The Grave Tattoo
From bestselling author Val McDermid comes a modern thriller about an ancient murder set on the high seas…
After summer rains uncover a corpse bearing tattoos like those of eighteenth-century seafarers, many residents of the English Lake District can’t help but wonder whether it’s the body of one of the town’s most legendary fugitives.
Scholar and native Lakelander Jane Gres...more
Apparently, I'm on a Val McDermid mission at the moment. So, when I found out (by a quick word search on kindle) that The Grave Tattoo did not have as many ties to graves/graveyards as I would have liked to satisfy a certain bingo square, there was no reason to hold back any longer on this murder mystery combining The Mutiny on th ...more
I'm not a regular reader of McDermid, but know that she's recognized as a skillful mystery writer.
Here she has bitten off some pretty big chunks - missing Wordsworth letters and possibly a poem that might tell the story of mutineer Fletcher Christian who came from the same part of the w ...more
This novel is a lovely mix of things brought together to make a remarkable book. There is history, local folklore, poetry, mystery, police procedure and social commentary. What ...more
I found the book quite boring. ...more
But that wouldn't be entirely fair. It's true that it's set in Hill's beloved Lake District, like his The Stranger House published a year or so earlier. It's also true that the plot revolves around an academic's search to uncover the secret of a historical conspiracy held in trust by a hapless Lakeland family before she is beaten to i ...more
This story begins with a body found in a bog in the Lake District of ...more
When a tattooed, 200-year-old body is uncovered in the peat bogs of the Lake District, local girl turned Wordsworth Scholar Jane Gresham is instantly reminded of a local legend about Fletcher Christian, the man who led the mutiny on the Bounty, said to have returned surreptitiously to England from Pitcairn Island. Returning to her childhood home she is on the trail ...more
There are something like 550 pages in this book. On approximately 500 ...more
How I read it: I own it.
What attracted me to the book: I love reading all Val McDermid books. She's one of my favorite authors.
Who should read this book: Mystery lovers, Val McDermid lovers, history lovers, breathers of air. Note of caution: there are some disturbing scenes and some foul language in this book. Almost all Val's books are this way - if you've read any, you'll know what I'm talking about.
Summary (from amazon): An intriguing, 200-year-old mystery propels this ...more
A 200 year old preserved peat body discovered in England's Lake District is covered with South Sea Tattoos of the sort that 18th century British seamen acquired during their travels throughout the far reaches of the British Empire. Wordsworth scholar Jane Gresham, convinced that this body is actually Fletcher Christian, long thought to have died on Pitcairn Island, also believes that Wordsworth composed a final epic poem about Christian and the ...more
A cold winter day and a couple of sleepy cats, however, proved the right formula for finishing this book. I felt it striving for the feel and style of Possession--academic scholars, romance, a mystery text. In this respect I think McDermid did a good job. It's the murder mystery that is intertwine ...more
In this book, McDermid introduces a new central character, Jane Gresham. Gresham is a Wordsworth scholar who believes that Fletcher Christian made it back to the UK after the mutiny and told his friend William Wordswo ...more
What was missing for me was a hint, some foreshadowing of both the potential for this character to commit murder and a motive. It reminds me of the frustration I often feel when reading Agatha Christie, where Miss Marple suddenl ...more
The weak link is protagonist Jane Gresham, whose character seems shaped largely by plot convenience: she has to be an academic for the literary aspect of the story, a native of the Lake District to give her some resources in the locale ...more
She has won many awards internationally, including the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year and the LA Times Book of the Year Award. She was inducted into the ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame in 2009 and was the recipient of the CWA Cart ...more