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

Average Rating 4
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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 10 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 August 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    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. 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!

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    An exhilarating thriller

    Former Houston prosecutor Penn Cage is elected mayor of his hometown Natchez, Mississippi on an economic platform to save the dying city. Currently five steamboats off the old slave market square offers casino gambling. With the looser atmosphere comes the high rollers and along with that Penn knows come vice and crime.

    His childhood friend card dealer Tim Jessup tells Penn that the casinos offer dog fighting and dangerous sexual activity. Tim promises to bring proof to Penn, but before he can, he is found viciously murdered as a warning to other do-gooders. However, those running the illegal show while city officialdom wink threaten Penn and his family as they believe Tim gave him evidence as they tortured that confession out of him before they killed him. Another friend sneaks Penn's family out of town; knowing his tweener daughter is safe the mayor is ready to clean up the floating casinos though their enemy seems to anticipate every move made against him.

    The return of Penn (see TURNING ANGEL and THE QUIET GAME) is an exhilarating thriller that never slows down once Tim warns him about what is happening on the casino boats. Penn remains an ethical individual who refuses to turn away from the crime especially the violence as several other leading citizens prefer to do. Fans will relish Greg Iles strong tale of gambling on the Mississippi to bring jobs, but part of the employment opportunities are illegal and dangerous.

    Harriet Klausner

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Great read

    Exciting from cover to cover. No dull spots at all.But not for young readers. Deals with adult topics of torture, rape and extreme cruelty

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2009

    Not For The Squeamish

    This is a fabulous book, but the graphic cruelty and mayhem sometimes can be too much. This is classic good versus evil. I found myself wanting to continue the read in all haste, but being slowed by the animal cruelty sections.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 15, 2009

    Pheonomenal reading

    I could NOT put this book down. Found myself pulling up a chair at Starbucks for a cup of coffee and a little reading before going to the gym. Several hours later I was still reading and blew off the gym. You can read about the plot yourself on the publishers synopsis so I'll not go into that detail; suffice it to say this is thrilling reading. I was delighted to read the author's blurb at the end in which he promised that the lead character would be back in the next book! Can't wait.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Greg Iles is awesome.......

    Believe me; anything Greg Iles puts out is fantastic! You will not be disappointed.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2014

    Highly Recommended.

    Excellent book. Interesting subject --- dog fighting ----but gruesome.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2014

    FARM LAND

    Farmers grow crops and build a house here

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2012

    Wonderful

    Im two days into readig and icantput it down keep writing greg and ill keep reading

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2012

    Twisted plot

    I love Greg Iles! The Devil's Punchbowl is about gambling and dog fighting. Mr. Iles describes both with great detail. Not to be read if you have a weak stomach. Fast paced and great thriller!

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  • Posted April 21, 2012

    Greg Iles has written another great story, suitable for adults.


    Greg Iles has written another great story, suitable for adults. It centers on Penn Cage again, as in Turning Angel, set in Natchez, Mississippi. This writer has the ability to keep you turning the pages until you are finished with the book. There is so much evil in the story, yet the reader can hardly put the book down. I don’t know how the author managed to do his research in all these evil areas and still keep his food down. Intimate knowledge of these evils clearly shows that the author learned his subject matter well.

    At every chapter something new takes the reader in a different direction, yet many of the characters from previous books are included. Penn Cage, for example, is now the Mayor of Natchez. He is, however, disillusioned and thinking about resigning from the position. The way the author involves the characters, both old and new, in all the action keeps the reader turning pages.

    Iles has created a gripping, engaging mystery with a satisfying ending. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys current mysteries, with the warning that it includes quite graphic violence, animal cruelty and sexual activity. Reader beware if that type of writing offends you, and please, in this case, censor from your children

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  • Posted April 1, 2011

    awesome

    love the book grabed my attention from the start. my favorite book ever.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2010

    LOVE GREG

    ANOTHER AMAZING GREG ILES BOOK. HE NEVER DISAPPOINTS.

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  • Posted May 15, 2010

    Once again Iles Comes Through

    Greg Iles does not disappoint his readers with his newest book, THe Devil's Punchbowl. He provides an intriguing plot, well developed characters and a fast paced, believeable plot. This is a throwback to the can't put down novels such as Peter Benchley's JAWS, Mario Puzo's THE GODFATHER and others of that ilk. I highly recommend this book to anyone. The characters originated in earlier books but other than a few references to earlier appearances in previous novels it is not necessary to have read those earlier books to enjoy this one, although I recommend those books also. Iles is one of my favorite authors and this book will keep the reader enthralled, the only problem being if you have to work the next day, because when you get caught up in it you will want to stay up reading this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    Another great book from Iles!!

    I've ready about four other books from Greg Iles and they all have been great. The characters are interesting and the storylines keeps you interested from the begin to the end. This book grab you from the beginning. Once you start this book you'll want to keep read, because you will need to know how it ends.

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  • Posted April 17, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Thrilling

    I purchsed two books by this author and finished both in four days. The plot of this book is set around riverboat gabmbling and corruption in a small Mississippi town. I enjoyed it very much and intend on purchasing more books by this author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2010

    Great read!

    I first started reading Greg Isles because I had been to Natchez, MS, and thought it was cool that there was a book set in that location. Greg Isles surprised me! I wasn't expecting much, but his writing is great and his characters are fun. Penn Cage is a great main character, with just enough edge mixed with a good moral compass. This is a pretty good size book (736 pages), and I couldn't put it down. My husband kept bugging me to pay attention to him, but I couldn't wait to see what happened. It was exciting, with a few twists and turns that keep you interested. Plus, there was a little cliff hanger at the end, that will keep you waiting for the next installment in the series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2009

    finding mr. Iles

    This is the 4th book of his I have read. He is an amazing writer, vivid details which make one feel as if you are watching it in movie format as opposed to reading a book. One of my friends and I lend books to each other and I have lent her all 4 of his books I have. She looks forward to his new releases because she knows I will be purchasing each one and passing it along to her. She says, "Great writer, I really like his stuff." This book is fast paced, with side plots fitting in nicely to the main plot line.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2009

    Excellent , better than Third Degree

    I have read many of Greg Iles books and this was one of his best. A page turner that will keep you reading until the last page.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2009

    Great Read

    I probably have read all of Greg Iles' books, this was one of his best.

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