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Three Graves Full [Kindle Edition]

Jamie Mason
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (157 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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.

Editorial Reviews

From 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. --Michele Leber


Starred Review. ""Mason strides confidently into Coen brothers territory with her highly entertaining, solidly plotted debut about loneliness and the need for companionship... With sly wit Mason tweaks genre cliches while respecting crime fiction tenets."" - Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. ""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."" - Booklist
Starred Review ""Mason has written a quirky and downright thrilling treat that is not to be missed."" - Library Journal
""Ripping good novel...Mason has a witty and wicked imagination, yet she's also responsive to the pains of inarticulate people..."" - The New York Times
""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... Mason's written a dandy of a first outing with not a single boring moment."" - Kirkus Reviews
""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... 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."" - New York Journal of Books
""Filled with biting wit and great prose style, Three Graves Full by newcomer Jamie Mason may be the debut of the year."" - Bookspan
""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
""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

Product Details

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars humor based on the absurdity of the situation February 13, 2013
Three Graves Full by Jamie Mason is a murder mystery that can also be comedic. Jason Getty is a man under a constant strain. He has a man buried in his backyard, by his own hand, however, unknown to Jason, there are two other bodies buried in his yard. When one of the other bodies is discovered by a landscaper Jason hires, it soon leads to the discovery of the second body. Although culpability for the untimely burial of these bodies points to the previous owner, Jason is, quite naturally, obsessed with the thought that the police will soon find the third body, the one he is responsible for burying in the yard more recently. Adding to Jason's already overwhelming fear of the police investigation is a smart dog and a couple of unwanted trespassers.

Three Graves Full juxtaposes murder with comedy. It has been compared to works by the Coen brothers, and I can see the comparison to Fargo, but it brought to mind, for me anyway, Hitchcock's The Trouble With Harry, another dead body mystery/dark comedy. The humor here is not slapstick; it is based on the absurdity of the situation and the consequences of choices the characters make. The story whipped along at a good pace, but did slow and trip a few places along the way. Additionally, Jason is not a readily likeable character. While I can accept unlikable main characters, Jason's personality is best described as bland. That could be problematic for some readers.

Since I was provided an uncorrected proof for review purposes I could not quote the book in a review, however, there were several times when I sorely wanted to saved a sentence, description, or paragraph for quotes to share.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The quotation I used for the title of this review couldn't be more appropriate. "Dead and gone" is something that the main character wishes for but gets quite the opposite--times three--and what a literal mess it turns out to be!! It is very hard to believe that this book could be anyone's debut novel. How the author could dream up a convoluted plot like this one and then properly arrange all the moving parts into a cohesive story is admirable.

If you like detective novels, horror stories and are a dog lover, then this book's for you. The only negative that I personally noticed was that occasionally the author's descriptive phrasing went past what was necessary detail and became a little too much. Most readers probably won't even notice it. Even if you do, it won't detract from this excellent effort.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun, dark and gripping read! January 9, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Three Graves full is about a strange and twisted turn of events and three graves that all these events revolve around. Jason Getty is a you widower who gets tangled up in a bad situation an ends up murdering someone and burying him in the back yard. Over time he struggles with what he's done, not regret but that he may get caught. Somewhere along the way he decides that he's let the house go into disrepair and hires landscaping people to tear up the front flowerbeds and replant flower..ect. To his surprise they dig up two bodies........

I have read the comparisons to Coen brother's movies, which is accurate to a point but I think for those of us who enjoy a good book I think a more fitting comparison is to the works of Chuck Palahniuk such as Fight Club. Not that the plot is similar but I think the feel and style of the storytelling is similar. In fact, I could easily see Brad Pitt playing Harris(the man buried in the backyard) and Edward Norton playing Jason. This novel definitely has some of the same mind-bending quality to it that Fight Club has.

As for the the writing, the quality is good but in the beginning of the book it got overly wordy and descriptive but that went away as the novel went on. I think the author has a great ability to tell a story, to put you right there with the characters. The characters are strong and tangible, with enough detail to get you invested in them.

