By: Jamie Mason
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: February 2013
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: February 10, 2013
Jamie Mason serves up a balanced delivery of dark humor and clever plot twists in her debut novel Three Graves Full.
As meek-mannered Jason Getty laments over killing Gary Harris, he cannot help but think about him now; nearly a year later. He wished he had never met him and more importantly, tormented himself with the notion of what possessed him to bury his remains on the back forty of his property. He was sick of looking at the overgrown crabgrass that was once his perfectly manicured lawn. More importantly, what if the landscaping crew he decided to hire goes beyond the grooming boundaries Jason had defined? When the crew digs up not one, but two bodies along the perimeter of Mr. Getty’s house, it doesn’t take Getty long to snap out of his reverie. There was no way he was taking the fall for those bodies. One thing was clear. It seems Jason Getty’s home was the perfect place to dispose of bodies—be it by him or someone else.
When Detective Tim Bayard and a forensics team arrive on the scene, preliminary forensics determines the remains are those of one female and one male. The bones are identified as Katielynn Montgomery and Reid Montgomery—two persons gone missing quite some time ago. It seems once upon a time Reid Montgomery had wedding plans with Leah Tamblin and up and went missing; never to be seen or heard from again… until now. Getty let out more than a sigh of relief when time of death was earmarked long before he purchased the place he now called home. At least he was in the clear for two (possible) murders. It is when Reid’s twin brother (and Katielynn’s husband) Boyd is introduced that the reader is led down yet another path that somehow connects, Boyd, Jason and Leah on a road toward a destiny none of them could have imagined no matter how hard they tried.
Ms. Mason hooks the reader from inception in Three Graves Full. However, I think this title is destined for an audience who thrives on the minutia of detail while taxing his or her mind with the challenge of figuring it out before the story plays out to its end; the satisfaction being the element of surprise when he or she arrives at “The End.” She is too quick to introduce a bevy of characters in a short window of pages. Voracious readers will gobble this style up and I complement Ms. Mason for her ability to stay true to her plot. However, as she continues to fold details into the mounting intrigue, perhaps there is a little too much going on for the casual reader to follow. It is clear Ms. Mason knows her audience and the storyline does not drag which makes this a solid murder mystery. I will caution the reader, however, to pay close attention in the early pages because the information is foundational to the plot.
Quill Says: Three Graves Full makes a person wonder just exactly what is beneath that top layer of soil in their back yard and more importantly, do you really want to know?