Over Tumbled Graves

Over Tumbled Graves A Riverbank Littered With Bodies A City Under Siege By Crime Solving Experts One Young Detective Struggles To Discover The Truth And Preserve Her SanitySpokane, 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 HerWhat 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 Alarming Than The One She Thought She Was ChasingRich 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

Jess Walter is the author of five novels and one nonfiction book His work has been translated into than 20 languages and his essays, short fiction, criticism and journalism have been widely published, in Details, Playboy, Newsweek, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe among many others.Walter also writes screenplays and was the co author of Christopher Darden s 1996 b

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  • Paperback
  • 400 pages
  • Over Tumbled Graves
  • Jess Walter
  • English
  • 01 February 2018
  • 9780061712838

10 thoughts on “Over Tumbled Graves

  1. says:

    Another great novel by Jess Walter I think this was his first work of fiction It might be not as polished or perfect as a thriller by an experienced author, but Walter succeeded in writing a crime story that has at the same time a literary depth and an engaging, believable plot Too often you find either one or the other, but not both elements in the same book Characters are 3D sculptures, alive and breathing from the pages You also have an original twist on the typical cynical investigator who bends all the rules but in the end solves the case here you have, in Dupree, a cynical investigator who has a million theories and metaphors, but doesn t actually do much to help the investigation at all One to read a little slower than your typical beach or flight thrillers.

  2. says:

    A long time ago I spent time in Spokane, Washington, the setting for this marvelously written literary mystery The small city itself was an interesting place of contrasts, surrounded by a beautiful and dramatic landscape This was in the 1970 s, so I imagine it has changed a great deal However, when I was there it was in the process of trying to fit two very different life philosophies together blue collar, hard working hard drinking country cowboy music unstyled people with calloused hands who hoped the logging trucking mining farming jobs would last and they could stay near their grandparents, and stylish long haired educated pot smoking rock n roll people who were all hoping to move to Seattle, Washington or Portland, Oregon some day because they felt Spokane was destroying them with boredom and stultifying old fashioned thinking Old fashioned vs new methodologies are bedeviling Sergeant Alan Dupree, in his work as Spokane police detective in 2001, the current time of the novel He has been partnered with a younger man, Chris Spivey, who has been accepted to Major Crimes, instead of his personal choice, Caroline Mabry, Special Investigations, who he had trained six years ago Spivey is full of new methods and policing techniques Dupree tries to lose him when he can A lot of things are bothering him, not only Spivey and the new investigation standards He secretly is in love with Caroline, who reluctantly refused a relationship with him, and his wife is unhappy in their marriage, apparently resenting his lack of attention Following regulations and filling out paperwork has become than irritating he s getting angry and frustrated.Caroline Mabry has never recovered from a domestic disturbance call of 6 years ago which involved a drunk husband beating his wife into pulp When the man lunged towards her, she shot him She isn t sure it was a good shoot since her memory and the subsequent investigation, to her, seem to barely approve of the circumstances for a good shoot the armed attacker who threatens an officer s life in a frontal assault should be 20 feet away or less She thinks she fired compulsively without thought, surprised and shocked, reacting in sudden fear In her memory the husband was farther away than 20 feet when she started thinking again Despite being cleared by the shooting review, she has had increasing corrosive doubts about her judgement in every police action, uncertain if she is making the correct moves or following correct procedure Adding to her discomfort is her present assignment with the drug detectives Her usual work was in property crimes, and she does not like the sneaky deception and pretense behind every drug dealer takedown, particularly the wearing of disguises.Even though Dupree and Mabry only occasionally work together these days, and each are unaware of the other s deep depression, they are concerned by each other s visible show of internal anxieties Both are seriously considering quitting, both feeling undermined and overwhelmed by the stresses of the job.Fortunately, gentle reader, they decide to continue detecting for 500 pages to catch a serial killer It s a good thing they stay on the job because no one else in the Spokane police department has a clue, especially two feuding profilers who invite themselves to the investigation when the department finally accepts that the horribly murdered rotting bodies of teen prostitutes without fingernails are victims of the same killer Calm yourself.Depression and doubts dogging their every step, Dupree and Mabry follow two separate threads amongst the meek and powerful, their bosses and lowlifes, while the bodies pile up If you feel a little embarrassed by your own quickened breathing because of how wonderful this mystery full of tawdry depravity sounds, take heart It s also a literary novel which has sentences with which any reader can impress their high brow friends in the retelling The two detectives, along with the bad guy sorry, I m not going to reveal who I ll only hint things are not entirely as you may think for 450 pages are examined with believable depths and backstory which make this a three dimensional look at people I think the author, Jess Walter, really knew before fictionalizing This is good, and I recommend it for those readers who like a literary depth in their dark reading There is a lot of character angst and not a lot of mayhem, which makes this slower paced, but there is still plenty of distress and deadly threats However, some characters are cartoons revenge or teasing, getting back at a real life acquaintance , and there is a character who didn t feel right to me The jokey ironies never felt misplaced, though The violence is not explicit, but I never doubted the story or the action However, I DO think perhaps these detectives should sit down with a psychologist of their choosing but not until the end of the book

