Thursday 26 June 2014

Natchez Burning by Greg Iles

This is certainly a book of epic proportions. It is roughly double the length of a normal novel. The story reaches far back into the past and takes the reader on a long path towards the truth. The tragic events of the past cast their wicked tendrils far into the present.

Even now after all these years many murders and disappearances related to the civil rights movements during the 60′s, remain cold cases.Close knit communities are still reluctant to point the finger at bigots and racists, who committed heinous crimes to prevent equality between different races.

A fictional tale based on historical facts and events, it is often a read that might upset or anger, which is only understandable considering the content. I think you can actually feel Iles frustration at the apathy directed towards solving these crimes and the level of corruption at that point in time.

Even now it seems as if many people just don’t want to muddy the already really dirty waters. Who knows how many bodies are still buried or how many people are still alive and able to reveal the fates and resting places of the remaining victims?

I think in a way the length of the novel subconsciously represents the time span between crimes and culmination of the events resulting from those crimes. This isn’t just a crime story for the author, this is making readers remember an incredibly difficult passage in history.
I received a copy of this book courtesy of William Morrow via Edelweiss.

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