Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

The Bone Tree (Natchez Burning Series #2)

The Bone Tree (Natchez Burning Series #2)

4.1 76
by Greg Iles

See All Formats & Editions

Greg Iles continues the electrifying story begun in his smash New York Times bestseller Natchez Burning in this highly anticipated second installment of an epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice, featuring Southern lawyer Penn Cage.

Former prosecutor Penn Cage and his fiancée, reporter and publisher Caitlin Masters, have barely


Greg Iles continues the electrifying story begun in his smash New York Times bestseller Natchez Burning in this highly anticipated second installment of an epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice, featuring Southern lawyer Penn Cage.

Former prosecutor Penn Cage and his fiancée, 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 wasn’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 over two hundred 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?

Editorial Reviews

Washington Post
“Filled with menace, betrayal, [and] unexpected plot twists. . . . Running through this vast enterprise is the implicit belief that crime fiction is capable of addressing - and illuminating - any aspect of human behavior, including the tragic history of race relations in 20th-century America.”
Providence Journal
“’Great Expectations’ transplanted to an American South laced with comparably gothic overtones. . . . Establishes Iles as this generation’s William Faulkner, usurping Pat Conroy as our preeminent Southern writer and potentially establishing him as this era’s finest American novelist, thanks to this moving and meaningful masterpiece of storytelling.”
Booklist (starred review)
“Absolutely compelling… A beautifully constructed story, some extremely fine writing, and some hard-to-bear tragedy.… Everything is big about this one: its epic scale [and] its built-in readership based on the success of its predecessor.”
Huffington Post
“Race relations, adultery, murder, parenthood and friendship are all smashed together to form a searing saga of remorse and revenge. . . . Better than Natchez Burning. If the third book surpasses the first two then Iles will be elevated to the highest heights of famed storytellers.”
Library Journal
Prosecutor-turned-writer Penn Cage, introduced in Iles's 1999 The Quiet Game, is shocked when his father, Dr. Tom Cage, stands accused of murdering his former nurse Viola. Even more shocking: the secrets that tumble forth suggest that Tom and Viola were somehow associated with the Double Eagle Club, a particularly violent group that scorned the FBI-infiltrated Ku Klux Klan. Harking back to Civil Rights-era Mississippi, this first of a two-parter promises more than passing chills.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Penn Cage Series , #5
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.36(d)

Meet the Author

Greg Iles spent most of his youth in Natchez, Mississippi. His first novel, Spandau Phoenix, was the first of thirteen New York Times bestsellers, and his new trilogy continues the story of Penn Cage, protagonist of The Quiet Game, Turning Angel, and #1 New York Times bestseller The Devil’s Punchbowl. Iles’s novels have been made into films and published in more than thirty-five countries. He lives in Natchez with his wife and has two children.

Brief Biography

Natchez, Mississippi
Date of Birth:
Place of Birth:
Stuttgart, Germany
B.A., University of Mississippi, 1983