  3. says:

    Serious and yet oddly whimsical serial killer mystery This is Walter s first novel, and you can tell that there were a lot of elements he wanted to get in there the Green River Killer and the double edged sword of profiling and new policing vs old and T.S Eliot s The Waste Land and even a touch of romance I m not sure how well it all works together the resulting work feels a bit disjointed, not quite complete But it s also so much interesting and complex than the average mystery, with psychologically rich characterization and an at least as far as I could tell impressive level of realism to the police work Emotionally, most of the novel feels impressively gritty and grounded in harsh truths And yet, in the same book, there s also a random scene in a bar that, as an Eliot fan, had me spasming with joy Bizarre combination But fascinating and compelling, and you can see traces of the genre blending creativity that are so evident in his later work Much of this book has stayed with me, and it definitely left me wanting .

  4. says:

    I ve been thru Spokane before It s one of those mid sized smaller cities like Buffalo, NY Dearborn, MI Springville, IL and a city that I spent than 10 years in, Duluth, MN These cities and a handful of others had big big money when the railroad was big and when inland ports prospered There s a certain poverty that lives in these cities that threatens to drown out the history poverty resulting from meth, the white poor, bigger gangs moving into smaller communities, and the people that grew up in these cities know it well Jess Walter grew up and lived in Spokane his whole life, so I take it he knows the city like his own thumbprint This makes this novel a little special it s a love song of sorts to these cities It s a love song with brutal honesty Add a couple great characters and an explosive story line and this is a book to remember Like any novel that I end up in love with, I of course see a character I identify with Catherine, a 36 year old cop who doesn t know why she s still in Spokane but is living her life one day at a time, is tough but is also tortured by an overly alert, highly intelligent brain that won t stop She s in a relationship with a much younger guy and her mom is dying of cancer.A guy is killing prostitutes Profilers get involved The older cop she has a complicated relationship with, who has his own problems, is trying not to botch the investigation The situation explodes I thought I had the mystery part solved, but in the end I didn t even care because the humanity of the characters and of Spokane seemed to trump the mystery part And it turns out I didn t guess the ending right, which made me love the book .So yeah, I don t know how I missed this one when it came out originally So good Read it And thanks for such a great book, Mr Walter I m not going to look at Spokane the same.

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  6. says:

    After being totally wowed by the short story collection We Live in Water I ve been working my way through Jess Walter s back catalog Over Tumbled Graves is his first and it falls short of the mark set by The Zero and Citizen Vince This is a fairly typical story about a serial killer preying on prostitutes in Spokane Washington and the police officers trying to track him down It s not that the book is bad, it s just fairly unremarkable Walter seems to be just starting to find his voice The black humor and sense of place that are the hallmarks of his work are here, but in a rougher form.

