Three Graves Full

Three Graves Full

3.3 32
by Jamie Mason
     
 

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A Library Journal Best Book of 2013!
A Booklist Best Crime Novel of 2013!

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

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Overview

A Library Journal Best Book of 2013!
A Booklist Best Crime Novel of 2013!

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 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.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Marilyn Stasio
…[a] ripping good novel…Mason has a witty and wicked imagination…
Publishers Weekly
Mason strides confidently into Coen brothers territory with her highly entertaining, solidly plotted debut about loneliness and the need for companionship. Sad sack Jason Getty has lived in fear ever since killing a man in a rage and burying the body in a remote corner of his yard some 17 months earlier. Just as the guilt-stricken Jason decides that he has gotten away with the crime, the landscaping crew he’s hired to clean up his neglected property find a body under the mulch bed beneath his bedroom window. Police later unearth a second body nearby. Neither is the man he murdered. While the police investigate and Jason worries about that third body, Leah Tamblin becomes obsessed with discovering if one of the bodies is Reid Reynolds, her often unfaithful fiancé who disappeared 13 days before their wedding. With sly wit Mason tweaks genre clichés while respecting crime fiction tenets. Agent: Amy Moore-Benson, AMB Literary Management. (Feb.)
Bookspan
Filled with biting wit and great prose style, Three Graves Full by newcomer Jamie Mason may be the debut of the year.
From the Publisher
"Jamie Mason wields a pen that magically blends beautiful prose with unrelenting thrills. Each page delivers something new and fresh; in her hands, even the mundane becomes extraordinary. Grab a chair with a comfortable edge, because Mason will keep you poised there until the final page."
—Alex Adams, author of White Horse

Three Graves Full is something special - an offbeat, high-class, pacey mystery that blends black humor with dark lyricism, and deft, intricate plotting with dead-on psychological insight. This is a gem of a debut.”
—Tana French, author of In the Woods

"Three Graves Full is an astonishing debut novel, smart and stylish and wonderfully light on its feet. Jamie Mason writes crisp, surprising sentences, and this aura of wit infuses her lovely plot with an absolutely Hitchcockian menace. I think she was probably born to be a writer, and I eagerly look forward to whatever she will do next."

—Peter Straub, New York Times bestselling author

New York Times Book Review
“Ripping good novel…Mason has a witty and wicked imagination, yet she’s also responsive to the pains of inarticulate people…
Starred Review (A Top Ten Crime Novel of 2013) Booklist
Portraying characters so well and so thoroughly, examining and explaining their motives even for murder, requires a level of skill that is rare, marking this as an astonishingly accomplished debut and Mason as a writer to watch very closely.
Bookreporter - Joe Hartlaub
Not simply a great debut novel or a noble first effort; it is purely a wonderful book from beginning to end.... Pitch-perfect pacing, unforgettable descriptions, and quirky but realistic characters abound from page to page. It is a perfect one-sit read, not because there aren’t places where you can comfortably stop, but because you simply will want to keep forging ahead... Take the hint and read it.
KillerNashville.com - Clay Stafford
"A delightful frolic in a mysterious and unpredictable tour de force of horrific efforts by a debut author. When it gets really weird, it is like quicksand, sucking you deeper. Peppered with delightful asides that made me chuckle, no good deed goes unpunished. Great twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page."
Words and Pieces
"...slick, fast-paced and moves to it’s conclusion with an inevitably that appears unstoppable."
Portland Book Review
"A grieving fiancé, a vindictive murderer and a police detective who won’t accept simple answers drive a tale of blunders, violence and, remarkably, something like justice."
New York Journal of Books - John M. Wills
An extraordinary debut novel that ensnares the reader in its web of suspense and ratchets up the anxiety with each chapter...Three Graves Full is deep and dark, yet funny, a refreshing combination that snags the reader like a grappling hook—destined to become a success.
Kirkus Reviews
Mason's quirky debut novel deftly weaves dark humor into a plot that's as complicated as a jigsaw puzzle but more fun to put together. Jason Getty has a secret that's come close to ruining his life. It's colored everything he has said or done in the past year, even down to neglecting his suburban yard. As it turns out, he might have been better off leaving that yard of his alone, because that's what ultimately undoes him in this entertaining story of a man and the three dead bodies buried outside his ordinary little house. Jason knows about one of the bodies because he put it there. A mild-mannered widower whose late wife wasn't exactly his biggest fan, he ended up spending one long, terrible night digging a grave on the edge of his property's woods, shoveling rich dirt over a man's sheet-covered remains. Then, Jason tried to forget about the grave, ignoring his yard and allowing it to grow over with weeds and unkempt bushes. After enough time had passed, Jason began to feel safe, thinking his secret would remain undiscovered. That prompts him to abandon caution and hire a lawn-care company to install some new landscaping, but he covers himself by making certain the workers stay far away from the hidden body. Turns out that body isn't the problem; instead of unearthing Jason's secret, they dig up not one, but two additional bodies in the yard, and Jason has no idea whom either corpse might be. When a couple of police detectives with a very smart dog and a pair of interlopers show up to complicate matters, the stage is set for one of the strangest nights ever, much of it staged in Jason's yard. Although the self-consciously clever prose threatens to overwhelm them, the characters keep the action rolling in a tale that is often very funny in a weird sort of way. Mason's written a dandy of a first outing with not a single boring moment.
Booklist
"Mason hooks the reader with her first sentence, “There is very little peace for a man with a body buried in his backyard.” Even less when the bodies keep piling up, but their provenance remains murky. An astonishingly accomplished debut."
Booklist, Starred Review - Michele Leber
Portraying characters so well and so thoroughly, examining and explaining their motives even for murder, requires a level of skill that is rare, marking this as an astonishingly accomplished debut and Mason as a writer to watch very closely.
New York Times Book Review - Marilyn Stasio
“Ripping good novel…Mason has a witty and wicked imagination, yet she’s also responsive to the pains of inarticulate people…
Library Journal
It's been a year since Jason Getty killed a man and buried him in his yard. But when Jason hires a lawn service, two more graves of which he had been unaware are uncovered. This discovery begins the unraveling of Jason's already precarious sanity and will lead a cast of characters, including two detectives and a very special dog, to a unique killer and dual stories of betrayal and murder. Mason's prose is at times as lovely as poetry, and wry humor deftly offsets her grim tale to devastating effect. This tale has more twists than a corkscrew and you'll find yourself surprised at nearly every turn. Each character is brought to life with startling clarity, and if you think you can't sympathize with a murderer, think again. Especially delightful is unofficial police dog Tessa, who will make readers grin and break their hearts in equal measure. VERDICT Mason has written a quirky and downright thrilling treat that is not to be missed. Fans of Tana French and Erin Kelly especially will find themselves entranced by this nearly perfect debut.—Kristin Centorcelli, Denton, TX

