Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Three Graves Full by Jamie Mason

There is very little peace for a man with a body buried in his backyard.

But it could always be worse...

More than a year ago, mild-mannered Jason Getty killed a man he wished he'd never met. Then he planted the problem a little too close to home. But just as he's learning to live with the undeniable reality of what he's done, police unearth two more bodies on his property - neither of which is the one Jason buried.

Jason races to stay ahead of the consequences of his crime, and while chaos reigns on his lawn, his sanity unravels, snagged on the agendas of a colorful cast of strangers. A jilted woman searches for her lost fiancé, a fringe dweller runs from a past that's quickly gaining on him, and a couple of earnest local detectives piece clues together with the help of a volunteer police dog - all in the shadow of a dead man who had it coming. As the action unfolds, each character discovers that knowing more than one side of the story doesn't necessarily rule out a deadly margin of error.

Jamie Mason's irrepressible debut is a macabre, darkly humorous tale with the thoughtful beauty of a literary novel, the tense pacing of a thriller, and a clever twist of suspense.

I had flagged this as something my husband might like to read. I keep a running list for him, since he reads so quickly - seems like he's always running out of books, and authors to boot. This wasn't blurbed by any of his usual writers, but it sure sounded good. And it was a debut, which meant I wouldn't have to hunt around for the first few books in a series.

Long story short, he was very impressed. Enough so that I decided to pick this up, too. Wow. There's really not much I can say except that this is a page-turner! I loved the way the author was able to weave what seemed like three or four very disparate story lines into one big, tangled, incestuous ball of yarn. I was caught off guard more than once by a twist, something that I love to see happen.

I can't say much more, as I don't want to give anything away. What did surprise me is that I ended up liking Jason; he's not really what I think of as a "great" character in the beginning of this book. In fact, I was sort of thinking that maybe he deserved everything it looked like he was going to get. Leave it to Mason to have me rooting for him by the last few pages - that's the mark of a truly good author.

And as this is a debut, I'm hoping there will be many more works by Ms. Mason in the coming years. I know I'll be keeping an eye out for her name, and you should too. Definitely going to recommend this to fans of mystery, suspense, and even Gothic horror.

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