Laurel's Reviews > When Will There Be Good News?

When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson
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May 15, 2009

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bookshelves: fiction, mystery-or-suspense
Read in May, 2009

This is my first Kate Atkinson book. I had wanted to read Case Histories, but my library didn't have it in, so I settled on this one. It wasn't until I started to read reviews that I realized this is actually a continuation of the series (apparently following the life of detective Jackson Brodie, though he takes a back seat in this book).

Not knowing at all what to expect from Atkinson, I was a bit startled by the opening scene: a woman is walking down a country road with her 3 children and the family dog when a man suddenly appears and begins to follow them. He then proceeds to kill the dog, the mother and 2 of the 3 kids (one of the girls gets away). This is not a spoiler, as it happens in the first few pages of the story. The book then flashes forward to 30 years later, when the surviving daughter (now a doctor) is 36, and the man who killed her family is about to be paroled.

What follows is more death, more murder, more families torn apart, and some drug dealing mixed in for added fun. Good times. :) Actually, despite such grimness, there are moments of respite and humor, and the book is well written. It is a definite page turner. The characters (once you can get them all sorted out) are well developed and quite likable. I just struggled a bit with the plausibility of how all these characters, who each had so much tragic death in their lives, would come together in the end in the way that they did. Still, a fast and interesting read... just not as good as I was hoping.
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