The Grave Tattoo by Val McDermid

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In The Grave Tattoo, suspense master Val 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.


About Val McDermid

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Val McDermid is the author of twenty-five previous best-selling novels, which have been translated into over thirty languages and have sold over ten million copies worldwide.
Published February 6, 2007 by Minotaur Books. 448 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Horror, Action & Adventure, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Education & Reference, Travel, Crime. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Grave Tattoo

Kirkus Reviews

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An ambitious reworking of the demi-historical mode of Possession with a mutiny substituting for one love story and a series of murders taking the place of the other.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Grave Tattoo

Publishers Weekly

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An intriguing, 200-year-old mystery propels this multilayered stand-alone from British author McDermid set in England's Lake District. Scholar Jane Gresham pursues her theory that HMS <EMPHASIS

Nov 06 2006 | Read Full Review of The Grave Tattoo

The New York Times

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In Val McDermid’s latest mystery, the first victim is a body in a bog — an 18th-century sailor covered with tattoos.

Feb 25 2007 | Read Full Review of The Grave Tattoo

Book Reporter

mutiny --- because, Rashomon-like, there are several ---.

Feb 06 2007 | Read Full Review of The Grave Tattoo

Reviewing the Evidence

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Sep 08 2014 | Read Full Review of The Grave Tattoo

Bookmarks Magazine

Mystery Reader 4 of 5 Stars "Although all of Val McDermid’s books are a joy to read due to the talent of the writer, her standalone novels give her the freedom to truly display her ability to fashion unique characters as well as create and describe a setting so perfectly that the reader can actua...

Aug 07 2007 | Read Full Review of The Grave Tattoo

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