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Cemetery Road
2019
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Summary

"An ambitious stand-alone thriller that is both an absorbing crime story and an in-depth exploration of grief, betrayal and corruption... Iles's latest calls to mind the late, great Southern novelist Pat Conroy. Like Conroy, Iles writes with passion, intensity and absolute commitment."-- Washington Post

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Natchez Burning trilogy returns with an electrifying tale of friendship, betrayal, and shattering secrets that threaten to destroy a small Mississippi town.

Sometimes the price of justice is a good man's soul.

When Marshall McEwan left his Mississippi hometown at eighteen, he vowed never to return. The trauma that drove him away spurred him to become one of the most successful journalists in Washington, DC. But as the ascendancy of a chaotic administration lifts him from print fame to television stardom, Marshall discovers that his father is terminally ill, and he must return home to face the unfinished business of his past.

On arrival, he finds Bienville, Mississippi very much changed. His family's 150-year-old newspaper is failing; and Jet Talal, the love of his youth, has married into the family of Max Matheson, one of a dozen powerful patriarchs who rule the town through the exclusive Bienville Poker Club. To Marshall's surprise, the Poker Club has taken a town on the brink of extinction and offered it salvation, in the form of a billion-dollar Chinese paper mill. But on the verge of the deal being consummated, two murders rock Bienville to its core, threatening far more than the city's economic future.

An experienced journalist, Marshall has seen firsthand how the corrosive power of money and politics can sabotage investigations. Joining forces with his former lover--who through her husband has access to the secrets of the Poker Club--Marshall begins digging for the truth behind those murders. But he and Jet soon discover that the soil of Mississippi is a minefield where explosive secrets can destroy far more than injustice. The South is a land where everyone hides truths: of blood and children, of love and shame, of hate and murder--of damnation and redemption. The Poker Club's secret reaches all the way to Washington, D.C., and could shake the foundations of the U.S. Senate. But by the time Marshall grasps the long-buried truth about his own history, he would give almost anything not to have to face it.

Trade Reviews
Booklist Review
After the remarkable trifecta of Iles' magnificent, perhaps career-defining Natchez Burning trilogy, readers couldn't help but speculate about what the author would do next. After three thick novels, would he go with something shorter, sleeker, less freighted with dramatic import? Nope. His new book, coming in at more than 750 pages is another big one, but as with the Natchez Burning novels it contains not an ounce of fat. The story starts simply: in Bienville, Mississippi, a man is murdered. Marshall McEwan, a journalist who was closer to the murdered man than he is to his own father, vows to expose the killer, but to do that, he must go up against the most powerful men in Bienville, who are part of a conspiracy that goes much deeper than McEwan could possibly have imagined. Iles sits alongside the icons at the top of today's crime-fiction mountain. He has made Mississippi his own in the same way that James Lee Burke has claimed Cajun country and Michael Connelly has remapped contemporary Los Angeles. Readers who have been eagerly awaiting his first post-Natchez novel needn't have worried; they will be talking about this one for a quite a while.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Another big, intense tale from a heavy-hitter.--David Pitt Copyright 2010 Booklist
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