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Three Graves Full [Kindle Edition]

Jamie Mason
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (188 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $7.49
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Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc

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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


"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)

“Ripping good novel…Mason has a witty and wicked imagination, yet she’s also responsive to the pains of inarticulate people… (New York Times Book Review)

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 (A Top Ten Crime Novel of 2013))

"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

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)

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 clichés while respecting crime fiction tenets. (Publishers Weekly, Starred Review)

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. (John M. Wills 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)

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... Mason has written a quirky and downright thrilling treat that is not to be missed. (Kristin Centorcelli Library Journal, Starred Review)

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. (Joe Hartlaub Bookreporter)

"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. " (Clay Stafford

"...slick, fast-paced and moves to it’s conclusion with an inevitably that appears unstoppable." (Words and Pieces)

"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." (Portland Book Review)

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: #152,028 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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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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29 of 37 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 Suspense & edge of the seat plot with a twist.
Lots of suspense and some good edge of the seat writing and a twist. Not over the top, but makes you want to read it quickly so you can turn the page to see what happens next. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Donna MAY
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great
Good plot. The outcome is not obvious. Everything wraps up well. A minor problem for me ...many characters in different time frames. Read more
Published 27 days ago by MCD
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent read
Started really well but sort of slowed to a crawl somewhere in the middle and never fully gained the original momentum. Also went a little heavy on the metaphor count.
Published 29 days ago by William Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars I thought this book was so-o good!
My goodness! I'm so surprised to see that not everyone liked this book! I thought it was incredible from start to finish!
Published 1 month ago by Betty
4.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed this book and recommend it
I really enjoyed this book and recommend it. I don't think it's a five star thriller, but it's definitely entertaining and fast paced!
Published 1 month ago by Jill Daugherty
5.0 out of 5 stars What a roller coaster ride!
A gripping can't put down novel. Story telling at it's best.
Published 1 month ago by Mary Kay Steinman
5.0 out of 5 stars Three Graves Full
Thought it was a dumb book and wasn't going to read it but glad that I did. It was a great ending.
Published 2 months ago by Isabelle Connors
5.0 out of 5 stars This book was awesome. So many twists and turns
This book was awesome. So many twists and turns!!! Loved it from the first page and couldn't stop reading til I finished it.
Published 2 months ago by Annette Strickler
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
Great book with lots of twists and turns. If you are also a dog lover, as I am... well, that makes it even better. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Patti K. Pokorny
4.0 out of 5 stars Very intriguing idea - sometimes stories that jump around from ...
Very intriguing idea - sometimes stories that jump around from past to present and back can be hard to follow, but the writer encourages the reader to do want to see the story to... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Diane L. Kelchner
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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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