Tara Moss's Reviews > Case Histories

Case Histories by Kate Atkinson
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's review
Nov 03, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: crime

Tara Moss Recommends Case Histories, by Kate Atkinson

If it was Marlee and he had to decide – dead or missing for ever – which would he choose? No, he couldn’t go there, couldn’t bear to imagine it, couldn’t tempt fate by trying to. Either scenario depicted the worst thing that could possibly happen. What did you do when the worst thing that could happen to you had already happened – how did you live your life then? You had to hand it to Theo Wyre, just carrying on living required a kind of courage that most people didn’t have…

Case Histories, the fourth novel from award-winning author Kate Atkinson, introduces us for the first time to her series character, Jackson Brodie. As the novel begins, we read the tales of three seemingly disparate cold cases, or ‘case histories’ in the voices of those who were there at the time. Atkinson crafts a believably flawed and sympathetic character in Brodie, the divorced private investigator, weekend father and former cop who ends up reluctantly taking on these individual cases with the understanding that cold cases are often a lost cause. (The first ‘case history’ is the thirty-year old disappearance of a 3-year old girl, which is very cold indeed). Despite the odds, Atkinson expertly weaves these stories of love, loss and family secrets together into a startling and satisfying finish.
As a bonus, I couldn’t help but imagine the ever-watchable Jason Isaacs as Brodie, just as he appears in the excellent British TV series of the same name, based on Atkinson’s books. Highly recommended reading.

Links: http://www.kateatkinson.co.uk/
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