Tuesday, August 6, 2002

The Quiet Game

If you’re looking for the ideal summer thriller, find a copy of The Quiet Game by Greg Iles. I don’t quite know how I have missed this author until now, but I’m glad I found him. I have read several of his books now – Spandau Phoenix, Black Cross and Dead Sleep - and have found him to be a first-rate storyteller with an eye for detail. (And I’m not done with The Quiet Game yet – so no spoilers!)

The Quiet Game goes beyond your average thriller and gives you a complete immersion in Southern culture, long-simmering tensions, and plot twists that will snap your neck. What’s probably most impressive about Iles is that his style varies from book to book – Spandau Phoenix and Black Cross can stand on their own as historical thrillers set primarily in WWII, while Dead Sleep and The Quiet Game are more squarely in the whodunnit/legal thriller genre. A high compliment to him is that there isn’t an “Iles” formula – so that even though he’s been mentioned in the same breath as Grisham (another Mississippi native author), his writings really distinguish themselves from each other.

While some authors (David Baldacci comes to mind) seem to churn out repetitive plots and others (um, Tom Clancy?) can’t separate their political agenda from their plots, Iles is the real deal. He’ll keep you entertained and tell an honest-to- goodness story. I haven’t enjoyed a book like The Quiet Game in years.

Even better news – he just came out with a new book last month – Sleep no More, which sounds different again from his other works. And the movie based on his book “ 24 Hours“ (to be released as “Trapped“) is coming out next month.

I may be the only one who hasn’t heard of Iles, but it’s clear we’ll be hearing a lot more about him. (He has fun to boot: he’s a member of Rock Bottom Remainders…)

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