He was born in
in 1960. His father was in charge of the U.S. Embassy Medical Clinic. The family returned to the Stuttgart, Germany and he grew up in United States . Natchez, Mississippi
He graduated from the
in 1983 with a degree in English. Iles and John Grisham were both at Ole Miss at the same time. Grisham graduated in law in 1981. University of Mississippi
He was a musician before he was a writer. After getting married (his wife is a dentist) he decided to turn to writing. It was a year where he spent 50 of 52 weeks on the road. On his website he discusses the start of his writing career:
When the band finally imploded, I was in
at on New Year’s Eve, standing at a phone booth in 28-degree weather. I was 30 years old, my wife was in school, and I had $9,000 to my name. I drove home to Mobile Alabama , shut myself in our apartment, surrounded myself with library books and started working 18 hours a day. Literally. I gave myself one year to write and sell a novel…… I used my best buddy and fellow thriller fan as a sounding board …… When I was finished, I had a manuscript 241,000 words long, almost three times the length of an average thriller today. I was consciously trying to write a bestseller at the time, using as my models Jack Higgins, Fredrick Forsyth, and Hans Hellmut Kirst. I owe a great deal to the agent who agreed to represent me then, Natasha Kern, of New Orleans . Natasha organized an auction, and after a couple of nail-biting months, I had a 2-book deal with Dutton books worth $125,000— five times my annual income at the time. Portland, Oregon
His first book featured the Nazi, Rudolph Hess, in Spandau Phoenix. I believe I read the book but it is too long ago to remember details.
Since that time he has steadily turned out books. He has 13 books and is working on a Penn Cage book due for publication this year.
He was in a bad car accident in 2011 and lost part of his right leg. He has recovered and is back writing.
Iles is in a literary band, The Rock Bottom Remainders, with Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson, Stephen King, Scott Turow, Amy Tan, Mitch Albom, Roy Blount Jr., Matt Groening and James McBride.
I have read several of his books but not yet posted any reviews. Of writers I have read in the last 15 years I am probably most ambivalent about Iles.
I liked The Quiet Game with Penn Cage in
I found Mortal Fear with a serial killer stalking victims over the internet an interesting thesis but not his best book.
Blood Memory was alright but my reading was affected because I do not believe in the reliability of recovered memories from personal experiences in court cases.
Turning Angel with Penn Cage I thought was skilfully done but the body count was high for me.
Third Degree was a thriller that had me race through the final 150 pages.
Out of the 5 books – 2 I liked a lot, 2 I would not recommend and 1 was alright. I think I would have to find favourable reviews I consider reliable before I would return to Iles.