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9781410410580

The Devil's Punchbowl (Thorndike Core)

Iles, Greg

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As a prosecutor in Houston, Penn Cage sent killers to death row. But as mayor of his hometown – Natchez, Mississippi – Penn will face his most dangerous threat. Urged by old friends to try to restore this fading jewel of the Old South, Penn has ridden into office on a tide of support for change. But in its quest for new jobs and fresh money, Natchez has turned to casino gambling, and now five steamboats float on the river beside the old slave market, like props from Gone With the Wind. But one boat isn’t like the others. Rumor has it that the Magnolia Queen has found a way to pull the big players from Las Vegas to its Mississippi backwater. And with them – on sleek private jets that slip in and out of town like whispers in the night – come pro football players, rap stars, and international gamblers, all sharing an unquenchable taste for one thing: blood sport – and the dark vices that go with it. When a childhood friend of Penn’s who brings him evidence of these crimes is brutally murdered, he begins a quest to find the men responsible. But the local authorities have been corrupted by the money and power of his hidden enemy and, with his family’s lives at stake, Penn realizes his only allies are those bound to him by blood or honor. Together they must defeat a killer who has an almost preternatural ability to anticipate – and counter – their every move. Ultimately, victory will depend on a bold stroke that will leave one of Penn’s allies dead – and Natchez changed forever.

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A new day has dawned…but the darkest evils live forever in the murky depths of a Southern town.

Penn Cage was elected mayor of Natchez, Mississippi?the hometown he returned to after the death of his wife?on a tide of support for change. Two years into his term, casino gambling has proved a sure bet for bringing new jobs and fresh money to this fading jewel of the Old South. But deep inside the Magnolia Queen, a fantastical repurposed steamboat, a depraved hidden world draws high-stakes players with money to burn on their unquenchable taste for blood sport and the dark vices that go with it. When an old high school friend hands him blood-chilling evidence, Penn alone must beat the odds tracking a sophisticated killer who counters his every move, placing those nearest to him?including his young daughter, his renowned physician father, and a lover from the past?in grave danger, and all at the risk of jeopardizing forever the town he loves.

With his gift for crafting “a keep-you-engaged-to-the-very-last-page thriller” (USA Today) at full throttle, Greg Iles brings back Penn Cage, the sharply honed, unforgettable hero from his most popular novels, in this electrifying suspense masterpiece.

About the Author:

Greg Iles was born in 1960 in Germany. He founded the band Frankly Scarlet, plays guitar for the Rock Bottom Remainders, and is the New York Times bestselling author of nine novels, including Blood Memory and 24 Hours. He lives in Natchez, Mississippi.

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