Josie's Reviews > Started Early, Took My Dog

Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson
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Sep 05, 2011

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Read in August, 2011

** spoiler alert ** I regret to say it, but I didn't like this book as much as the three previous Jackson Brodie novels. The writing felt looser, not as polished. There was lots of rambling and POV-switching, which sometimes made it hard to keep up with what was going on. I also disliked the characters reminiscing so much, as the narrative would skip between the past and the present without always signposting it. And how annoying were all those descriptions of Jackson "tapping in" an email on his phone to Hope McMaster?

I also wanted answers at the end, which I didn't get. Some mysteries were solved, but Courtney's identity and Kelly Cross's murder -- two major threads of the plot -- were left unresolved, which was frustrating. Jackson's unexplained ~revelation~ at the end was clearly that Courtney's birthmark matched the list of distinguishing signs in Mitch's missing children folder, but that doesn't answer anything -- it just confirms that she was a missing child, and not Kelly's daughter.

But I did like Tracy Waterhouse, and Courtney's papal gestures with her silver fairy wand. Their story carried the whole book along and made the other bits more bearable.
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Reading Progress

02/11 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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Alison I agree about the unresolved threads - I realise that sometimes not everything is explained - just like real life - but it almost felt as though it had been forgotten.


Angelika It's good to know that it wasn't me. I thought I had missed it.


Colin Greenland Thanks for locating the closing birthmark reference for us, Josie. By that point I was just too tired of flipping back & forth trying to remember who people were.


Susie Bell You speak my mind on this one.


message 5: by Roy (new)

Roy Totally agree. Case Histories really should have been a one off, but guess Atkinson realised this would be a more lucrative franchise. Successive oops have gotten worse and worse. Too many ridiculous coincidences for me. And as for the other PI? Seriously?! That really took the biscuit


message 6: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Davison Yes me too, I came on this site looking for any reviews which may have explained something I'd missed but it seems I'm not alone in thinking that the question of Courtney's true identity and the birthmark reference were pretty major pieces of the plot which needed to be resolved. I felt somewhat cheated by this dangling thread...and it isn't " like real life" it's a novel and readers can expect a proper denouement.


Linda Although I liked this book, I did a lot of flipping back through the pages to remember who was who. Did I miss who Jennifer was? The girl he took back in Germany?


Karen Merrifield Thank goodness for the search button on kindle because I had to go back several times to connect the dots. This review was so much my opinion of the book. I do love atkinson's writing but I have to reread a lot! My favorite thing about her is how she creates the surrounding characters or more minor characters' lives.


Louise Annetta Thanks for the birth mark comment. I figured out the rest but, like other readers said, I could not keep flipping through the book to find out about the birth mark. Oh yes. who was Jennifer?

Oh yes a Kindle would have helped to search for clues.


message 10: by Aileen (new) - added it

Aileen I agree with your response to those lose threads, which were failrly major plot points. Like others, I wondered if I had missed something. The characters were hard to keep straight and I still don't have a clear picture of who all those cops were and who did what. They blurred in my mind a lot. I like Atkinson's writing a lot but this one was a little below standard.


message 11: by Aileen (new) - added it

Aileen Sorry, loose threads


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