichte zu ziehen. Einziger Schwachpunkt ist m.E. der etwas langfädige Unterplot bezüglich JFK / RFK / MLK-Verschwörungstheorien.
Trotzdem bereiteten Spannung, Entsetzen, Trauer, aber auch Freude über 30 Stunden gewaltiges Hörerlebnis -- zum wachsenden Ärger meiner Familie...
Leider endet auch dieses Buch mit einem Cliffhanger, so bleibt nur noch, ungeduldig auf den dritten Teil der Trilogie (Unwritten Laws) zu warten!
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