  7. says:

    Finding a new author new in the sense of my never having been exposed to him before that I like is one of the great pleasures in life and I definitely will be looking for novels by Jess Walter in the future It turns out that this was Walters first published novel 2001 , and this copy was a 2000 advanced reader s edition Not For Sale This particular copy appeared on the book swap shelf at the VA Hospital last week Frankly, I picked it up largely because it was set in large print although, interestingly, it does not say so and I did not have my reading glasses with me and the publisher s description on the back cover really whetted my interest I am delighted to say that this time, for once, the book really lived up to the publisher s description The characters in this novel are marvelously drawn The book is told in the omnipotent third person point of view, but we get so much insight into the thought processes of the two main characters that it feels like stream of consciousness In addition, the author has an interesting style that keeps the action running fast and furiously, dropping representations of police reports and newspaper articles into the text as a way of jumping over all the bother of describing the associated scenes What really helps is that the two main protagonists are extremely complex people and the reader gets drawn into the complexity of their relationship, which is an underlying subplot of the story The two protagonists are two detectives in the Spokane, Washington, police department a 36 year old spinster not by intent who lives with a 24 year old college boy and takes care of her dying mother, and the 48 year old sergeant who trained her for ten years, until he realized they were becoming too close and demanded a job transfer to get away from her for the sake of his family The heroine, Caroline Mabry, is an attractive and introspective young woman who gets along well with people but finds problems in being the only woman on the detective team the hero, Sgt Alan Dupree, is equally insightful but has an irreverent sense of humor that forces him to say delightfully inappropriate things at every turn The two of them begin this novel with a failed drug bust that ends up with the death of one of the suspects During the follow up investigation, another body is discovered in the park where this action was taking place On the same day, another murder is discovered elsewhere in the city, immediately followed by still another, and then another again Tracking down these seemingly unrelated events, the detectives soon come to realize that they are in fact related, and an FBI profiler is called in to help track down the serial killer with a second profiler then being drawn into the action because of his antagonism concerning the first.The story is a good read in itself, but the novel is made increasingly delightful by the sarcastic humor produced by Sgt Dupree and the slapstick politics of the police administration, who question Sgt Dupree s leadership abilities and replace him as team leader with the newly graduated young officer Dupree had been training, who is smitten with both of the warring profilers Meanwhile, Caroline goes on doing standard police work, interviewing potential witnesses and gradually coming to wonder if the whole police force is barking up the wrong tree.I enjoy complicated plots, and this one is delightful, even if the complication comes about because we only see what the author allows us to see at each successive stage of the story, as it evolves from a drug bust into murder, then into murders, then into serial killings, with all of the action having pronounced effects on the family relationships of those involved and being garnished with Dupree s amusing comments and Caroline s inner conflicts throughout Jess Walter really is a funny guy, and his humor is sprinkled throughout the novel In addition, he is a true word master and the book is sprinkled with allusions to history and literature revealing a superior education.Doing a little very little research afterward on the author, I found that Jess Walker started as a journalist and got into the book writing business by producing a book about the Ruby Ridge incident B the way, you really should look for his How I Write interview on the Web He also has produced several books of short stories, along with some play scripts.Semi spoiler I slammed the book closed on the last page at an hour past midnight, very upset that the ending did not turn out the way I had expected which reminded me that life and love remain unfathomable mysteries.

  8. says:

