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Friday, March 1, 2013

Book Review: Three Graves Full by Jamie Mason

Being a librarian has a few perks; one of which is access to advanced copies of books.  We get several boxes a month here at the library and there is a big bookcase that is full of advanced books that any staff member can borrow and read.  I am also a member of NetGalley, a service for those in the library and publishing fields where one can request electronic copies of books before they are published.  I was lucky enough to get my hands on both this novel and  Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys via NetGalley.

Book Type: Fiction, mystery

Predictability Factor: Meh.  Not predictable exactly...

Cover Art: Spooky tree.  Oooooooo!

Bed/Bride/Bludgeon: This is going to be hard! I guess Bayard, Ford, Harris/Jason

Character Score: 3 out of 10 Mr. Micawbers

What's the Story?: Guy kills someone and buries the body in the backyard.  He's totally freaking out when the cops unearth two different bodies beside his house.  How long does he have before the cops find out there is a third secret on his property?

Predictability Factor: I will state for the record that I am not generally a reader of mysteries.  But the concept of this book, a man living in perpetual fear that the authorities will discover the results of being pushed to the edge of reason only to have them discover the bodies of two people he didn't murder, was a good one.  Good enough that I went out and got an advanced readers copy and started reading.  I won't say that this book was predictable in any specific way, but other than the rather original plot concept, it didn't wow me.  Again, not a big reader in this genre so maybe I was missing something that is essential to all mystery stories.

Cover Art: This cover makes me think of fall and Halloween.  I love Halloween!  It does in fact fit the story since Jason is constantly obsessing over his backyard where he buried Harris' body.  There's also a crazy, practically blind journey through a wooded area towards the end of the book. 

Bed/Bride/Bludgeon: Ok.  Seriously don't want to have sex with any characters in this book.  Like, none.  But for the sake of this portion of the review I chose Detective Bayard since he didn't seem like a total wimp or a bastard.  So congrats (?) Bayard.  Ford is lovable in a bumbling/teddy bear sort of way.  Sounds like a safe marriage prospect.  And I want to kill Jason for being a spineless git and Harris because he's just an evil manipulator. 

Character Score: Mightily unimpressed with the characters in this novel.  Sorry.  Probably due to the fact that our main character (Jason) has all of the personality of a wet dish rag. 

What's the Story?: Jason Getty is your average Joe.  Quiet, slightly boring and divorced, Jason has always kept to himself.  One evening, Jason is pushed to the brink of his sanity and the resulting action ends in murder.  Panicked, Jason buries his victim at the back edge of his property and spends the next year or so living on pins and needles.  Jason finally realizes that it's time to rejoin society and begins by having a lawn care business come and take care of the lawn that he's been too scared to mow.  While finishing the job, one of the gardeners finds a dead body in the flowerbed next to the house.  The police are called and a time clock is started leaving Jason to decide what his next move should be.

Jason decides to play it cool; thinking that if he bolts, he'll surely be caught and forced to take the fall for not one, but two murders.  While the police are investigating, they unearth a second body near the first.  Needless to say, this does nothing to calm Jason's nerves.  While it begins to appear that at least one of the bodies belonged to the wife of the home's former owner, a new twist appears in the form of a years-old missing persons case. 

Leah Tamblin has always been haunted by the disappearance of her fiance Reid.  Plagued by her true feelings for the man that she was with for more than a decade, Leah decides to visit the house where the police found his remains.  If for no other reason than to give herself closure for the fact that he was no-good cheater even in the few weeks leading up to their wedding.  Unfortunately for Leah, she decides to visit Jason Getty's property on the night when he has decided to do something about the third corpse.  A variety of bizarre events converge so that Jason and Leah are on the run to catch the man who murdered the first two victims.  Will Jason get away with murder? Or will he be forced to take the blame for all three bodies?

This wasn't my favorite book. If I were going to read a mystery, I'd rather read something like the Mistress of the Art of Death books by Ariana Franklin.  But then again, those books take place in medieval England and have a female doctor protagonist in a time and place when female physicians weren't allowed trying to pretend she's not a doctor so that she can solve crimes.  So perhaps Three Graves Full was never meant to be an enjoyable novel for me since it's not historical fiction.  Who knows.  Try it out if you are a lover of mysteries. 


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