“Back Down South Now”* – The Quiet Game by Greg Iles

This was my book club’s December book. It was kind of a thick one at 624 pages (paperback) and I got a late start on it to boot, not beginning until the morning of the day three days prior to our meeting last Thursday. I just barely finished it which, I suppose, is testament to how great a page turner it was. I was a bit leery before I started, though, as we had just read a “mystery thriller”-type book the prior month (P.T. Deuterman’s Darkside) which I found a little disappointing.

This novel takes place in the town of Natchez, Mississippi. A former district attorney turned best seller writer returns to his parents’ home with his little girl after the untimely death of his wife due to cancer. He goes there hoping to give himself and his daughter a better chance to ‘heal’ but – naturally – stumbles into all kinds of trouble (and a couple beautiful women who, naturally, want him). First he learns his dad is being blackmailed by the evil Ray Presley, a local villain who would “kill someone like picking off a scab.” Second, after making reference to a decades-old unsolved “race murder” that ends up in the local paper – even though he thought the remarks were off the record – he finds himself irresistibly drawn to pry into the case, aggravating just about every bad guy and faction in town. Add to this that he has the vengeful brother (of a murderer who he had convicted and seen executed) waiting for an opportunity to do him and his family harm, and you have quite a lot of material for a legal mystery thriller. I’m not exactly a fan of this genre, but this is one of the better books of this type I have read recently.


*Back Down South Now is the title of a track on the latest Kings of Leon CD (yes, it ROCKS). Admittedly, they’re from Nashville, but this CD has been ‘featured’ in my car stereo the past few weeks, and has been stuck in my head – even during the time I was reading this book.

Below: bridges over the Mississippi River at Natchez


  1. Dale Barthauer said,

    December 26, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    Have i said that I really liked the kayak escape?


  2. stentorpub said,

    December 26, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    Yes, I think you said that over at our bookclub’s site. 🙂 Former Agent Stone sure was pretty spry for a septuagenarian wasn’t he?

    I liked the “double sniper scene” myself.


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