All of the books!
Who is Greg Iles?
After being the guitarist, singer, and songwriter in the band Frankly Scarlet, Greg Iles started to explore a new direction, becoming a writer. He published his first book, a thriller, in 1993.
Living in Natchez, Mississippi, he set the action of this crime series named after his main protagonist Penn Cage there. Cage is popular, but unlike other authors, Iles didn’t dedicate himself to only one character. He wrote a lot of standalone novels (mostly set in Mississippi) and even work on the movie adaptation of one of them (24 Hours became Trapped with Charlize Theron).
Greg Iles Books in Order
I. Penn Cage Books in Order:
After a personal tragedy, former Houston prosecutor Penn Cage decided to go back to his childhood home of Natchez. There he starts working on a murder case as he reconnects with old acquaintances. As he continues to fight crime, he also plays a bigger part in the life of his city.
For more information about the Penn Cage series, go to the dedicated page.
- The Quiet Game (1999) – Natchez, Mississippi. Jewel of the South. City of old money and older sins. And childhood home of Houston prosecutor Penn Cage. In the aftermath of a personal tragedy, this is where Penn has returned for solitude. This is where he hopes to find peace. What he discovers instead is his own family trapped in a mystery buried for thirty years but never forgotten—the town’s darkest secret, now set to trap and destroy Penn as well.
- Turning Angel (2005) – When the nude body of prep school student Kate Townsend is found near the Mississippi River, Penn Cage’s best friend, Drew Elliott, is desperate for his counsel. An esteemed family physician, Drew makes a shocking confession that could put him on death row. Penn will do all he can to exonerate Drew, but in a town where the gaze of a landmark cemetery statue—the Turning Angel—never looks away, Penn finds himself caught on the jagged edge of blackmail, betrayal, and deadly violence.
- The Devil’s Punchbowl (2009) – In its quest for new jobs and fresh money, the town of Natchez has turned to gambling. Five fantastical steamboats float on the river, but one boat isn’t like the others. Rumour has it that the Magnolia Queen has found a way to pull in the big players. And with them comes an unquenchable taste for blood sport, and the dark vices that go with it. When a childhood friend of Penn Cage’s, who brings him evidence of the sickening crimes, is murdered, he begins a dangerous quest to find those responsible.
- The Death Factory (2014) – Novella. When a heart attack sends Penn’s father, Tom Cage, to the ER, Tom begs that his son be brought to his side to hear a dying declaration. But when Penn arrives, Tom denies ever making the request – keeping his secrets for another day. The emergency hurls Penn back to a chilling case in Houston, where he worked in a DA’s office known as the “death factory”, which sent more killers to death row than any other in America.
- Natchez Burning (2014) – Raised in the southern splendor of Natchez, Mississippi, Penn Cage learned all he knows of duty from his father, Dr. Tom Cage. But now the beloved family doctor has been accused of murdering the African American nurse with whom he worked in the dark days of the 1960s. Once a crusading prosecutor, Penn is determined to save his father, but Tom, stubbornly invoking doctor-patient privilege, refuses even to speak in his own defense.
- The Bone Tree (2015) – Former prosecutor Penn Cage and his fiancee, reporter, and publisher Caitlin Masters, have barely escaped with their lives after being attacked by wealthy businessman Brody Royal and his Double Eagles, a KKK sect with ties to some of Mississippi’s most powerful men. But the real danger has only begun as FBI Special Agent John Kaiser warns Penn that Brody isn’t the true leader of the Double Eagles. The puppeteer who actually controls the terrorist group is a man far more fearsome: the chief of the state police’s Criminal Investigations Bureau, Forrest Knox.
- Mississippi Blood (2017) – Shattered by grief and dreaming of vengeance, Penn Cage sees his family and his world collapsing around him. The woman he loves is gone, his principles have been irrevocably compromised, and his father, once a paragon of the community that Penn leads as mayor, is about to be tried for the murder of a former lover. Most terrifying of all, Dr. Cage seems bent on self-destruction. Despite Penn’s experience as a prosecutor in major murder trials, his father has frozen him out of the trial preparations – preferring to risk dying in prison to revealing the truth of the crime to his son.
- A Southern Man (2022) – Fifteen years after the events of the Natchez Burning trilogy, Penn Cage is alone. Nearly all his loved ones are dead, and his old allies gone. Pursued by enemies and demoralized by a divided community, he’s found sanctuary on a former cotton plantation above the Mississippi River. But Penn’s self-imposed exile comes to an abrupt end when a brawl at a Bienville rap concert triggers a shooting—one that nearly takes the life of his daughter Annie.
II. Other novels by Greg Iles
- Spandau Phoenix (1993) – The Spandau Diary—what was in it? Why did the secret intelligence agencies of every major power want it? Why was a brave and beautiful woman kidnapped and sexually tormented to get it? Why did a chain of deception and violent death lash out across the globe, from survivors of the Nazi past to warriors in the new conflict now about to explode? Why did the world’s entire history of World War II have to be rewritten as the future hung over a nightmare abyss?
- Black Cross (1995) – It is January 1944—and as Allied troops prepare for D-Day, Nazi scientists develop a toxic nerve gas that will repel and wipe out any invasion force. To salvage the planned assault, two vastly different but equally determined men are sent to infiltrate the secret concentration camp where the poison gas is being perfected on human subjects. Their only objective: destroy all traces of the gas and the men who created it—no matter how many lives may be lost…including their own.
