Customer Reviews for

The Devil's Punchbowl (Penn Cage Series #3)

Average Rating 4
( 186 )
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(85)

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(28)

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(6)

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(15)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

If you are really ready to dive into The Devil's Punchbowl, the title says it all!

Fast, evil, thrilling and disturbing book that I could not put down. I loved it and hated some of the characters. If you want to see how The Devil lives, you will catch a glimpse of it in this book, in my opinion. The book takes you into the underground of gambling. Dis...
Fast, evil, thrilling and disturbing book that I could not put down. I loved it and hated some of the characters. If you want to see how The Devil lives, you will catch a glimpse of it in this book, in my opinion. The book takes you into the underground of gambling. Disturbing details of dogfighting and violence to women. I thought it was written well and very entertaining. The story will stay with me. What a wonderful mind Greg Iles has!

posted by Lynda166 on August 16, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

This Read Is An Affront To Your Intelligence

Greg Isles has stood out as one of the better thriller writers because of his tightly woven plots, plausible storylines, true characters and realistic dialogues. On all of these fronts he has failed miserably with this new effort. The plot is incohesive with numerous u...
Greg Isles has stood out as one of the better thriller writers because of his tightly woven plots, plausible storylines, true characters and realistic dialogues. On all of these fronts he has failed miserably with this new effort. The plot is incohesive with numerous unexplained, apparent importance placed on missing, hidden, encrypted data. Dialogue is often trite and spoken out-of character. Out-of-character behavior flaws one of the heroes. The story is pieced together by overly contrived or inexplicable occurrences and unbelievable, sudden conversions by persons on one side or the other. How does a medical examiner obtain physical evidence from the D.A.'s office? Another one, out of many, examples of this preposterous tale has a handbound lady jumping into the Mississippi and surviving without any hint or explanation as to how her hands become unbound, only to be recaptured to tightly selfbind her own hands once again before her final exit. How does one selfbind their own hands with a pair of panties? How does a character mauled by vicious dogs, who we are told will eat their victims and excrete their body parts, have enough of a body left to cremate? I could go on and on, but you have to read this nonsense for yourself to believe how bad it is and the more I write the angrier I get for being sucked into buying this book. Isle's Penn Cage novels have not been as good as his others, primarily because writing in the first person with the protagonist as narrator softens all of the thrills. After all, how could the narrator die and also complete the book. I never understood this method of writing for this genre. Lastly, the book ends with the onset of another life/death situation befalling a main character that is, according to the author's notes, to be taken up in next year's Penn Cage novel, which I will have no interest in reading. Sorry Greg, I am not taking the bait in a ploy reminiscent of one of Vince Flynns effort to get his readers to buy a sequel. You lost at least one fan with this garbage.

posted by Brewer on July 22, 2009

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  • Posted July 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    This Read Is An Affront To Your Intelligence

    Greg Isles has stood out as one of the better thriller writers because of his tightly woven plots, plausible storylines, true characters and realistic dialogues. On all of these fronts he has failed miserably with this new effort. The plot is incohesive with numerous unexplained, apparent importance placed on missing, hidden, encrypted data. Dialogue is often trite and spoken out-of character. Out-of-character behavior flaws one of the heroes. The story is pieced together by overly contrived or inexplicable occurrences and unbelievable, sudden conversions by persons on one side or the other. How does a medical examiner obtain physical evidence from the D.A.'s office? Another one, out of many, examples of this preposterous tale has a handbound lady jumping into the Mississippi and surviving without any hint or explanation as to how her hands become unbound, only to be recaptured to tightly selfbind her own hands once again before her final exit. How does one selfbind their own hands with a pair of panties? How does a character mauled by vicious dogs, who we are told will eat their victims and excrete their body parts, have enough of a body left to cremate? I could go on and on, but you have to read this nonsense for yourself to believe how bad it is and the more I write the angrier I get for being sucked into buying this book. Isle's Penn Cage novels have not been as good as his others, primarily because writing in the first person with the protagonist as narrator softens all of the thrills. After all, how could the narrator die and also complete the book. I never understood this method of writing for this genre. Lastly, the book ends with the onset of another life/death situation befalling a main character that is, according to the author's notes, to be taken up in next year's Penn Cage novel, which I will have no interest in reading. Sorry Greg, I am not taking the bait in a ploy reminiscent of one of Vince Flynns effort to get his readers to buy a sequel. You lost at least one fan with this garbage.

    6 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    What a disappointment

    I've been a long time fan of Greg Isles, but this book was a major disappointment. And this is a shame because all the elements of a good book were present, just not developed. To begin with, the storyline just kept going in circles to the extent I felt about 300 pages could be eliminated with no loss to the book. Penn Cage came across as weak and most of the time I felt as though I was reading his rambling confessional which served no purpose. Other characters, such as Walt Garrity and Kelly were strong only to end up as throw aways. The blood and gore of dogfighting was thrown in to sensationalize and added no value to the story. I hope Mr. Isles doesn't go the route of James Patterson and Patricia Cornwell in thinking he needs graphic details to sell his stories. He's a good writer and in the past has presented interesting plots. This one was a stinker.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2009

    Audio Version Hard to understand

    I purchased the audio CD version of this book and am finding it almost impossible to understand. It is not enjoyable to listen to because I have to strain to understand what is being said. Whether real or made up, the reader's accent is hard to understand and his voice fades away for dramatic affect continuously through the narration, making it necessary to constantly readjust the volume. I would not recommend purchase of this book on CD.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 2, 2009

    Fantasy Not Fiction

    Greg Isles was recommended to me as one of the best thriller writers of this generation. You have got to be kidding. You have to make the story believable for me to enjoy a thriller. This story has more holes than swiss cheese and more unexplained occurrences than all UFOs and Nessie sightings added together. If this was submitted as an English paper it would get a passing grade of D-, although I would be tempted take out the red Pen with a big F. I have no idea if this is an aberation, but I will never waste my time with another book by this author to find out.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 31, 2009

    A DIFFICULT READ AND IMPOSSIBLE AUDIO BOOK....

    The is one of Greg Iles WORST books yet. It is too long, too ridiculous and too difficult to plod through.
    As stated before, the audio book version is impossible to understand in several parts. Usually, I enjoy anything read by Dick Hill, but he "over acts" to the point of distraction.
    Don't waste your time.... you'll feel as though you're trapped in the Devil's Punchbowl.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2015

    I honestly can't get the visions of a the animal torture out of

    I honestly can't get the visions of a the animal torture out of my head. Truly disturbing is an understatement! Beyond that the plot is just a stretch pulling old characters from books 1 and 2.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2011

    Not worth the time.

    This book was disappointing in that it did not grab my attention. The story line was late in arriving, and when it did arrive it only lasted for a few pages, and then there was way too much insignificant detail that really didn't pertain to the storyline, like descriptions of streets, which, to me, were just page fillers. I've read other things Mr. Iles has written and enjoyed them, but this one was one I did not even finish.

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  • Posted October 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    wish I could have listened to it

    I ordered in CD format, but it is defective.

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