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The Footprints of God
(August 2003)
Sleep No More
(May 2003)
(August 2002)
Sleep No More
(July 2002)
24 Hours
(July 2001)
24 Hours
(August 2000)
The Quiet Game
(July 2000)
The Quiet Game
(September 1999)
Black Cross
(September 1999)
Spandau Phoenix
(September 1999)
Mortal Fear
(February 1998)
Mortal Fear
(February 1997)

Home:  >Browse Listings   >Authors   >Iles, Greg
Greg Iles
Greg Iles

Greg Iles

Mississippi writer Greg Iles is best known for his thrillers, which have drawn rave reviews from readers, critics, and writers, including Stephen King and John Grisham.

Iles was born at the height of the Cold War in Stuttgart, Germany, where his father ran the U.S. Embassy medical clinic. He graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1983.

He published his first novel, Spandau Phoenix, in 1993. In the rubble of Spandau Prison in Berlin, the diary of Nazi war criminal Rudolph Hess is found, a diary which explains the secret of Hess and threatens to plunge the world into chaos. The novel became a New York Times bestseller.

Black Cross, his second novel, was published in 1995 and like the earlier one is a historical thriller. Set during World War II, it tells the story of a new Nazi weapon that could change the tide of the war in Hitler’s favor, unless a dangerous mission behind enemy lines succeeds. The novel won the Mississippi Author’s Award for Fiction.

With his third novel, Mortal Fear, published in 1997, Iles shifts from historical thrillers to a much more modern device, the Internet. In the novel, Harper Cole is by day a successful commodities trader living quietly in the Mississippi Delta; by night, however, he is the the sys-op of an erotic online service catering to rich and powerful figures who cherish their privacy. When female clients begin to drop off the service, Cole suspects something is wrong, but when one of those clients, a world famous writer, is murdered in New Orleans, he asks the police to check on those women. All of the women, it turns out, had been murdered, and Cole is named as the principal suspect.

As the killer, a brilliant psychopath who alters his modus operandi for each killing, successfully sidesteps every effort by the FBI to catch him, Harper Cole realizes he must draw the killer into the open to prevent his own arrest for the murders. Drawing inspiration from a real-life lover from his past and from a dark, terrible secret he harbors, he goes online to impersonate a potential victim, and in the process endangers everyone he cares about.

In prose that is both articulate and literate, Iles is beguiling and suspenseful in this twisting, turning plot. Of particular interest in the novel is Iles’ surehanded depiction of the online world of “chat” rooms — it affords a tantalizing glimpse into a means of communication, if not a lifestyle, that can be sordid, scintillating, and sinister all at once. While it may be that his villain, Byronic almost to a fault, is somewhat unrealistic and over-the-top, Iles invests a great deal of depth and complexity in the central character of Harper Cole, who, it turns out, bears some resemblance to Iles. Both live in the Mississippi Delta, both are savvy Internet users, and both (as Iles says at his web site) are ex-musicians.

Since then, Iles has published The Quiet Game (1999), 24 Hours (2000), Dead Sleep (2001), and Sleep No More (2003). His next novel, The Footprints of God, is scheduled to be released in the summer of 2003.

Greg Iles lives with his wife and two children in Natchez, Mississippi.

(Article updated June 2003)

Related Links & Info

Spandau Phoenix
Iles’ first novel, Spandau Phoenix (1993), was a New York Times Bestseller.

Black Cross
His second novel, Black Cross (1995), won the Mississippi Author’s Award for Fiction. Click on image to read the first chapter.

Mortal Fear
His most recent novel, Mortal Fear (1997), is set primarily in the Mississippi Delta. Click here to read an excerpt.

Natchez Convention and Visitors Bureau
Go to the Natchez Convention and Visitors Bureau



  • Spandau Phoenix. New York: Dutton, 1993.
  • Black Cross. New York: Dutton, 1995.
  • Mortal Fear. New York: Dutton, 1997.
  • The Quiet Game. New York: Dutton, 1999.
  • 24 Hours. New York: Putnam, 2000.
  • Dead Sleep. New York: Putnam, 2001.
  • Sleep No More. New York: Putnam, 2002.
  • The Footprints of God. New York: Scribner, 2003.

Media Adaptations

Motion Pictures:

  • Trapped. Screenplay by Greg Iles.Based on the novel 24 Hours, by Iles. Dir. Luis Mandoki. Columbia Pictures/Mandolin Entertainment, 2002.


Articles and Book Reviews:

  • Baugh, Alice Jackson. “Bestselling author Greg Iles changes his style, not his pizazz.” Sun Herald Online. 1997.
  • Keith, Don Lee. “Terminal Case: Greg Iles Thrills and Chills with a Tale of Murder on the Net.” New Orleans Times-Picayne (16 February 1997): D7.
  • Keith, Don Lee. “Turning up the Heat: Former New Orleanian Greg Iles on Sex and Violence in Today’s Fiction.” New Orleans Times-Picayne (15 February 1997): E1.
  • Klausner, Harriet. Rev. of Mortal Fear. Ed’s Internet Book Book Review: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense (1997).
  • Larson, Susan. “Great Escape.” Rev. of Spandau Phoenix, by Greg Iles. New Orleans Times-Picayune (9 May 1993): E7.
  • Larson, Susan. “Writing a Thrill a Minute.” New Orleans Times-Picayune (9 May 1993): D1.
  • Stasio, Marily. “Crime.” Rev. of Mortal Fear, et al. The New York Times Book Review (16 February 1997): 28.
  • Wasserman, Julian. “'‘Cross’ Purposes.” Rev. of Black Cross, by Greg Iles. New Orleans Times-Picayune (15 January 1995): E7.

Internet Resources

Personal and Professional web sites:

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