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

The Bone Tree 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 76 reviews.
Aelius More than 1 year ago
I would guess that the majority of readers, when confronted with an 800 page novel, might think that maybe they have bitten off more than they can chew--especially when this second novel follows the initial installment in this trilogy and is also 800 pages long. But as many of Greg Iles' fans know, sitting down with any of his novels is like settling in for a long conversation with an old friend. While it may be a long read, the subject matter will make the time fly by. Before you know it, you are at the end of the book--and wishing for more. Fortunately the third installment is on the way. Greg Iles is a master story teller who has put his own spin on two of the more horrifying episodes in American history, tying together the violent resistance to integration in "the deep South" with the assassination of John F. Kennedy. All of us "baby boomers" remember where we were when the death of JFK was announced, but I'm willing to bet that those of us living in the northern states weren't very well informed about the racial strife in several of our southern states, an open wound that festered daily and eventually exploded with unexpected consequences. You have to respect both the depth of research that Mr. Iles undertook along with the well thought out plot lines that linked these two complicated situations together. "The Bone Tree" isn't for everyone, but what book really is? If you're at all interested in American history and willing to immerse yourself in these two painful subjects, Greg Iles will give you a history lesson while entertaining you every step of the way. On the one hand I wanted to get to the end but on the other I hoped that it would never end. Such is the quandary of reading a great novel written by a master storyteller.
Stefanie18 More than 1 year ago
804 pages long and I still have the nerve to whine and  complain that this book wasn't long enough! I didn't want it to end and you won't either. When I purchased The Bone Tree,   I didn't think it would be nearly as good as Natchez Burning. How wrong I was. How incredibly wrong I was. It was even better. Don't think for one minute that you will be able to predict what happens next in this book because I promise you...you won't. Its that good.  'Good' actually doesn't come close to what it is. This is a book that I promise you, you WILL have a hard time putting down. I'm not going to get into any specifics or say anything about any of the characters. I refuse to give one ounce of information contained in this book away. Everyone needs to read it and enjoy it for themselves. You will NOT be disappointed.  I'm not quite sure how we're supposed to sit back and wait for the next book to come out. I want to read the next part NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! lol.  In all seriousness, enjoy every single one of the 804 pages. You're going to be amazed and just blown away how this book just gets more and more incredible with each page that you read. You have my word on that! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Best Yet - A tremendous follow-up to an outstanding start for a trilogy. I haven't read anything quite like this in sometime. They only keep getting better. The third book of the trilogy should be an "A**Kicker. Read and enjoy. I promise....
JJS57 More than 1 year ago
The 2nd of his trilogy. A book that gives you your money's worth. I don't think you have to read the 1st of the series to understand this book; but, it would help. His characters are very completely drawn. Since I lived in southern Mississippi for 12 years, I understand the characters. More than someone who hasn't lived in the South. He throws two big curves at the reader in the last 100 pages. Can't wait for the last of the trilogy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Had not realized until reading the jacket cover that this was part 2 of a trilogy. I have read and thoroughly enjoyed Natchez Burning and cannot wait for part 3 of the trilogy and I am already trying to imagine some of the plot lines, given what takes place in this part 2 of the trilogy. It was an excellent idea to include the prologue as a refresher for someone who has read Natchez Burning but also as a good précis/synopsis of the plot to date, for someone who has not read that.
RBRPrinceton More than 1 year ago
TOO LONG - about 300 pages, in my opinion. I liked the initial story, but felt that the addition of the speculative JFK assassination was unnecessary. I have read all of the Penn Cage novels, & this was probably his best work of this series.s
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book would have been half as long and a thousand times more exciting without the enless pages of discussion about who really killed JFK. Almost gave up, but the other story lines are good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Book 2 of 3 did NOT disappoint! Iles deftly weaves fiction into historical fact, in a believable way. Best book yet. Anxiously awaiting the release of book 3 ! Why are people allowed to post reviews if they have not yet read the book? Does anyone monitor these posts? Obviously written by 6 year olds or stoners..... please ignore those silly and bizarre posts. Grossly unfair to the authors and serious bilbiophiles who appreciate reviews and comments. That is all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why can't BN stop these idiots from their senseless chatter? This post is for books to be reviewed, NOT for their dumb *** games!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first book Natchez is Burning was riveting I could not put it down! Being from the South I was a little disturbed by the violence and disregard for human life but unfortunately for those Southern States the mentality shown in this book has not changed. These two books, unfortunately, are as close to the truth as any book I have read even though it is fiction. The parts about JFK and Robert Kennedy's deaths are interesting but still no one really knows the truth and probably won't until all who were alive at that time, I was a teenager in high school, are dead and unfortunately this new generation X won't care. As a Southerner it shames me to think there could have been people like these characters but unfortunately there is a lot of truth in this book that is based on fiction. I was saddened, repulsed and embarrassed by what happened in these 2 books but I still clung to each word and look forward to the next series of these books. You are an excellent writer and I have read many of your books and loved each one .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Greg Iles continues the saga with an unexpectedly twisting tale that will leave you shocked and ready for book three.
