US: Simon & Schuster (6th November 2007); UK: Hachette (12th June 2008)
Note to the publishers: On my copy (UK edition), the back cover says the family’s surname is Fields. It’s not – it’s Shields. Please fix this for future reprints. Thank you.
Greg Iles is a fantastic thriller writer, with complex characterisations, interesting information, and thought-provoking scenarios. Third Degree is no different, and the Mississippi portrayed is one that perpetuates a common Southern stereotype: gun-totin’, trigger-happy citizens. Indeed, it’s the kind of America that we’d like to pretend doesn’t exist.
Dr Warren Shields is usually a cool, calm fellow, popular in the community for not only being a top bloke but an ace doctor too. So it surprises everyone when he completely wigs out, taking his family hostage in a quest for answers that no one can really explain. His wife, Laurel, is desperate to hide the identity of her lover, and lies to Warren again and again. But Warren has secrets of his own, and when they’re revealed have the power to change this entire scenario – and not necessarily for the better.
An engrossing read set in the timeframe of just one day, Third Degree should not disappointment fans, and will hopefully bring in new readers. Greg Iles is one of my favourite authors, and definitely one of the best thriller writers going around.