Iles says he feels like a great weight has been lifted
from his shoulders.
Blood," the final book in his ambitious
"Natchez Burning" trilogy, is now out.
not a moment too soon," the best-selling author
says. "When I began this trilogy, I still had both
legs and I felt young. Eight years later, I’ve written
a 2,000-page epic and I feel the beginnings of being
old. A work like this takes a lot out of you."
that comment, some backstory is in order.
2011, Iles was badly injured in an automobile accident.
doctors initially didn’t believe he would survive. He
spent eight days in a medically induced coma and he lost
his right leg below the knee.
when Iles took stock of what he had gone through, he
decided to go even deeper with a story about family,
race, prejudice and secrets — a story that began with
"Natchez Burning." Iles hadn’t envisioned
the book being a stand-alone thriller, but he wasn’t
sure what to do next.
wanted to bring to life the most troubling realities of
the 1960s in the South as they really happened, in all
their complexity, and not tainted or simplified by the
subjective distortions of one faction or another,"
the character of Penn Cage, a mayor and former
prosecutor searching for truth about a woman’s murder
and about his father’s possible guilt, Iles was able
to address these and other issues.
than 1.1 million copies of "Natchez Burning"
(2014) and "The Bone Tree" (the 2015
follow-up) are in print. So it stands to reason that
"Mississippi Blood," which is highlighted by
an explosive courtroom trial, will make some noise as
Pictures TV is developing a cable series based on the
books, with producers Tobey Maguire and David Hudgins (a
Dallas native) and director John Lee Hancock ("The
Blind Side") attached.
the meantime, Iles is working on his next novel —
"a much shorter one!"