Monthly Archives: January 2017

Natchez Burning

As good as The Bone Tree was, having read Natchez Burning by Greg Iles makes it make a lot more sense.

Natchez Burning is the first book in Iles’ trilogy that tackles race and civil rights issues.

In this first book, Iles sets the stage. Penn Cage, mayor of Natchez, finds everything turned upside down when his father is accused for murder. But what initially seemed like a simple case turns out to be one thread among many that all converge together.

The past gets stirred up by one reporter digging in to cold civil war cases. But as the bodies start to pile up, all the players have to consider how far they are willing to go.

Iles really lays the groundwork for what is continuing to prove to be an epic saga. Each book has twists and turns (and I have to say, I think the twists in this book would have been better had I not read he sequel first, and therefore already knew what to expect). Iles also does an excellent job at revealing information but still keeping enough secrets so as to make it interesting reading.

It’s been a while since I’ve found a series that keeps me so engrossed, with books that I don’t want to put down. Single books, sure, but not often series anymore. Iles’ series is a thrilling work of historical fiction, and I’m excited to get to the final installment.

The Bone Tree

I wish adult series were as clearly numbered as kids books.

When I started The Bone Tree by Greg Iles, I didn’t realize until about 100 pages in that is was not a stand alone book. But, because it read enough like one, I decided to power through, and let me tell you, my orderly nature did not like that.

The Bone Tree is book two in a trilogy (with said trilogy being books 4-6 of a series… yeah, it didn’t make a lot of sense to me either, hence my wish for clear numbering) that focuses on civil rights era cold cases.

Set in Natchez, Mississippi, a reporter and her fiancé, the mayor, are chasing down the same people, a racist KKK off shoot known as the Double Eagles.

Caitlin Masters, the reporter, is obsessed with finding the Bone Tree, a legendary tree supposedly tucked into a nearby Louisiana swamp, which is said to have evidence of the Double Eagles’ race murders– and more.

But the Double Eagles are cunning, and dedicated to protecting themselves at any cost.

Though I would have loved to start on book one (or four, depending on how you count it), I must say, Isles did a great job making the Bone Tree stand in its own. There was just enough recap that I wasn’t lost reading the book, and his research and detail are very clear in his writing.

What I liked was that Isles keeps the action moving, making it a fast read, and an interesting one too. And the twists and turns aren’t as obvious as they might seem, at first.

So, now that I know the middle of the story, I’m going back to read the beginning, though part of me says I should just read the end first, then the beginning…

Starting the new year

Last week, I challenged myself to write each day for the week.

I didn’t quite make every day, but I made at least four, and I’ll take it (especially since I got a little busy with life).

I didn’t write a lot each day, but I finished one chapter and began a new one. Most days, I just wrote on my phone, not very condusive to writing at length, so in the coming weeks, I’ll make a point to actually write on my computer.

But it does feel good to be writing semi-consistently, which makes me determined to keep with it through the beginning of this year. This coming week will be a bigger challenge, with more busyness this week, but if I can squeeze in a few sentences here and there each day, it’ll be a continuation of my good start.

For me, this is about taking back time to do something I love, and pursue goals. And for where I’m at in life right now, any goal I can pursue is something worth chasing.