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The Grave Tattoo by Val McDermid

The Grave Tattoo

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Val McDermid is the winner of the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger Award 2010, which honours outstanding achievement in the field of crime writing.

A superb psychological thriller in which a present-day murder has its roots in the eighteenth century and the mutiny on the Bounty.

If you like Val McDermid you might also like to read books by Stuart MacBride, Jane Casey and Fred Vargas.


The Grave Tattoo by Val McDermid

When torrential summer rains uncover a bizarrely tattooed body on a Lake District hillside, old wives' tales also come swirling to the surface. For centuries Lakelanders have whispered that Fletcher Christian staged the massacre on Pitcairn so that he could return home. And there he told 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 harbouring 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. Against the dramatic backdrop of England's Lake District a drama of life and death plays out, its ultimate prize a bounty worth millions.

About the Author

Val McDermid

Val McDermid is a No. 1 bestseller whose novels have been translated into more than thirty languages, and have sold over eleven million copies. She has won many aw ards internationally, including the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year and the LA Times Book of the Year Award. She was inducted into the ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame in 2009 and w as the recipient of the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger for 2010. In 2011 she received the Lambda Literary Foundation Pioneer Award. She writes full time and divides her time between Cheshire and Edinburgh.

In 2016 Val was awarded the Theakston Old Peculier Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award. McDermid said: “It's an honour and a thrill to receive this award. The community of writers and readers at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival is unlike any other in its warmth and generosity and so this means a huge amount to me. This year sees the publication of my 30th novel and I can't think of a better way to celebrate that.”

In 2010 she received the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger Award, which honours outstanding achievement in the field of crime writing. Margaret Murphy, then chair of the CWA, said: "The CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger award acknowledges the work of an author who has made an outstanding contribution to the genre. Val McDermid is a worthy winner whose work has entertained and thrilled millions of readers as well as many more who have enjoyed the TV adaptations her books have inspired."

Author photo © Charlie Hopkinson

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Book Info

Publication date

6th February 2006


Val McDermid

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Harpercollins Publishers




Crime / Mystery
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