Case Histories: (Jackson Brodie)

Case Histories: (Jackson Brodie)

Book rating: 05 Paperback

By (author) Kate Atkinson

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  • Publisher: Black Swan
  • Format: Paperback | 432 pages
  • Dimensions: 126mm x 198mm x 30mm | 299g
  • Publication date: 4 July 2005
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0552772437
  • ISBN 13: 9780552772433
  • Sales rank: 19,505

Product description

Cambridge is sweltering, during an unusually hot summer. To Jackson Brodie, former police inspector turned private investigator, the world consists of one accounting sheet - Lost on the left, Found on the right - and the two never seem to balance. Jackson has never felt at home in Cambridge, and has a failed marriage to prove it. Surrounded by death, intrigue and misfortune, his own life haunted by a family tragedy, he attempts to unravel three disparate case histories and begins to realise that in spite of apparent diversity, everything is connected...

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Author information

Kate Atkinson's Case Histories introduced the former private detective Jackson Brodie, who made a welcome return in One Good Turn, When Will There Be Good News? (voted Richard & Judy Best Read of the Year) and Started Early, Took My Dog. The first three Brodie novels have been adapted into a successful BBC TV series starring Jason Isaacs. She won the Whitbread (now Costa) Book of the Year prize for her first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, and has been a critically acclaimed international author ever since. She was appointed MBE in the 2011 Queen's Birthday Honours list.

Customer reviews

By Marianne Vincent 27 Jul 2013 5

Case Histories is the first book in the Jackson Brodie series by popular British author, Kate Atkinson. The background facts on several unrelated cases are presented: the disappearance of a toddler thirty-four years previous; the slaying by knife in broad daylight of a solicitor's daughter ten years ago; the disappearance of a daughter whose mother went to jail for the murder of her father twenty-five years before; an old woman who is convinced her black cats are being abducted. PI Jackson Brodie, ex-Military Police, ex-cop, is the link between all these disparate cases. But as Jackson investigates, the lines dividing the cases begin to blur and people left behind enter each other's stories. And it seems Jackson has an unsolved case in his own past as well. Atkinson's format may deter some readers, as the three cases in the first chapters seem both unrelated and unfinished, but persistence is rewarded with an excellent mystery/drama that will leave the reader eager for more. Atkinson has a wonderful way with words and some of her passages are superbly evocative: "Right up until the end Victor's mind had been as methodical as an efficient library, whereas Amelia felt hers was more like the cupboard under the stair where ancient hockey sticks were shoved beside broken hoovers and boxes of old Christmas decorations, and the one thing you knew was in there - a 5-amp fuse, a tin of tan shoe polish, a Philips screwdriver - would almost certainly be the one thing you couldn't lay your hands on." and vividly descriptive: "Her mad hair looked as if it had been groomed by a troupe of circus dogs." Jackson is a very likeable character, flawed, but trying to do the right thing. Other characters are recognisable as people we encounter in our everyday lives: eccentric old women, homeless waifs, fat geezers, precocious young girls. There may be no classic denouement, but this is nonetheless a clever and funny detective story.

Review quote

"Her best book yet, an astonishingly complex and moving literary detective story that made me sob but also snort with laughter. It's the sort of novel you have to start rereading the minute you've finished it" Guardian "Sharp humour, together with a number of unexpected twists makes this a typically pacey and intelligent read" Daily Mail "A greedy feast of a story by a masterful author...A profound, exciting and lingering read" Daily Express "Triumphant...Her best book yet...A tragi-comedy for our times" Sunday Telegraph "To read it is to enter a hall of mirrors...Part complex family drama, part mystery, it winds up having more depth and vividness than ordinary thrillers and more thrills than ordinary fiction...A wonderfully tricky book" New York Times