GraveminderGraveminder by Melissa Marr
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

okay, if you loved this book, you may wish to stop reading this review instantly.

……….

still here? okay, with the caveat that all books have their readers–

boy, was this one a stinker, imho.

i got 42 pages into this book and tossed it. i considered checking in to the local emergency clinic for the number of welts i’d accrued from the author bashing me over the head to make a point. i can’t recall the last time i read a book that had so little faith that the reader wasn’t a total moron. the writer gives the reader not one square centimeter to make a heavily foreshadowed non-guess about a circumstance or what a person is feeling–should a moment arrive when the reader is inhaling in preparation for such a guess, the writer quickly bludgeons said reader with just the facts, ma’am.

thus the dazed reader stumbles on, tucking up the scalp wounds with some handy first-aid tape, to the next moment of reflexive guessing, and WHAM! another blow.

don’t believe me? here’s a couple examples (from the paperback version).

(p. 6, at the scene of a murder, our mortician arrives to pick up the body): ” ‘ Did you already collect evidence or …?’ Byron halted before he’d finished the sentence. He didn’t know what all needed to be done. He’d picked up more bodies than he could count, but never from a still-fresh crime scene. He wasn’t a pathologist or in any way involved in forensic investigation. His job commenced afterward, not at the scene of a homicide.”

hurts, don’t it? first that halt before he’d finished the sentence, which we could tell because of the punctuation, that three-dot thingy, that ellipsis. good thing we are told he didn’t know what needed to be done, because his hesitation certainly would not have clued us in. and yes, as a mortician we can assume he’s picked up some bodies; and yes, we could probably have figured out that morticians don’t generally pick up crime-scene victims, but ok, i’ll give the author a pass on the last one. not everybody is steeped in police procedure. but then he isn’t a pathologist? don’t crime-scene bodies usually get picked up by Medical Examiners or coroners? and it’s so good that we are given to understand that Byron is not only not a pathologist (he’s a mortician! mortician!), he’s also not involved in any way with forensic investigation (because he’s a mortician! a mortician!). and then, the coup de grace: we are told his job commences after.

by now we could be forgiven for semi-conscious reeling from the blows and wondering what the afterward refers to, but fortunately we are reminded: not at the scene of a homicide.

one more example, and then i shall leave you to your own conclusions. Byron and Rebekkah get reacquainted after some separation, and the romantic tension begins.

(p. 41): “After a few moments, he held out a hand for her bag. ‘Let me get that.’

When he reached out, she jerked her hand away quickly so as to avoid touching him.

The tightening of his expression made clear that he noticed, but” blah blah blah.

he held a hand out for her bag, and when he reached out–fortunately the author signposts this instant for us, likely as we are to irresponsibly assume that a time warp would certainly occur in this split second, stretching out to infinity.

she jerks her hand away so as to avoid touching him. thank god i stand corrected! i thought it was because our heroine had developed a virulent and instantaneous spastic disease and was therefore doomed. that would make this a tragedy.

but of course it already is a tiny tragedy, for the trees that were killed to produce this book.

i’m going off to get my scalp sewed up now.

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