Claysville is a small town, a predictable, safe, sleepy town, but something suffocating about the place spurred Rebekkah Barrow to leave as soon as she was old enough to get out on her own. She has spent her early adult years traveling restlessly from place to place, never quite finding the right place to settle down. When her grandmother dies unexpectedly, Bek returns to Claysville, where she quickly discovers that her grandmother held many secrets, and that nothing is quite what it seems.
Bek discovers that her grandmother was murdered, and she is baffled that the police seem reluctant to investigate the matter. Her ex-boyfriend Byron has moved back to Claysville as well, and he is also anxious and puzzled by the unusual behavior of town officials. As she and Byron investigate, they unearth dark secrets about the town's past, things that make them see the bizarre traditions of Claysville regarding the dead - the rituals Bek's grandmother invariably performed in the town's cemetery, the rule regarding no embalming of corpses - in an entirely new and disturbing light.
What a wonderful, creepy tale for this time of the year! I have enjoyed Marr's Wicked Lovely series, but I have to say that this one is hands-down my favorite of her books. The characters are engaging and believable, and the setting is evocative and memorable. This appears to be a stand-alone novel - and it certainly offers a satisfying conclusion - but I found myself becoming attached to the places and characters in the story so that it was hard to let them go at the end. I'd certainly love to return for a visit some time soon. This is my third book for this year's R.I.P. Challenge, and it fit the bill perfectly. I'd definitely recommend this one to anyone looking for a creepy, complex and character-driven Halloween read.
Graveminder by Melissa Marr (William Morrow, 2011)
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Bewitched Bookworms: " This fresh, new mash-up of zombie and ghost mythology was fascinating and Graveminder is a page-turner that will leave you wanting more."
Bookalicio.us: "I have read Marr previously off and on, I love her style, I love her
writing but after Graveminder I am officially a fan. A huge fan."
The Guilded Earlobe: "Graveminder works well as a moody, character driven ghost tale and fans
of supernatural literature will defiantly find something to like here."