The Grave Tattoo
Scholar Jane Gresham may be on the verge of finding a lost Wordsworth epic recounting the mutiny on the Bounty in Val McDermid’s thriller The Grave Tattoo. If only Jane were more discreet; she tells everyone who’ll listen why she’s so certain the poem exists. What little tension can be found in this dull, workmanlike thriller comes from thinly drawn baddies who want a piece of the action. McDermid also throws in a corpse in a bog that may be Fletcher Christian’s, a first-person account of the mutiny, and a teenage girl on the run from a horrific, unrelated crime. By the time the novel finally starts sailing in the last 50 pages, you’re ready to throw it overboard.