Southern Man: A Novel (Penn Cage #7) (Hardcover)
The hugely anticipated new Penn Cage novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Natchez Burning trilogy and Cemetery Road, about a man—and a town—rocked by anarchy and tragedy, but unbowed in the fight to save those they love
Fifteen years after the events of the Natchez Burning trilogy, Penn Cage is alone. Nearly all his loved ones are dead, his old allies gone, and he carries a mortal secret that separates him from the world. But Penn’s exile comes to an end when a brawl at a Mississippi rap festival triggers a bloody mass shooting—one that nearly takes the life of his daughter Annie.
As the stunned cities of Natchez and Bienville reel, antebellum plantation homes continue to burn and the deadly attacks are claimed by a Black radical group as historic acts of justice. Panic sweeps through the tourist communities, driving them inexorably toward a race war.
But what might have been only a regional sideshow of the 2024 Presidential election explodes into national prominence, thanks to the stunning ascent of Robert E. Lee White, a Southern war hero who seizes the public imagination as a third-party candidate. Dubbed “the Tik-Tok Man,” and funded by an eccentric Mississippi billionaire, Bobby White rides the glory of his Special Forces record to an unprecedented run at the White House—one unseen since the campaign of H. Ross Perot.
To triumph over the national party machines, Bobby evolves a plan of unimaginable daring. One fateful autumn weekend, with White set to declare his candidacy in all fifty states, the forces polarizing America line up against one another: Black vs. white, states vs. the federal government, democracy vs. Fascism. Teaming with his fearless daughter (now a civil rights lawyer) and a former Black Panther who spent most of his life in Parchman Prison, Penn tears into Bobby White’s pursuit of the Presidency and ultimately risks a second Civil War to try to expose its motivation to the world, before the America of our Constitution slides into the abyss.
In Southern Man, Greg Iles returns to the riveting style and historic depth that made the Natchez Burning trilogy a searing masterpiece and hurls the narrative fifteen years forward into our current moment—where America itself teeters on the brink of anarchy.
Greg Iles has spent most of his life in Natchez, Mississippi. His first novel, Spandau Phoenix, was the first of many New York Times bestsellers. His Natchez Burning trilogy continued the story of Penn Cage, the protagonist of The Quiet Game, Turning Angel, and #1 New York Times bestseller The Devil’s Punchbowl. Iles’s novels have been made into films and published in more than thirty-five countries. He is a member of the lit-rock group The Rock Bottom Remainders, lives in Natchez with his wife, and his three children.
“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 on Cemetery Road
“Pure reading pleasure. This guy knows the deep south as well or better than any other novelist.” — Stephen King on Cemetery Road
“Iles… 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… They will be talking about this one for a quite a while.” — Booklist (starred review) on Cemetery Road
“A sweeping tale of family dysfunction [and] sexually charged secrets.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Cemetery Road
“It is impossible to turn away. It’s like binge-watching your favorite TV drama, and you don’t dare take your eyes off the screen for fear of missing out on another revelation. Cemetery Road is full of them.” — Bookreporter.com
“Imagine William Faulkner and Stieg Larsson had a love child. Natchez Burning combines the pace of Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo with a Faulkneresque, bone-deep knowledge of Mississippi in all its beauty and racial torment.” — AARP Magazine
“Every single page of Natchez Burning is a cliffhanger that will keep you devouring just one more chapter before you put it down to eat, work, or go to bed.... This ambitious, unique novel is the perfect marriage of a history lesson and a thriller.” — Jodi Picoult
“Iles carries it off with style, intelligence and passion...The Bone Tree is filled with menace, betrayal, [and] unexpected plot twists. . . [and] is a very American epic-in-progress that leaves us waiting, none too patiently, for whatever revelations are still to come.” — Washington Post
“Extraordinary. . . . ‘Great Expectations’ transplanted to an American South laced with comparably gothic overtones. . . . The Bone Tree establishes Iles as this generation’s William Faulkner.” — Providence Journal
“Absolutely compelling.… A beautifully constructed story [and] some extremely fine writing.” — Booklist (starred review) on The Bone Tree