What order should I read Greg's books in?
Readers often write in to ask this question. Greg broke the formula adhered to by most novelists when he began to write in a variety of genres. Surprisingly, most of his books have found a place on the bestseller list. We asked him to give us some guidance on what to read first. Unsurprisingly, his answer was complicated:
"I never intended to write a series. But Penn and Tom Cage kept whispering stories in my ear, and after straying a bit between each one, I kept going back to them. But some of my best novels are the standalones, which is the way I feel about John D. MacDonald. Travis McGee is great, but the one-offs, like "Dead Low Tide" or "The Executioners"--the novel that became "Cape Fear"--are also outstanding.
"If you want to start with Penn Cage, you can begin with "Natchez Burning" and simply read the trilogy. With all humility, the "Natchez Burning" trilogy is certainly my magnum opus. But to really understand that universe, you should begin with "The Quiet Game." And don't skip "The Death Factory," the short novella between "The Devil's Punchbowl" and "Natchez Burning." It contains important information and continuity. But as I said, some of my standalones actually beat some of the Penn books. The list below will give you some sense of how my little world of novels breaks down into smaller neighborhoods. If you click on each jacket, you can try the first paragraph or page of each. No spoilers!"
The Penn Cage Novels
Umm... BLACK CROSS may be my best book...
#1: The Quiet Game
#2: Turning Angel
#3: The Devil's Punchbowl
3.5: The Death Factory (novella)
#4: Natchez Burning
#5: The Bone Tree
#6: Mississippi Blood
#7 A Private Hell (in progress)