Jon's Reviews > One Good Turn

One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson
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's review
Oct 21, 11

liked it

Well-rounded characters and snappy dialogue in this fairly leisurely whodunnit (or maybe rather whatsgoingon). There are no hidden clues here--just hints at coincidences and connections that will become clearer only as we learn more. Entertaining, with lots of irony, both gentle and sharp, but too digressive and wordy for my taste. Rather like P.D. James with a sense of humor. Twice Jackson Brodie (Atkinson's sleuth) was seconds from death at the end of a chapter. The next chapter picked up the activities of remote characters, and we only came back to Jackson when the threat was all over and mopping up was under way. A frustrating narrative trick. And there was too much of "Jackson saw that the guy who had just kicked him in the stomach was now coming at him with an axe. He remembered when his dad had taken him camping and showed him how to use an axe. He was eleven at the time, and..." I'm guessing that at that particular moment, he wasn't really reminiscing, and I didn't want to be either. I was tempted at many points to start skipping, but I'm just not able to do that.
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message 1: by Snorri (new)

Snorri Sturluson Boy, that whole problem of skipping. I have started doing it the last couple of years, but it is always with a degree of guilt. I mean, if a book isn't worth reading in its entirety, it isn't worth reading at all, is it? I mean, don't I have any respect for my time? In fairness to myself, I find I do quit books after the initial pages more than I used to. (And I have recently walked out of plays at intermission, something I never used to do.) As regards skipping, mysteries are insidious because you can rationalize it by saying to yourself that you just want to see who dun it but don't find it worth the tedium of getting there by the author's ill-chosen, gassy route.

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