Friday 13 March 2020

#3/2020 Cemetery Road

I’ve read some novels by Greg Iles before so I quickly felt at ease when I started reading ‘Cemetery Road’. Familiar setting of deep south with its inherent racial and social inequalities is a common theme that he tends to explore. It’s no different here but it’s contrasted with the protagonist, a Pulitzer award winning journalist from Washington, who returns to his hometown, Bienville. Marshall comes back unwillingly to accompany his seriously ill father in his final days. He soon finds that the past catches up with him as he meets his former lover who has married into the Matheson family. They are one of the 12 influential patriarchs who have been pulling the strings in Bienville part of the Infamous Poker Club. The town is about to be changed with a huge investment from the Chinese who plan to build a paper mill there. In these settings, a body of Marshall’s old friend is found close to the building site.

Iles has a knack for creating credible, round characters. In this novel he often reverts to events from distant past, which have formed the protagonists and significantly impacted the relations between them. The plot goes back and forth and the big events that happen along the way do not feel forced but rather carefully planned incidents that connect the past to present.

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