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Summary

When torrential summer rains uncover a bizarrely tattooed body on a Lake District hillside, old wives' tales also come swirling to the surface. 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.

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....

©2006 Val McDermid (P)2006 W. F. Howes Ltd

Critic reviews

"Absorbing modern mystery." ( Times)
"An irresistible combination of contemporary psychological thriller and historical mystery." (Tess Gerritsen)

What listeners say about The Grave Tattoo

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Dreadful writing

I loved the last Val McDermid book I read, I almost can't believe this is by the same writer. Indulgent nonsense, a back story so dull - but obviously not to the author - it kept putting me to sleep. And it kept being repeated and laboured over by more and more characters having to explain it to one another! I don't know how any of them managed to convince one another it was even a vaguely likely rumour, it was clearly bollocks. I tried persevering but it was too stupid and dull. Find a better Val MacDermid book, she's usually perceptive and smart. Too wrapped up in her own fascination with history here to remember to think about character, plot, intrigue and suspense.

39 people found this helpful

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Identity fraud?

Can this really be Val McDermid ? Never been know to fail . . . . but really not up to standard. Unsympathetic characters with carved from stone dialogue . Really had no interest in any of them and not bothered about their fates. Maybe a reissue of a very early work? Certainly reads like one

25 people found this helpful

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Very disappointing

Bought this with great expectation having enjoyed previous books by the same author. This was awful - I waited for it to take off but after 12 chapters I have given up and put it back on the shelf. It just didn’t work for me.

11 people found this helpful

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Different approach for Val

A different perspective as the main hero is not a detective looking at the crimes, but a literary searcher. Of course well plotted and good characters. Very enjoyable.

10 people found this helpful

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Something different from Val. Good narration.

I was a bit sceptical about this at first, finding the little Wordsworth insertions a bit distracting. However the pleasant narration and the coming together of the story won me over. Not a thrill a minute type book, but a good listen and an interesting idea.

9 people found this helpful

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Thoroughly absorbing

Great idea, well executed. Narration of the characters voices was convincing and this really allowed you to get involved in the intriguing story.

8 people found this helpful

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Intriguing - how much is historically accurate?

Great storyline melded into historical events and characters. Narrator's characterisation through various regional dialects is very credible. Typical Val McDermid twists and turns and well researched detail

7 people found this helpful

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had to keep listing

enjoyed this book, easy to follow, it's just it all comes very quickly at the end

5 people found this helpful

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A Val McDermid special A thorough good listen.

A little slow to start but stick with it
It was a real good tale with with factual information combinned.












5 people found this helpful

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Wide ranging

You’ll enjoy this more with an interest in late 18th/early 19th century history and literature. It’s an enjoyable if complicated yarn, few writers could keep the tension going through so many strands and Ms Mc Dermid manages it but you have to pay attention.
Strong plotting and character development.

3 people found this helpful