Three Graves FullThree Graves Full by Jamie Mason
My rating: 3/5 cats
One StarOne StarOne Star

There is very little peace for a man with a body buried in his backyard.

which is a great opening line for a book, you ask me.

seventeen months ago, jason getty killed a man and buried him in his backyard. jason is a wimpy blushing pushover of a man who had allowed himself to be bullied until he couldn’t take it anymore, and killed his antagonist in the heat of the moment. he lives with the guilt and the fear of discovery every day, letting his life fall apart around him until he finally decides to get his shit together and hire someone to clean up his yard, which has been grievously neglected in his guilt-stasis, and which he is emotionally unprepared to tackle himself.

which you can see might cause problems.

but don’t you worry about jasonhe has left instructions that the back yard is not to be touched, just the front part (nervous laughter). which would have been fine, except the landscapers discovered a body buried in the front yard. and then, another body. uh-oh.

so now jason’s yard has become a crime scene, and his nervousness about the potential discovery of the body he actually did put in the ground is being noted by the detective assigned to the case, a man of uncanny abilities, and things are looking pretty bad for jason, indeed.

and then leah tamblin comes into the story. she was the fiancée of one of the bodies found in jason’s front yard. the other was the wife of the man who used to live in the house. leah had no illusions about reid’s fidelity, but still, they were high-school sweethearts and were going to be married thirteen days before he went missing. she has spent years wondering what happened to him and wrestling with her own guilty feelings, but now at least she knows where he’s been. but she still wants to know more.

so this becomes a story about closure, and how we simultaneously long for it, and are terrified that we will actually get it.

jason is waiting for them to find that third body, leah is waiting to find out what really happened to her fiancé , and detective bayard is waiting to solve the mystery and figure out what jason is hiding. and the killer may still be nearby…

things will get messy. no, i mean really messy. if you have ever wondered what a body that has been buried for seventeen months looks and smells like, wonder no more. there is a scene of such gleeful repulsiveness in this book, it was even making me squirm a little. serious wonderful grossout. and that scene goes on fo-re-ver.

if you are into psychological thrillers, stories about the way guilt can break a person down, stories about very good dogs, this one will fit your bill.

one note: i did not really like the way leah’s traumatizing “forest story” was so anticlimactic in the reveal, considering how often it was trotted out in the foreshadowing, nor how quickly it was resolved. it seemed really unnecessary. but that’s just a quibble. it is an enjoyable thriller.

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