More than a year ago, mild-mannered Jason Getty killed a man he wished he'd never met. But just as he's learning to live with the undeniable reality of what he's done, police unearth two bodies on his property - neither of which is the one Jason buried. Jason races to stay ahead of the consequences of his crime, and while chaos reigns on his lawn, his sanity unravels, snagged on the agendas of a colorful cast of strangers. A jilted woman searches for her lost fiance, a fringe dweller runs from a past that's quickly gaining on him, and a couple of earnest local detectives piece clues together - all in the shadow of a dead man who had it coming.
©2013 Jamie Mason (P)2013 Dreamscape Media, LLC
"Mason strides confidently into Coen brothers territory with her highly entertaining, solidly plotted debut about loneliness and the need for companionship.... With sly wit Mason tweaks genre cliches while respecting crime fiction tenets." (Publishers Weekly)
The main guy Jason is not the hero type, and he does not change during the story. He’s like a weed being blown by the wind. He is afraid of things. He is lonely. When confronted, he freezes - can’t move, talk, or think. But after repeated bullying from a despicable and frightening swindler Gary, Jason lashes out and kills Gary in self defense. Jason buries the body in his backyard. He has no idea that other bodies were buried there previously. When one of the older bodies is discovered, other characters come into the story. Jason’s fears cause him to look odd, which makes one cop suspicious. There are bad guys, some chase scenes, and fighting.
Some have said this is Coen brothers style dark humor. I did not laugh, but the oddity made it interesting. Jason’s reaction to most things is to run and hide, but other characters and circumstances don’t let him. I was pleased that Jason got a happy ending, but he got there through odd luck. He did not get there by being smart. Other characters were smart.
What would I change to make me like it more? Maybe having something change about Jason, having him find some kind of purpose or direction in life. Or really good would be having Jason find a friend, or a relationship with a female, or a pet.
The narrator John Prudent was good with dialogue, but his general narration was not. I felt like I was in high school listening to a student read out loud. It was wooden. It was hard for me to concentrate. It was as if he wasn’t thinking about what he was reading. He had a good voice and good pronunciation of each word. But he was missing feeling as he read.
The narrator should have paused longer between scenes. Several times I was confused because I thought we were still in the first scene, but we were in the next one.
I don’t know if the text was written this way or if there was a narration/production error. There is a ten minute scene that was read twice (in chapter 29). It’s possible it was the same scene from different points of view, but I don’t think so.
Genre: crime mystery suspense
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