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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Blending psychological suspense with compelling historical fiction, Scottish crime writer Val McDermid's The Grave Tattoo revolves around a 200-year-old mystery involving the infamous Fletcher Christian (leader of the 1789 mutiny aboard the British Royal Navy ship Bounty) and a lost masterwork from English Romantic poet William Wordsworth.
When an unusually rainy summer uncovers a "body in the bog" in England's Lake District, struggling Wordsworth scholar Jane Gresham is drawn into the mystery surrounding the 200-year-old, tattooed body. Part-time barmaid Gresham investigates, only to uncover information that could confirm the rumor that the legendary mutineer Christian didn't die in a massacre on Pitcairn Island in the South Pacific as thought but eventually made his way back to England, where he lived out the rest of his days in virtual anonymity. When Gresham begins to link her findings to a lost epic poem by Wordsworth -- Christian and the poet were contemporaries at the same school -- she suddenly finds herself in mortal danger…
Reminiscent of other historically based literary mysteries like Matthew Pearl's The Poe Shadow and The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason, McDermid's novel has been compared to Dan Brown's monolithic The Da Vinci Code for good reason. Readers will find themselves enthralled throughout, entangled in the early-19th-century mystery surrounding Christian and Wordsworth -- highly recommended. Paul Goat Allen