In The Grave Tattoo, suspense master Val McDermid spins a psychological thriller in which a present-day murder has its roots in the eighteenth century and the mutiny on the H.M.S. Bounty.
After torrential summer rains uncover a bizarrely tattooed body on a Lake District hillside, a long-disregarded old wive's tale takes on a chilling new plausibility. For centuries, Lakelanders have whispered that Fletcher Christian, made infamous by Mutiny on the Bounty, staged the massacre on Pitcairn so that he could return home. And once there, what if he could tell his story to an old friend and schoolmate, William Wordsworth, who turned it into a long narrative poem—a poem that remained hidden lest it expose Wordsworth to the gallows for harboring a fugitive. Wordsworth specialist Jane Gresham, herself a native of the Lake District, feels compelled to discover once and for all whether the manuscript ever existed—and whether it still exists today. But as she pursues each new lead, death follows hard on her heels. Suddenly Jane is at the heart of a 200-year-old mystery that still has the power to put lives on the line.