- Mortal Fear (1997) – By day, Harper Cole trades commodities from his isolated home in the Mississippi Delta. By night he leads quite a different life, serving as a systems operator for an exclusive, annonymous erotic online service that caters to the rich and famous. But now a stranger has penetrated the network’s state-of-the-art security, brutally murdering six celebrated female clients. Falsely accused of these horrible crimes, Harper realizes there’s only one way to lure the elusive madman offline and into the open. But as he enacts his daring plan, Harper will put everything and everyone he holds dear directly in the path of a brilliant, unstoppable killer…
- 24 Hours (2000) – Will Jennings is a successful young doctor in Jackson, Mississippi, with a thriving practice, a beautiful wife, and a five-year-old daughter he loves beyond measure. But Will and his family are being watched by a con man and psychopath who may be a genius. A man who has never been caught and whose victims have never talked to the police. A man whose life’s work strikes at the heart of every family’s unspoken fear: the unstoppable kidnapping. But this time he’s picked the wrong family to terrorize. Because Will and Karen Jennings are going to fight back…
- Dead Sleep (2001) – They are called “The Sleeping Women.” A series of unsettling paintings in which the nude female subjects appear to be not asleep, but dead. Photojournalist Jordan Glass has another reason to find the paintings disturbing…The face on one of the nudes is her own—or perhaps the face of her twin sister, who disappeared and is still missing. At the urging of the FBI, Jordan becomes both hunter and hunted in a search for the anonymous artist—an obsessed killer who seems to know more about Jordan and her family than she is prepared to face…
- Sleep No More (2002) – feat. Penn Cage. John Waters is a successful businessman and a happy family man—but his life comes crashing down around him with one word from a beautiful stranger: “Soon.” Suddenly, he is face to face with a memory from his past—of an obsession that he thought he had escaped. One that now plunges him into the darkest side of love and passion…
- The Footprints of God (2003) (also titled Dark Matter) – Trinity. The government’s top-secret supercomputer is an intelligence beyond comprehension—and a nightmare beyond humanity’s worst fears. At the heart of a maelstrom of limitless science and ruthless ambition, Dr. David Tennant, Project Trinity’s ethicist, harbors a lethal secret: he knows who murdered a fellow scientist. Fleeing for his life alongside psychiatrist Rachel Weiss, the only hope for survival lies in revealing the shocking connection between Trinity’s apocalyptic power and David’s tortured mind. Mankind’s future hangs in the balance—and the price of failure is extinction.
- Blood Memory (2005) – Forensic expert “Cat” Ferry is suspended from an FBI task force when the world-class odontologist is inexplicably stricken with panic attacks and blackouts while investigating a chain of brutal murders. Returning to her Mississippi hometown, Cat finds herself battling with alcohol, plagued by nightmares, and entangled with a married detective. Then, in her childhood bedroom, some spilled chemicals reveal two bloody footprints…and the trauma of her father’s murder years earlier comes flooding back. Facing the secrets of her past, Cat races to connect them to a killer’s present-day violence. But what emerges is the frightening possibility that Cat herself has blood on her hands…
- True Evil (2006) – feat. Penn Cage. Dr. Chris Shepard has never seen his new patient before. But the attractive young woman with the scarred face knows him all too well. An FBI agent working undercover, Alex Morse has come to Dr. Shepard’s office in Natchez, Mississippi, to unmask a killer. A local divorce attorney has a cluster of clients whose spouses have all died under mysterious circumstances. Agent Morse’s own brother-in-law was one of those clients, and now her beloved sister is dead. Then comes Morse’s bombshell: Dr. Shepard’s own beautiful wife consulted this lawyer one week ago, a visit Shepard knew nothing about. Will he help Alex Morse catch a killer? Or is he the next one to fall victim to a deadly trap of sex, lies, and murder?
- Third Degree (2007) – In the span of twenty-four hours, everything Laurel Shields believes about her life and her marriage to a prominent doctor will be shattered—if she survives a terrifying ordeal. The day begins with the jarring discovery that, soon after ending an affair, Laurel is pregnant. But when she returns home to find her husband ashen, unkempt, and on the brink of violence, a nightmare quickly unfolds. In the heart of an idyllic Mississippi town, behind the walls of her perfect house, Laurel is locked in a volatile standoff with a husband she barely recognizes. Confronted by evidence of her betrayal, she must tread a deadly path between truth and deception while a ring of armed police prepares a dangerous rescue.
- Cemetery Road (2019) – Marshall McEwan is one of the most successful journalists in Washington, D.C. But as he sees more and more acclaim in print and on television, Marshall discovers that his father is terminally ill, and he must go back to his childhood home—a place he vowed he would never return. Bienville, Mississippi, is no longer the city Marshall remembers. His family’s 150-year-old newspaper is failing, and Jet, the love of his youth, has married into the family of Max Matheson, one of a dozen powerful patriarchs who rule the town through the exclusive Bienville Poker Club. To Marshall’s surprise, the Poker Club has offered economic salvation to this community, in the form of a billion-dollar Chinese paper mill. But on the verge of the deal’s consummation, two deaths rock Bienville to its core, threatening far more than the city’s future.
If you like Greg Iles’ books, you may also want to see our John Grisham reading order or our guide to the Lincoln Lawyer series. Don’t hesitate to follow us on Twitter or Facebook to discover more book series.