I think the only downfall here is that the books is being marketed as a dark humor novel but it's really not. I wont hold it against the book that much as I'm sure this is something the marketing department of the publisher came up with and not the author. Overall this is one of the better books I've read in a long time and would give 4.5 stars if I could. I highly recommend this book.
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28 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Jason Getty is a bland, empty canvas waiting for someone to give his life purpose and direction. This makes him easy prey for the charismatic swindler, Gary Harris, who he coincidentally meets at a gas station. But even a pushover can only be stepped on so many times before he lashes out. During an altercation, Jason snaps and murders Gary. Seeing no alternative, Jason buries the body in his backyard. Unfortunately, the gravesite is a permanent reminder of his misdeed and Jason is ceaselessly haunted and hounded by regret over what he's done and fear that he'll be found out. Paralyzed by anxiety, Jason neglects his lawn until the shrubs and garden get overgrown. When he finally has no choice but to do something about the yard, he still can't stomach the notion of tending it himself so he hires a landscaper. On pins and needles, Jason watches them work. His fears are realized when they knock on his door and inform him there's something he has to see. Jason is surprised when they lead him to a location other than his makeshift gravesite. Unfortunately it's a grave just the same. Because there are witnesses, he'll have no choice but to contact the police. When the investigation is done, they'll find not one or two, but "Three Graves Full."

The narrative begins from Jason's perspective but the point of view changes frequently as new characters are introduced. When a character arrives on scene, the next chapter or section will almost certainly be from his perspective - even if that character is a pet. It became so predictable that I was surprised when a stray cat ran out in front of a vehicle but didn't get its own subsequent chapter. Speaking of predictability, the plot does twist and turn but in fairly standard genre thriller fashion.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A quirky, witty, dark and deliciously wicked psycho-thriller!
Jamie Mason’s, debut THREE GRAVES FULL is an extraordinary novel of motive, murder, mystery, and suspense; dark and deep, mixed with quirky, witty, and deliciously wicked... Read more
Published 6 hours ago by Judith D. Collins
5.0 out of 5 stars Three Graves Full
Very interesting read, a little tangled at the end, but it works out.All in all I liked it enough to stay up late to finish reading it.
Published 2 days ago by diane miller
4.0 out of 5 stars quirky
Mason couldn't decide if he was writing a noir or a Keystone Kops revival. I thank him for that. You won't read anything like it anytime soon. Read more
Published 4 days ago by gmazoom
5.0 out of 5 stars Super! Best read in a long time! An Unstoppable tale of murder and...
This is a madcap novel of murder and mayham--a dark midsummer night's dream. I couldn't put it down. The writing is polished, and the plot compulsive. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Wanderer
3.0 out of 5 stars What genre? Hard to pin-point.
Literary novel or thriller? Can't decide.

I have to admit, this title tugged at me. THREE GRAVES FULL? I mean, come on... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Leslie Lindsay
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark and Fun
“There is very little peace for a man with a body buried in his backyard,” this book begins, and there’s even less for hapless nebbish Jason Getty when the landscaping crew he’s... Read more
Published 1 month ago by J.D. Rhoades
4.0 out of 5 stars Book club mystery choice
Surprises and characters you come to love. The author creates an endearing character in Tessa, a wonderful almost human dog.
Published 2 months ago by NFea
5.0 out of 5 stars Three Graves Full by Jamie Mason is a triple crown ...
Three Graves Full by Jamie Mason is a triple crown winner: Well-rendered and quirky characters, tight plotting, and humor on every page. Oh yeah, and a yard full of corpses. Read more
Published 2 months ago by D. P. Lyle
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it!!!!!
Three Graves Full had me hooked from the first sentence and didn't let me down. I read half of it the first night of an insomnia binge and I kept reading it while at work, bathroom... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars A little too much
I had read a favourable review in a magazine about this book and ordered it, looking forward to a different kind of story than the standard thriller offers. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Maarten
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More About the Author

Jamie Mason was born in Oklahoma City, but grew up in Washington, D.C. She's most often reading and writing, but in the life left over, she enjoys films, Formula 1 racing, football, traveling, and, conversely, staying at home. Jamie lives with her husband and two daughters in the mountains of western North Carolina.

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