LJ's Reviews > Case Histories

Case Histories by Kate Atkinson
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's review
Dec 03, 08

really liked it
bookshelves: contemporary_post_1945, england, female_author, mystery, private_investigator
Read in November, 2008

CASE HISTORIES (PI-Jackson Brodie-England-Cont) – VG
Atkinson, Kate – 1st in series
Doubleday, 2004, UK Hardcover – ISBN: 0385607997

First Sentence: How lucky were they?

Ex-cop Jackson Brodie has three cases on which he is working. In 1970, Olivia, the youngest of three sisters disappears after she and another sister spent the night in their backyard tent. Their father has now died. When cleaning out his desk, the two middle sisters find Olivia’s favorite toy. What happened to Olivia? In

1979, an overwhelmed wife and mother reaches the breaking point with disastrous results. Her sister wants Jackson to find Tanya, the niece she promised to care for. In 1997, a businessman’s daughter was murdered during her first day of work in her fathers’ author. Who killed her?

Along with the three cases, Jackson has his own issues including an ex-wife and Binky Rain, a 90-year-old lady who believes someone is stealing her cats, and accidents that are not accidental.

Ms. Atkinson’s book was an absolute delight to read. Think macramé; lots of different colored and textured threads skillfully woven together to create a wonderful end product. It may bother some, but I love her use of parenthetical phrases and her imagery. All the elements are there; humor, pathos, suspense, tragedy, emotion, irony and a small touch of paranormal.

Her books are character driven, and a range of characters there is. We get to know them all but particularly Jackson is revealed to us as the story unfolds. There are two sisters who are classic in the way one goads the other with behavior and occasional crass references.

In some ways, this isn’t the easiest book to read just from the way it is structured, and it’s not a gripping page-turner in the usual sense. It is, however, a page-turner in that I became so involved with the stories, I had to know what would happen next and resolution to each case. Atkinson has an unusual and compelling style that is wry, slightly noir and absolutely wonderful.
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