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781451685039
Publisher:
Gallery Books
Publication date:
02/12/2013
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
1,220,050
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

What People are saying about this

New York Journal of Books - John M. Wills
New York Journal of Books Review:

Three Graves Full is an extraordinary debut novel that ensnares the reader in its web of suspense and ratchets up the anxiety with each chapter.

Jamie Mason has created a very believable, sad sack of a character in Jason Getty. Getty leads a very unremarkable life until he makes the mistake of befriending a stranger. Garry Harris treats Jason like a sucker and eventually turns out to be Jason’s worst nightmare.

As their friendship devolves into an adversarial one, Jason is thrust into a situation forcing him to murder the man. Unable to think of a better way to dispose of the corpse, Jason decides to bury the body in the backyard of his home. Little does Jason know, but two other bodies are buried on the property as well.

The police eventually become involved when landscapers discover the cadavers, and Jason rightly assumes his life is probably over; however, the author interjects a number of strange and interesting twists so that what was once perhaps predictable becomes ambiguous. Her ability to fully integrate action scenes into the story makes her book a thrilling read.

Ms. Mason uses subtle, sometimes dark humor to liven up the macabre events. Her writing style is quite interesting and at times more suited to romance writing. But oddly, it works. For a new writer, she is adept at character development, allowing the reader a 360-degree view of each. She neatly ties up all the loose ends, leaving the reader with a satisfying conclusion.

Three Graves Full is deep and dark, yet funny, a refreshing combination that snags the reader like a grappling hook—destined to become a success.

Booklist - Michele Leber
Booklist Starred Review:

First-novelist Mason hooks the reader with her first sentence, “There is very little peace for a man with a body buried in his backyard.” Mild-mannered widower Jason Getty is responsible for burying one body, but he’s shocked when two others are discovered in his yard and found to be the work of the home’s previous owner, Boyd Montgomery, who came upon his wife, Katielynn, in bed with Reid Reynolds three years earlier, just weeks before Reynolds was to marry his childhood sweetheart, Leah Tamblin. Getty, on tenterhooks, is massively relieved when police wrap up the latter two murders, until persistent detective Tim Bayard finds blood traces in Getty’s house that point to a third crime. As Getty prepares a cover-up, Tamblin comes looking for answers and resolution, and what seemed a closed murder case opens up again. Racheting up suspense is one thing, and Mason manages it masterfully, particularly as it concerns Getty’s fate. But portraying characters so well and so thoroughly, examining and explaining their motives even for murder, requires a level of skill that is rare, marking this as an astonishingly accomplished debut and Mason as a writer to watch very closely.

From the Publisher
"Jamie Mason wields a pen that magically blends beautiful prose with unrelenting thrills. Each page delivers something new and fresh; in her hands, even the mundane becomes extraordinary. Grab a chair with a comfortable edge, because Mason will keep you poised there until the final page."

—Alex Adams, author of White Horse

Three Graves Full is something special - an offbeat, high-class, pacey mystery that blends black humor with dark lyricism, and deft, intricate plotting with dead-on psychological insight. This is a gem of a debut.”

—Tana French, author of In the Woods

"Three Graves Full is an astonishing debut novel, smart and stylish and wonderfully light on its feet. Jamie Mason writes crisp, surprising sentences, and this aura of wit infuses her lovely plot with an absolutely Hitchcockian menace. I think she was probably born to be a writer, and I eagerly look forward to whatever she will do next."

—Peter Straub, New York Times bestselling author

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