Thursday, August 04, 2011

Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson

Last time I looked at Kate Atkinson’s web site I got the impression she was done with Jackson Brodie, at least for a while. That was back when I read When Will There Be Good News, which I blogged about here. But apparently I was wrong! What a pleasure to discover a new mystery featuring this complicated man (ex-cop, ex-soldier, private investigator, denizen of Edinburgh and other northern cities).

As usual in Atkinson’s books, multiple plot strands (from both the past and the present) intertwine to create a twisted web of crime, corruption, moral ambiguity, and emotional wreckage. This story also features a new character, ex-detective Tracy Waterhouse, who seems to have a lot in common with Brodie: On the same day that Brodie kidnaps a dog from his abusive owner, Tracy kidnaps a little girl from her abusive mother. Meanwhile, Brodie wants to talk to Tracy about her memories of a case from 40 years ago, another kidnapping of a child. Tracy is as tightly wound as Brodie, and just as respectful of the rules (sarcasm). I liked her.

So can you follow it? Yes, because Atkinson is always up to the task: no loose ends, nothing left to coincidence. She is an expert at this form. If you haven’t read these books, you should start with the first one, Case Histories (blogged about here). They are really really good.

And here is another treat: when I visited Atkinson’s web site I discovered that the BBC has made a TV series of the first few Jackson Brodie titles, starring Jason Isaacs, who is skinnier than I imagine Brodie to be, but who otherwise looks perfect for the part. I don’t think Netflix is carrying this yet in the U.S. but I’m sure it will arrive soon enough.

(Book 22, 2011)


Lisa said...

I read When Will There Be Good News a couple of years ago and I can't say that I loved it. too many things that were too coincidental for me. But I did like Atkinson's style and will likely try this one.

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