The Grave Tattoo

The Grave Tattoo

Book - 2007
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In a novel reminiscent of The Rule of Four ,  The Dante Club  and The Historian , suspense master McDermid spins a psychological thriller in which a present-day murder has its roots in the eighteenth century and the mutiny on the H.M.S. Bounty . After torrential summer rains uncover a bizarrely tattooed body on a Lake District hillside, long discarded old wives' tales takes on a chilling new plausibility. For centuries, Lakelanders have whispered that Fletcher Christian staged the massacre on Pitcairn so that he could return home. And there, he told his story to an old friend and schoolmate, William Wordsworth, who turned it into a long narrative poem--a poem that remained hidden lest it expose Wordsworth to the gallows for harboring a fugitive. Wordsworth specialist Jane Gresham, herself a native of the Lake District, feels compelled to discover once and for all whether the manuscript ever existed--and whether it still exists today. But as she pursues each new lead, death follows hard on her heels. Suddenly Jane is at the heart of a 200-year-old mystery that still has the power to put lives on the line. Against the dramatic backdrop of England's Lake District a drama of life and death plays out, its ultimate prize a bounty worth millions.
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Minotaur, 2007, c2006
Edition: 1st St. Martin's Minotaur ed
ISBN: 9780312339210
Branch Call Number: MYSTERY MCDERMID
Characteristics: 390 p. ; 25 cm


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Nov 12, 2018

I found the story itself was fairly interesting while being fully aware it was fiction based on fact; however, the ending was a huge disappointment. After reading four hundred and sixty pages and arriving at the protagonist arrested and in jail, the story suddenly jumps ahead six months without any explanation of what happened to solve the mystery and with only one line to explain who the killer was. It seemed like the writer hadn't quite figured out "who dunnit" or how to end the story. It seemed like an insult to the readers. If this was the first Val McDermid book I had read, I'm pretty sure it would also have been the last. Very disappointing.

Aug 06, 2016

An OK read. It bordered on being a bit of a potboiler but I stuck with it.

plush32 Oct 04, 2014

Excellent story, interesting and varied characters, wonderfully well written.
I found the historical and literary connections intriguing and was entertained all the way through.

Aug 21, 2013

This was an interesting (but convoluted) read but the problem here is that it's hard to discern was is factual and what is made up. I had no idea that "Mutiny on the Bounty" was historical but this is one of those stories where "things may or may not have happened". I found it very frustrating, especially the end.

Aug 31, 2011

Fairly good book. Hard to get into at start. A little too much reference to literary works and authors for my liking which detracted from the story as many of the references I was not aware of.


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