...an immense, brooding crime novel rooted in the tragic racial history of the American South ... surely one of the longest, most successfully sustained works of popular fiction in recent memory. Make no mistake, these three volumes constitute a single story, a vast, intimate epic that must be read in sequence and in full. And if the prospect of committing to a narrative spanning 2,300 pages seems daunting, prepare to be surprised ... Few novelists have conveyed so viscerally the incomprehensible cruelty to which victims of white supremacists were subjected for so long. Few have so convincingly explored the atavistic impulses that underlie racial violence ... the capstone to what could legitimately be called a magnum opus.
Mississippi Blood is the breathtaking ending to an expertly crafted trilogy. In this final edition, author Greg Iles masterfully illuminates the brutal history of the American South in a fictional setting of page-turning suspense. Well-written and a must read.
Those considering Mississippi Blood may wonder if it will be understandable without having read the two previous novels. The answer is a great big yes, although anyone who has time should start at the beginning ... Although an emotional courtroom drama, there is plenty of action in Mississippi Blood. Mr. Iles drives his story forward with sturdy sentences but stops often to indulge in purely beautiful writing.
...compelling, dark, surprising, and morally ambiguous ... With these three novels, Iles has told an epic story that rips apart the modern history of Mississippi (he lives in Natchez himself), exposing a secret underbelly that, while fictional, feels real enough to have actually happened. This trilogy is destined to become a classic of literary crime fiction.
...part fast-paced crime thriller and part tense-but-tedious courtroom drama ... Mississippi Blood is a thick book running several hundred pages. But Iles draws his characters so well, and brings off scenes so deftly, that it is only on occasion that the story seems to drag ... Iles can write beautifully, and his subject matter is far more serious than the run-of-the-mill mystery or crime thriller.
Iles mostly sticks to the format of the hard-boiled procedural, though there’s some nicely wrought courtroom drama here, too, with a none-too-subtle dig at a fellow Southern mysterian. Speedboats, bullets, and floods of the red stuff fly and flow, wrapping up to a clean conclusion—though with the slightest hint of an out, in case Iles decides to stretch the trilogy into another book or two. Faulkner meets John D. MacDonald, and that’s all to the good. A boisterous, spills-and-chills entertainment from start to finish.
The Natchez trilogy is a sprawling plunge into some of the worst crimes of the civil rights era, pulling the murder and rape and torture of black Americans out of oblivion and into the light. Over the course of three long novels, the author exacts a kind of Django Unchained retribution on his fictional villains while also offering an uneasy redemption for the heroes, black and white, of the series ... Mississippi Blood brings the exploration of that evil, and white middle-class complicity, to a sobering conclusion.