Turning Angel. Finished 1-24-18, rating 3/5, thriller, 644 pages, pub. 2005
Penn Cage books # 2 (1-The Quiet Game)
After winning the most dangerous case of his career, prosecutor Penn Cage decides to remain in his Southern hometown to raise his young daughter in a safe haven. But nowhere is truly safe — not from long-buried secrets, or murder….When the nude body of prep school student Kate Townsend is found near the Mississippi River, Penn’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. from Goodreads
It’s been five years since we met Penn Cage and he’s settled back in his hometown of Natchez, Mississippi with his daughter and his parents. He’s a prosecutor turned best selling author, but when his best friend is accused of murder he must step back into his lawyer role. But his friend, a respected doctor, is accused of having an affair with a 17 year old golden girl and Penn knows innocence will be a hard sell.
Greg Iles knows how to tell a story, but geez, this one felt like he was working through some serious mid- life issues. Penn’s best friend, 40ish, had a wife and small child and decided to embark on a sexual relationship with a 17 year old. He also allowed her to go to notorious drug dealers to score drugs for his wife because she was an addict. Oh, and she was valedictorian, cheerleader, two-sport starter, headed to Harvard in the fall and was into kinky sex with lots of partners, but ‘fell in love’ with Drew with her mother’s consent. Okay. So, after you swallow all of the justifications for sex with a minor BY HER DOCTOR, you must then come to terms with Penn’s high school babysitter being in love with him and he quite liking it. He called her at all hours, at one point sat and scrolled through porn with her at a hotel in the middle of the night. She, of course, came on to him, but he resisted…for a short time at least.
Anywho, the town was full of hot high school girls lusting after respected middle aged men (there were more) and it felt icky, like some sort of sick middle aged fantasy. Iles is a skilled thriller writer and I like Penn and his family but this one did take the shine off a bit. And I’m not even going to get into the drugs and those liberal Yankees.
Now that I’ve got all that off my chest you may wonder how I rated it a 3. Well, Iles is good and I read over 600 pages of a book that make me roll my eyes more than once. I’m just hoping that Penn can come to his senses in the next book.