Started Early, Took My Dog: (Jackson Brodie)

Started Early, Took My Dog: (Jackson Brodie)

Book rating: 05 Paperback Jackson Brodie

By (author) Kate Atkinson

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  • Publisher: Black Swan
  • Format: Paperback | 496 pages
  • Dimensions: 127mm x 198mm x 31mm | 350g
  • Publication date: 17 February 2011
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0552772461
  • ISBN 13: 9780552772464
  • Sales rank: 7,196

Product description

A day like any other for security chief Tracy Waterhouse, until she makes a shocking impulse purchase. That one moment of madness is all it takes for Tracy's humdrum world to be turned upside down, the tedium of everyday life replaced by fear and danger at every turn. Witnesses to Tracy's outrageous exchange in the Merrion Centre in Leeds are Tilly, an elderly actress teetering on the brink of her own disaster, and Jackson Brodie who has returned to his home county in search of someone else's roots. All three characters learn that the past is never history and that no good deed goes unpunished. Kate Atkinson dovetails and counterpoints her plots with Dickensian brilliance in a tale peopled with unlikely heroes and villains . Started Early, Took My Dog is freighted with wit, wisdom and a fierce moral intelligence. It confirms Kate Atkinson's position as one of the great writers of our time.

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Author information

Kate Atkinson's Started Early, Took My Dog is the fourth novel to feature the former private detective Jackson Brodie, after Case Histories, One Good Turn and When Will There Be Good News? (voted Richard & Judy Best Read of the Year). The first three Brodie novels were adapted into a successful BBC TV series starring Jason Isaacs. Kate 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 bestselling author ever since. She was appointed MBE in the 2011 Queen's Birthday Honours List.

Customer reviews

By Marianne Vincent 17 Sep 2013 5

Started Early, Took My Dog is the fourth book in the Jackson Brodie series by popular British author, Kate Atkinson. Set some two years after When Will There Be Good News, Jackson is wandering around England, looking for his fake wife, Tessa, and researching the real parents of a New Zealand adoptee, Hope McMaster. At the same time, ex-cop Tracy Waterhouse finds herself buying a toddler from a prostitute, while ageing actress Tilly Squires slowly sinks into dementia. As Jackson follows leads to dead ends, he finds a doppelganger is treading the same paths, and stumbles into a thirty-year-old crime. This instalment has a great cast of characters, including crooked cops, retired social workers, prostitutes, actors, children and a dog. Jackson manages to rescue a dog, be followed, beaten up, have his dog bugged, his car stolen and end up hogtied in a rubbish skip. As always, the dialogue is snappy and Atkinson's strength is her characters' inner monologues: "Jackson tried to remember why but the tiny people who resentfully ran his memory these days (fetching and carrying folders, checking the contents against index cards, filing them away in boxes that were then placed on endless rows of grey metal Dexion shelving never to be found again) had, in an all too frequent occurrence, mislaid that particular piece of information" and "Ravaged by acne, if you knew Braille you could probably have read his face" and "Schrodinger, whoever he was, and his cat, and anyone else that felt like it, had all climbed inside Pandora's box and were dining on a can of worms". There are lots of literary quotes, misquotes, bits of poetry and jokes. The plot, as always, is original and keeps twisting and turning to the very end. While it is not essential to have read the earlier books of this series, this book does contain spoilers for earlier books, so it doesn't hurt to read them in order. Once again, Atkinson provides a brilliant read and one can only hope there will be more of Jackson Brodie.

Review quote

"Crime has given Atkinson the freedom to write an ambitious, panoramic work, full of excitement, colour and compassion" Sunday Times "Atkinson's finest novel to date. Indeed, it's one of the finest British novels, in any genre, to have emerged for years...sharp and dexterous, subtle and stylish, very funny and at time extraordinarily cutting...This is very much a state of the nation novel - far sharper and more observant and satirically understanding than anything else out there at the moment. And yet Atkinson also gives us humanity, insight and entertainment...a story that deserves to be read for decades to come" -- Henry Sutton Mirror "The wonder of Atkinson's novels has been their joie de vivre, extraordinary given the high incidence of violent death. An irrepressible exuberance shines throughout..folds past and present together with Atkinson's customary flair...extraordinary combination of wit, plain-speaking, tenderness and control" Guardian "As ever, Atkinson's prose is diamond-cut to twinkle and slice by turns. Her playful sense of humour dances round the darkness of her themes. She skips through the difficult steps required to balance the reader's need for satisfying (and surprising) resolution with a realist's view of human nature and the messiness of real-life criminality" Daily Telegraph "A wonderful stylist...but she was never confined to the crime genre, has written in assorted other modes and excels at them all. Whatever she goes on to write, she leaves Jackson Brodie at a suspenseful and pivotal moment. Future installments are well worth waiting for" -- Janet Maslin New York Times