TUPELO – After a forced delay, Natchez novelist Greg Iles is back with a new book, “Natchez Burning.”
The New York Times best-selling author was involved in a near-fatal car accident in 2011 and lost a portion of his right leg.
Over the past three years, he’s adapted to a new prosthetic leg, and returned to writing, as well as touring.
He’ll stop by Reed’s Gum Tree Bookstore from noon to 2 p.m. on Thursday for a signing.
“Now it’s time for my American readers to get their hands on this book. It’s been way too long a wait,” Iles wrote on his website, www.gregiles.com.
“Natchez Burning” is the fourth Penn Cage novel. Cage is a fictitious character loosely based on Iles’ own father, who was an Adams County doctor.
For the first time in 21 years of writing, Iles gets personal with racial agony in “Natchez Burning.” Across the Mighty Mississippi overin the Louisiana Delta, there was a brutal Ku Klux Klan offshoot that terrorized blacks in the 1960s, and the Natchezian brings some of those atrocities to light.
“I’ve always avoided using the Klan in my books, because I felt like it was sort of a cheap way to get drama. But this is very much based on fact. And that’s what’s drawn so much attention,” Iles told the Oxford Citizen’s Jon Rawl.
Author Ken Follett dubbed “Natchez Burning” the “best thriller for years.”
According to The Wall Street Journal, “Iles captures both the good guys (‘a sense of dread perched like a crow on his shoulder’) and the bad (‘his eyes shone with menace, like the glow of a tire fire in a dump, which could burn for fifteen years’). He delivers a whopping tale, filled with enough cliff-hanging crises for an old summer-long movie-serial.”