Sunday, April 7, 2013

Three Graves Full by Jamie Mason

Three Graves Full
by Jamie Mason
Release Date: February 12th, 2013
2013 Gallery Books
Hardcopy Edition; 307 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-451-68503-9
Genre: Fiction / Mystery
Source: Review copy from publisher

3 / 5 Stars

"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 fiancĂ©, a fringe-dweller runs from a past that’s quickly gaining on him, and a couple of earnest local detectives piece it together with the help of a volunteer police dog — all of them in the wake and shadow of a dead man who had it coming. As the action unfolds, each discovers that knowing more than one side of the story doesn't necessarily rule out a deadly margin of error.

My Thoughts
Three Graves Full had a lot of promise and potential, and the blurb was quite interesting, which is what drew me to this book in the first place.  And for a man who is terrified that someone might discover Jason's secret body buried in his yard, to hire a landscaping company to fix one's yard doesn't seem like the brightest decision in the world, especially as said landscaping company discovered two more bodies in the yard.  And up to the point where the police investigation begins, this is sort of where I thought the novel began to lose its steam from a rather fascinating and interesting beginning.

Jason Getty is one of those men who just doesn't seem to have a lot of luck in his life.  He's the kind of character that you want to dislike, but end up liking just because you feel sorry for him and the horrible things he did sort of slip away into the background and you don't really think about them too much.  He is a loner, desperately looking for people to like him for who he is, and can therefore be easy pickings for those who can see his desperation.  It would also be quite easy for someone more manipulative to use him for their own wants and needs and for Jason not to see it until it was too late, which is exactly what happened to him.  Then in an act of desperation is forced to act violently in order to get himself out of a difficult situation. I wanted to dislike him for his actions, but I just couldn't as he seemed so pathetic and he didn't just run off and leave others in a difficult position in the end.  However, I don't feel he deserved the absolution that he got either and should have received some consequence for his actions. It just didn't make sense to me, but you will have to read the novel in order to understand what I am talking about.

I definitely liked the first half of the novel better than the second half as I found myself skimming over paragraphs in the second half rather than truly reading them.  This is when Leah and Jason meet up and we have a car chase and desperate runs in the woods after a killer that really didn't seem to fit with the atmosphere of the novel and I didn't enjoy as much as the first half.  It's not that I don't enjoy these 'action' scenes, but they seemed so out of character for this novel and I really can't explain it better than that.  

Three Graves Full showed a lot of potential and promise and definitely had levels of brilliance on the author's part in her writing skills although some of the descriptive devices to tend to wander, and there were some elements that I didn't enjoy or didn't quite buy into in this novel.  The end result was a novel that was at times suspenseful, and quite interesting, giving us quite fascinating glimpses into the human psyche, and the 'whys' of the characters and the paths they have chosen.  I would really like to see another novel featuring Tim Bayard and Ford Watts as the primary characters as they investigate a crime as I think that would be pretty interesting as I enjoyed their characters quite a bit.  Ms. Mason definitely has a gift as a storyteller and you should read this novel for that fact alone.


  1. Great review! :)

    New follower...

  2. Excellent review. From what you're saying, it seems there's enough material there to make it worthwhile.

    That teaser definitely caught my attention...