The Quiet Game – by Greg Iles – independent book review – Fiction

A quick read, THE QUIET GAME is an engrossing crime drama that will keep you eagerly turning each page. Awarded four stars on Goodreads.

If you are familiar with the author Scott Turow, you may see some similarities with this author. THE QUIET GAME revolves around a former lawyer-prosecutor and his unraveling of a complex case with lots of interesting players with hidden motives.

quietgameThe protagonist, Penn Cage, has become a successful writer of crime books. When he and his young daughter return to his hometown of Natchez, Mississippi after the death of his wife, Penn discovers his upstanding physician-father is being blackmailed.

As Penn works to help his parents, he begins to uncover links between the blackmailer, a 30 year old unsolved civil rights murder, and a prominent wealthy businessman– the same man who happens to be the father of his high school girlfriend. As he digs deeper, with the help of a beautiful (of course) and age-appropriate newspaper publisher, Penn becomes embroiled in a world of bad cops, sinister hit men, simmering racial tension, hidden files, and a conspiracy that seems to reach all the way to J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI. Oh, and along the way, Penn also solves the mystery of his lost high school love. Reading the book feels a bit like peeling away layers of an onion. As each new layer is discovered, the story gets a little more complicated.

It’s not brilliant writing and you may find some of it predictable, since it does foster many of the stereotypes of other Southern crime dramas — like crooked Southern politicians and rednecks with guns who want to take the law into their own hands. But I found it mostly fun. And since it was written 15 years ago, maybe those stereotypes weren’t as firmly established when the book was first published.

The good news is that if you like it, you can then read many other Penn Cage novels by Greg Iles. This one is just the first of six.

Greg Iles

More about the prolific author, Greg Iles.

The Penn Cage Books – in reading order:

  1. The Quiet Game
  2. Turning Angel
  3. The Devil’s Punchbowl
  4. Natchez Burning
  5. The Bone Tree
  6. Mississippi Blood