dduck More than 1 year ago
if you liked the prequel then you will love The Bone Tree. I love long books and this qualifies with over 800 pages. It keeps you going back to see what is happening and I enjoyed it thoroughly,
Shacam8 More than 1 year ago
Even better than the first part. I can't wait for the third volume! Best read of the year so far, good enough for a second read to see if I missed anything.
JutebugJG More than 1 year ago
You definitely need to read "Natchez Burning" first, this book picks right up from that one. Very fast paced - something happens on every page!! Greg Iles is my favorite writer and he is at his best with "The Bone Tree"!! Five stars!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had been looking forward to this book since finishing the last one. That being said, I really struggled to get to page 600 and then quit...it was so bad i truly didn't care how it ended.
Twink More than 1 year ago
 devoured Natchez Burning, the first book in Greg Iles's planned trilogy and have been eagerly awaiting the second entry - The Bone Tree. The Bone Tree picks up right where Natchez Burning left off. Iles does a great job of quickly recapping, so that new readers could jump into the book. (But seriously, you need to read the first book) Lawyer Penn Cage is the mayor of Natchez, Mississippi. Between himself, his newspaper editor fiancee, his father Tom and others, they have uncovered and exposed the dirty underbelly of Natchez and surrounding Louisiana. Secrets, killings and corruption, racial hatred, greed, crime and political malfeasance of the worst kind imaginable. The perpetrators are so well placed and have been in power for so long that it seems nothing can take them down. And then comes the revelation that this shadowy group may have been responsible for the deaths of American leaders. (Gentle readers be warned - there are graphic scenes and descriptions) Iles's plotting is simply spectacular - intricately imagined and complexly drawn with a hefty dose of (frightening) fact mixed in. I did check out many many references online to see if they were real - they were. In fact it's almost impossible to try and explain the book - there are so many threads and characters. Each and every character Iles brings to the page is fully developed and the reader can't help but become engaged (or disgusted) with every player. I've been a fan of Penn Cage from the first book, but Tom and his old ranger buddy Walt were the underdogs I was cheering for this time.  The 'bad guys' are well - just plain ugly. I described Natchez Burning as powerful, gripping, thrilling, sweeping and simply spectacular - and I'll use those same words to describe The Bone Tree. 800+ plus pages of absolutely epic reading. Read an excerpt of The Bone Tree. A reading guide is also available. This reader will be waiting and watching for the third and concluding book. There's no date or title as of yet, but Iles says "The release date of the final book in the trilogy is not set in stone at this time. I have a feeling that the TV series currently in the works might make me let go of that final book faster than I might otherwise have done, which I hope is good news for readers"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thank you, Greg Isles, for another riveting session with Penn Cage. I hope the next one is even longer. Can't wait!
Anonymous 6 months ago
Delphimo 8 months ago
A book club forces us to read the whole trilogy of Greg Iles, and yes, we will be reading the final installment in 2017. I probably enjoyed the second book more than the first book. Both books provide a reading marathon that lasts longer than most television marathons. Greg Iles explains too much, at times; but leaves you hanging in the last chapter. The bad guys still dominant the story, and never seem to waiver in their evil ways. The theories on the assassination of John F Kennedy provide food for the fodder. Iles presents strong characters that either inspire loathing or admiration. Penn Cage, the main character, does not hold either interest or abhorrence for me, but I like many of the minor characters. The setting and plot anchor and enhance the story, but about 200 pages of too much description.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Long book but every page was so worth it. I have loved every book Greg Iles has written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think it's fair to say I've read every one of Greg Iles' books. And I know it's fair to say that I have loved nearly every one of them. So I think it's fair when I say Iles' needed a better editor on Bone Tree and Natchez Burning. They're just too long. Good stories. Good characters. Just told in a style that is way too loose and not typical of Iles' superior story-telling talent. While I usually can't wait for Iles' next book, this time I'm not sure I'll read No. 3, which is a shame.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Page turner for real. Can't put this book down once you start
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best books I. Have read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good!!!! I highly recomend!!!! I agree with one of the posts!!!! (I think its the third one????????)