Book Review: Three Graves Full by Jamie Mason

15737781Title: Three Graves Full

Author: Jamie Mason

Genre: Thriller, Suspense

Age Group: Adult

Rating: 3 stars

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

For fans of the Coen brothers’ films or for those who just love their thrillers with a dash of sharp humor—an engaging and offbeat story about a man driven to murder, who then buries the body in his backyard only to discover that there are two other shallow graves on his property.

“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 it together with the help of a volunteer police dog — all of them in the wake and shadow of a dead man who had it coming. As the action unfolds, each discovers that knowing more than one side of the story doesn’t necessarily rule out a deadly margin of error.

I wanted to enjoy this book. The moment I read the description, I knew I would like the plot, so I wanted to like the rest as well. Unfortunately it didn’t quite turn out like that.

Jason thinks himself a reasonable, calm man. That image however disagrees with the body buried in his backyard, the body he knows is there but he won’t acknowledge. In an effort to hide it even more, he hires a landscaping team who stumble upon a body in his backyard. The only problem? It’s not the body of the man Jason buried. The body belongs to a woman, and Jason has no idea why she’s in his backyard to begin with.

With the police inspectors sensing something is wrong, each passing moment makes Jason more and more nervous. But Jason isn’t the only one with worries on his mind. As the detective, Tim Bayard, continues his investigation, he stumbles upon a second body. And then evidence in Jason’s home indicates a third murder took place in the house…

Leah’s fiancé disappeared years ago, and when she hears about the bodies discovered in Jason’s backyard, she goes out to investigate, wanting to see her husband’s possible grave. The moment Jason and Leah meet, their stories collide and continue onward down the same path as the killer of two of the bodies makes an appearance.

I was kind of hoping something supernatural would happen after the bodies were discovered and the police found evidence of the crimes in Jason’s house. Although I have no idea why I was hoping for something like that, besides my obvious fascination with the supernatural, but anyway, nothing happened. Jason is an interesting character though, and that made up for the lack of action at the start of the book. You figure out quite soon he’s the murderer of one of the people buried in the backyard. He’s a loner with a quiet, calm personality. And even though I wanted to hate him, not just because he killed someone, although that was the primary reason, I couldn’t bring myself to hate him. There was something about him that made me like him, despite my initial feelings. He’s the kind of person you end up feeling sorry for, because no matter what he did, life always backfired on him.

I liked the first part of the book well-enough, but the level drops down significantly the moment Jason and Leah meet up. What happens is a game of cat and mouse with the killer, a car chase and other things that, in my opinion, belonged in an action movie. It made the book on the whole rather appear like a comedy. I like dark humor, but this humor didn’t fit. It wasn’t dark enough, and at times too dark. It was odd for me to read about.

At times, the author showed moments of sheer brilliance. Unfortunately she doesn’t keep that up during the entire book. The end result is an exciting, sometimes suspenseful thriller that shows us deeper insight into the human mind as it follows Jason through his troublesome life. I enjoyed it, but it won’t end up on my favorite-reads list.

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