Review of The Quiet Game by Greg Iles

Greg Iles is an enjoyable writer, who has three series and several stand alones to his credit. The first book I read of his was a stand alone called 24 Hours , and I marked it as OK. I vaguely recall having an issue with the credibility of the main characters, but was impressed enough to try him again.

The Quiet Game delivers authentic insight into race relations in the South. The writing is good and engaging, as is the plot. Penn goes home to his parents in Natchez to recoup from the death of his wife seven months previously. He is a Houston attorney turned author with a four-year-old daughter. We see his hometown and early life through his memories and people he knows.

Natchez is a reminder of what could have been a different life with a different woman. Penn becomes engrossed in his past, when a woman asks him to investigate the 1968 killing of her husband, a black man involved in the civil rights movement. All evidence converges on a man that Penn has hated for the near destruction of his father and the end of his high school romance. The city of Natchez is full of secrets that lie beyond discussion. Thus, we have The Quiet Game.

I feel that the author is a little too focused on being popular and capturing not only the thriller market, but on attracting romance readers as well. And it is the romance part that falls short of reality, especially with his female characters. Can an intelligent, ambitious, shoot-from-the-hip female reporter also be a seductress? Maybe, or maybe that is the author's ideal? I find it shy of plausibility as presented. The tells are subtle, but, as I have been told, trying to be all things to all people often ends up disappointing everyone.

Keeping in mind that both 24 Hours and The Quiet Game came out early in his book-writing career, I do recommend Greg Iles, and I don't plan on letting another eight years go by before I read another of his books.