The Grave Tattoo

The Grave Tattoo

A Novel

Book - 2006
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When torrential summer rains uncover a bizarrely tattooed body on a hillside in England's Lake District, locals are convinced it is the corpse of Fletcher Christian, infamous mutineer on the Bounty. Though history records that Christian died in a massacre on Pitcairn Island, Lakelanders have long maintained that he returned home--where his old friend and schoolmate, William Wordsworth, risked facing the gallows by harbouring the fugitive. It was rumoured that the poet had written an epic verse recounting Christian's version of events, only to hide it away for fear its publication would result in his arrest.

For the Wordsworth scholar Jane Gresham, the missing manuscript--if indeed it ever existed--is the ultimate prize. But on her trail is someone with a more than academic interest in the 200-year-old text, someone who will kill to get their hands on a bounty worth millions.

Publisher: Toronto : HarperCollins Canada, c2006.
ISBN: 9780006391593
Characteristics: 467 p.


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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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