3.0 out of 5 stars Too long and too much,
May 29, 2011
This review is from: The Devil's Punchbowl: A Novel (Hardcover)3.5 of 5 stars
NOTE: this book contains graphic descriptions of animal and human torture, abuse, and dog fighting.
This third Penn Cage novel went on a bit too long. By the end, I decided that I really didn't like any of the main characters and I was tired of the story. Penn, formerly a DA and author, and now the ersatz mayor of Natchez, Mississippi -- his childhood home -- and Caitlin Masters, his former girlfriend reporter who has returned home for unknown reasons, team up again in a sordid story of gambling, prostitution, dog fighting and corruption at the riverboat casinos.
Penn has to call on his black op friends to protect his family and to help him figure out why his old friend Tim Jessup was murdered. Tim, trying to change his burnt out druggie reputation, has come upon some evidence of illegal activity that he brings to Penn. Before he can get the evidence to Penn, the evil Magnolia Queen boat owner/operators Sands and Quinn (Irish ex pats) take him out. In a race against time, Penn Cage joins up with a couple f elite special forces men, and a former Texas Ranger, in a somewhat unbelievable pursuit of justice and the saving of his town.
I really liked the previous two novels in this series, The Quiet Game and Turning Angel, but this one just didn't hit the same spot for me. The bad guys were over-the-top evil and Penn almost hit sainthood. I know fans of Greg Iles' novels will buy this one, but I hope that his next in the series will be an improvement.