    After reading two recent impressive novels Citizen Vince and The Zero by Jess Walters I have decided to go back and read his first two novels The first of which is Over Tumbled Graves The title comes from an epigraph from T.S Eliot s seminal poem The Waste Land In the faint moonlight, the grass is singing Over the tumbled graves In fact, Walters states in an interview in the back of the book that he has tried to write a parallel structure with the poem in the novel I can t judge whether he has achieved this aim or not, because I can t remember the poem clearly, but I am sure that it was studied at some point in my undergraduate English literature career However, this detail accurately identifies this as a literary thriller Walters has done an admirable job of characterization in bring alive detectives Allan Dupree and Caroline Mabry not to mention humanizing the prostitute victims like Rae Ann, which he identifies as one of his goals in the novel He also wanted to expose the cynical economy of crime with the media, which is especially applicable to serial killers Which brings us to another aspect of the novel that hit s home a little too close, Walters reported on several serial killer cases while working as a journalist in my hometown of Spokane the coin shop killer and Cory Bartell who confessed to Walters This confession led to his intent to personify the banality of evil that killers like Bartell possessed He was angry with Walters for identifying the wrong type of baseball bat he used to kill his mother in an experiment to see if he could get away with murder Further soon after the publication of the novel Richard Yates, a killer of prostitutes in Spokane was arrested suggesting Walters had drawn from that, when in actuality it was written before Another of Walters s intentions was to personify the city of Spokane as the setting for the novel I think this is an extremely successful first novel It is philosophic, compelling, entertaining, and well written with well developed characters As a bonus, the P.S edition has an interview, a back story explanation, list of recommended books, and summaries of his other books including an excerpt from his latest.

  9. says:

    So, I read Land of the Blind before reading this, which meant I knew how certain things would go Somehow, though, that didn t change how much I enjoyed the book I think that really says something about the power of good writing However, I strongly recommend reading this first This book follows Caroline Mabry and Alan Dupree, two police officers in the homicide unit, as they try to unravel the seemingly open and shut case of several murdered prostitutes, their bodies all found in the same manner Along the way, Mabry and Dupree have problems with their respective relationships all the while struggling with the ambiguous one between them.The book jumps every chapter to another point of view from the previous This really keeps things interesting It s a technique that I most recently saw in Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon In this book, though, we get to see through the eyes of a few unconventional side characters, not just the two main protagonists.The imagery, as always with Jess Walter, is stark and evocative of some of the basest human emotions Reading about how Mabry deals with her dying mother or her crumbling relationship enables just about anyone to relate to the woman But one of Jess Walter s most unique abilities, I m realizing, is making the reader acknowledge the humanity of criminals In The Financial Lives of the Poets, we are shown how human drug traffickers are in Land of the Blind, Walter tells us the life story, from childhood, of a man who is confessing to murder Over Tumbled Graves drives home the fact that, while we like to think that criminals are inhuman, or maybe they are just broken, these people have the same human desires as any of us.Overall read it, love it.

  10. says:

    I am on a Jess Walter tear Under Tumbled Graves is the 5th book of Walter s that I have read Yikes.I think my addiction stems from his newspaper reporter quality He writes with knowledge of police and crime He s obviously an observant man He knows his characters and he helps us know his characters Also, he writes from Spokane, WA which is a similar town to Tacoma I just relate to his writing and so wish someone from Tacoma could write in this same way.This plot positions old police styles of investigation against computer data collecting, daily conferences with everyone, and expert crime profilers There s a duo in the lead roles, the Sergeant, Alan Dupree and Caroline Mabry, special investigations detective Sergeant Dupree is old school gut insights and thoughtfulness He s always cautioning himself to not jump at coincidence, to hold his patience when information starts falling into a pattern For six years he has been working with Mabry imparting his insights and knowing that she is becoming skilled.He does, however, dismiss his new partner, Spivey Spivey comes in with computer fact finding skills New ways of organizing data The higher ups love the new Spivey replaces Dupree And the officers actually like the organized style that Spivey brings But does it help solve crime This plot is also about attraction The attraction between two people was directly proportional to their proximity to death For cops,male and female officers were most susceptible to affairs during times of stress and danger It s also about an attraction that is never acted upon How this un acted attraction remains in the fantasies, in the emotions and never faces the diminished realities of daily life and how we are.Oh yes, it s also about a serial killer, prostitutes and the hazards of their lifestyles, retaliation, and rage Fortunately Walter doesn t get graphic with these crimes It s enough that they happened The really interesting thing truly is the detective s psychological unraveling the story And Walter s writing places us within the psyches of the detectives.

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