Cemetery Road ~ by Greg Isles

Oh my,  I like this book.  Yes,  it’s long, actually, at over 600 pages in other editions, it’s too long.  And yes,  it’s twisty and convoluted involving intertwined sub-plots all the way to China.  Finally yes, what with Scott Brick reading it’s over-dramatic even in the slower parts.   (Scott Brick could make a melodrama out of an old phone book.)  So I can’t think of why I enjoyed it except it was a certainly an escape. Think melodramatic-crime.

*******
Cemetery Road
by Greg Isles
2019 /
read by Scott Brick- 23h 43m
rating- A   / crime-thriller
*******

 If you’re familiar with Greg Isles you know that for the last two decades he has written crime novels set in and around Natchez, Mississippi where he grew up.  I personally have a kind of love/meh relationship with Iles’ books.

And these stories usually deal with old rich families and new crimes (mostly murders, of course) with tangled loves strewn throughout.    With Cemetery Road it’s the fictional town of Bienville, just down river and road from Natchez where the renowned journalist, Marshall McEwan, returns from Washington DC to help his mother with his dying father who is also the owner of the local newspaper.

There is an old power-group of the town’s wealthy who have pretty much run the town for decades, the “Poker Club.” Marshall’s girlfriend, Jet, from junior high days is there, married to Paul Matheson, Marshall’s old best buddy from school and their shared military day’s. Max Matheson is the leader of the Club and Paul’s father.

This is a story of fathers and sons and adultery and many more deadly secrets of money and power and love and so on. Sometimes a life is saved, but other times people die in many different ways. Every thread is tied up in a bloody bow.

The tension builds slowly and expertly to new heights then leveling off for awhile only to build again. The problem with this common practice is that Iles is so slow and methodical with it, layering every possible connection into each twisty build.

There are lots of complaints in various reader reviews about the politics involved in the narrative. Even the mention of Trump is peripheral, maybe a tiny part of the setting, but he’s not ignored. Still, even to me, certainly no fan, the negative commentary is kind of extraneous.


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