Synopses & Reviews
Jess Walters first two novels, Over Tumbled Graves
and Land of the Blind
, have garnered truly extraordinary acclaim from all quarters for their strong characterizations and original stories. Each of them was a BookSense 76 selection and an Amazon.com Penzler Pick, and each garnered extraordinary rave reviews in all quarters of the literary world from mystery writers to literary novelists. Now, to tie in with the publication of Citizen Vince
his third novel set in Spokane, Washington ReganBooks is proud to be republishing Over Tumbled Graves
and Land of the Blind
in handsomely designed new uniform trade paperback editions.
Dark in mood and rich in character, Over Tumbled Graves is the rare thriller that manages to be at once viscerally gripping and provocative on a deeper level. Set in the city of Spokane, the novel follows detective Caroline Mabry as she descends into a nighmarish underworld of violence in pursuit of a suspected prostitute killer named Lenny Ryan. As the bodies pile up, the personal strain becomes unbearable for Caroline and her mentor, Alan Dupree and the two are forced to confront not only the mounting death toll but their desperate, unconsummated attraction for each other. As her investigation closes in on the truth, Caroline enters an all-male world of serial-killer experts for whom chasing violent criminals is like managing a major-league sports team far more concerned with grabbing headlines, amassing statistics into phony profiles, and promoting their own careers than with the human beings at the center of the unthinkable crimes theyre supposed to be chasing. Within this most disturbing of boys clubs, Carolines abilities are called into question and her career jeopardized. She must swim against relentless currents of doubt to find the truth behind the killings. While her male colleagues focus on confirming their theories about the killer, Caroline turns to the victims, among whom she finds an unlikely ally. When she finally finds herself face-to-face with Lenny Ryan and all that he represents, she must chose between saving her career and standing up for the truth.
The last decade has seen an endless parade of serial killer novels, most following the conventions of The Silence of the Lambs. But this is that rare entry that actually merits the comparison for both its literary quality and its thoughtful confrontation of the place serial killers have assumed in our culture.
"[Walter's] powerful fiction debut....stands out from run-of-the-mill serial killer novels."The Seattle Times
"An original page-turner in this overcrowded genre." Philadelphia Inquirer
"Shifting like...currents, the story moves swiftly, promising a fast-paced thriller filled with inner turmoil as well as action." Sun Sentinel
"(Walter's) first novel is an accomplished character study....A very satisfying debut." Booklist
“[An] intelligent, gripping, and genuinely scary novel...” Otto Penzler, Amazon.com
“Breathtaking.Moving.Insightful. Excellent quality of writing.” The Mystery Review
"Outstanding. Riveting. Never sacrifices action for emotional impact." The Washington Post Book World
"Suspenseful,challenging and intelligently written, Over Tumbled Graves is a first novel of considerable depth and insight." The Dallas Morning News
"Disquieting. Walter('s)...incisive sensitivity...emerges as a bitter metaphor." New York Times Book Review
"First rate writing speeds us to a perfectly foreshadowed plot twist and a gripping conclusion." Oregonian
A riverbank littered with bodies. A city under siege by crime-solving "experts." One young detective struggles to discover the truth ... and preserve her sanity.
Spokane, Washington: a bustling city split by hurtling white-water falls. During a routine drug bust, Detective Caroline Mabry finds herself on a narrow bridge over the falls, face-to-face with a brutal murderer named Lenny Ryan. Within hours, the body of a young prostitute is found nearby, dumped along the riverbank. Then another. And another. Soon Caroline and her cynical mentor Alan Dupree are thrown headlong into the search for a serial murderer police have nicknamed the Southbank Strangler. But while Caroline hunts a killer, he may also be hunting her.
What follows is a novel that turns the usual serial killer story on its head, that confronts America's burgeoning fascination with psychopathology and murder and stares it down. Through one long, bloody summer, Caroline and Dupree remain one step behind a madman who seems to be communicating by killing women and growing bolder with each new body. And when Spokane is overrun by headline-grabbing FBI profilers, statisticians, and TV producers, the detectives are forced to grapple with the ever hungrier serial murder industry. Before it's all over, Caroline and Dupree uncover some hard truths about their city, their profession, and each other. And Caroline finds herself back at the river, facing an evil far more alarming than the one she thought she was chasing.
Rich with the darkly muted colors of the Pacific Northwest skies, peopled with characters of extraordinary depth and dimension, Over Tumbled Graves marks the debut of a novelist with unusual insight into the human psyche.
In Over Tumbled Graves, Jess Walter, National Book Award finalist and author of Citizen Vince and The Zero, confronts our fascination with pathology and murder. A thriller of extraordinary depth and dimension, Over Tumbled Graves follows Caroline Mabry, a Spokane police detective searching for a serial murderer.
About the Author
Jess Walter is the author of six novels, including the bestsellers Beautiful Ruins and The Financial Lives of the Poets, the National Book Award finalist The Zero, and Citizen Vince, the winner of the Edgar Award for best novel. His short fiction has appeared in Harper's, McSweeney's, and Playboy, as well as The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. He lives in his hometown of Spokane, Washington.