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Mason’s quirky debut novel deftly weaves dark humor into a plot that’s as complicated as a jigsaw puzzle but more fun to put together.

Jason Getty has a secret that’s come close to ruining his life. It’s colored everything he has said or done in the past year, even down to neglecting his suburban yard. As it turns out, he might have been better off leaving that yard of his alone, because that’s what ultimately undoes him in this entertaining story of a man and the three dead bodies buried outside his ordinary little house. Jason knows about one of the bodies because he put it there. A mild-mannered widower whose late wife wasn’t exactly his biggest fan, he ended up spending one long, terrible night digging a grave on the edge of his property’s woods, shoveling rich dirt over a man's sheet-covered remains. Then, Jason tried to forget about the grave, ignoring his yard and allowing it to grow over with weeds and unkempt bushes. After enough time had passed, Jason began to feel safe, thinking his secret would remain undiscovered. That prompts him to abandon caution and hire a lawn-care company to install some new landscaping, but he covers himself by making certain the workers stay far away from the hidden body. Turns out that body isn’t the problem; instead of unearthing Jason’s secret, they dig up not one, but two additional bodies in the yard, and Jason has no idea whom either corpse might be. When a couple of police detectives with a very smart dog and a pair of interlopers show up to complicate matters, the stage is set for one of the strangest nights ever, much of it staged in Jason’s yard. Although the self-consciously clever prose threatens to overwhelm them, the characters keep the action rolling in a tale that is often very funny in a weird sort of way.

Mason’s written a dandy of a first outing with not a single boring moment.

Pub Date: Feb. 12th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4516-8503-9
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2012


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