Cemetery Road
by Iles, Greg

His father's terminal illness, his family's struggling newspaper and a politically charged murder trial force a Washington journalist to return to his small Mississippi hometown. By the #1 New York Times best-selling author of Mississippi Blood. 400,000 first printing.

*Starred 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. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Bad things are astir on the banks of the Big Muddy, hallmark territory for homeboy Iles (Mississippi Blood, 2017, etc.). "Buck's passing seems a natural place to begin this story, because that's the way these things generally start." Yep. This particular bit of mischief starts when a Scoutmaster, surrogate father, and all-around good guy gets his head bashed in and his body dumped into the Mississippi. And why? That's the tangled tale that Iles weaves in this overlong but engaging yarn. Thanks to the back-room dealing of a bunch called the Poker Club, the little river-bluff city of Bienville has brought a Chinese paper pulp mill to town and, with it, a new interstate connection and a billion dollars—which, a perp growls, is a billion dollars "in Mississippi. That's like ten billion in the real world." But stalwart journalist Marshall McEwan—that's McEwan, not McLuhan—is on the case, back in town after attaining fame in the big city, to which he'd escaped fro m the shadow of his journalist hero father, now a moribund alcoholic but with plenty of fire left. Marshall's old pals and neighbors have been up to no good; the most powerful of them are in the club, including an old girlfriend named Jet, who is quick to unveil her tucked-away parts to Marshall and whose love affairs in the small town are the makings of a positively Faulknerian epic. Iles' story is more workaday than all that and often by the numbers: The bad guys are really bad, the molls inviting ("she steals her kiss, a quick, urgent probing of the tongue that makes clear she wants more"), the politicians spectacularly corrupt, the cluelessly cuckolded—well, clueless and cuckolded, though not without resources for revenge. As Marshall teases out the story of murder most foul, other bodies litter the stage—fortunately not his, which, the club members make it plain, is very much an option. In the end, everyone gets just deserts, though with a few postmodernly i r onic twists. Formulaic but fun. Copyright Kirkus 2019 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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