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Three Graves Full [Kindle Edition]

Jamie Mason
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (173 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

  • File Size: 4621 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; Reprint edition (February 12, 2013)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008J2AEQG
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #206,181 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 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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24 of 26 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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A mixed experience March 23, 2013
Reading the first few chapters of this book I was really excited about it and ready to settle in and enjoy. The writing is poetic, filled with original and striking images and beautifully crafted sentences. The set up is gripping. Jason Getty is likable, if dull and bumbling. I was not only rooting for him but wanting to know more about him and his predicament. The story of how he came to kill the man (one of the men) buried in his yard is done with perfection - it slowly builds so that I felt his frustration and understood how he could end up murdering the man. Likewise, I identified with Leah, a young widow. And then . . . I'm sorry to say the book did not live up to my expectations. There were too many characters and I had trouble keeping track of who was who. Too many threads. And the last part of the book bordered on slapstick. I know this is black comedy (which I enjoy) and I enjoy the comedy of errors sort of story, but this one just didn't cut it. As another reviewer noted, the writing - which is outstanding - ends up smothering the story because it's so much of the same.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Was not impressed with this book because I felt like the author spent...
Was not impressed with this book because I felt like the author spent so much time with the details that they never really got to the heart of the story.
Published 13 days ago by Micheala Melton
2.0 out of 5 stars Rambling prose to fill pages
After a great opening, this story - which wasn't altogether a bad plot - was unmercifully crucified by the long-winded, rambling prose in which Mason indulges. Read more
Published 24 days ago by Brian English
2.0 out of 5 stars Unfulfilled promise
Just could not finish this book. The plot showed promise, which is why I bought it, but the book is so overwritten and overwrought, it was too clunky to read. Read more
Published 27 days ago by Book Woman
2.0 out of 5 stars Just felt it didn't have the depth that I am ...
Just felt it didn't have the depth that I am used to with some of the other authors. Went on to long for what the book had to say. It was a little
hooky in the end too.
Published 1 month ago by Carol Huether
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad read
The plot of this book is different and that is good. It is easy to read. However, this book is written from each person's point of view, including the dog. Read more
Published 2 months ago by James R. Heck
5.0 out of 5 stars A quirkly little book
This was a quirky little book. The author used some strange, but entertaining ways to to describe some things. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mpm
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great read
Published 2 months ago by MT
3.0 out of 5 stars Just a so-so read.
Although I liked the story line, in the end it took way too long to get there. It took me a while to read this book and at times, I thought of shelving it completely. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Linda Hering
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved this book, don't miss reading it.
Published 2 months ago by David W Putnam
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad
The book was well written and mostly held my attention, but I never felt empathetic enough to the characters to really care what happens to them.
Published 2 months ago by Kindle Customer
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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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