- Publisher: Black Swan
- Format: Paperback | 480 pages
- Dimensions: 124mm x 196mm x 36mm | 322g
- Publication date: 2 January 2009
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0552772453
- ISBN 13: 9780552772457
- Sales rank: 7,789
In rural Devon, six-year-old Joanna Mason witnesses an appalling crime. Thirty years later the man convicted of the crime is released from prison. In Edinburgh, sixteen-year-old Reggie works as a nanny for a G.P. But Dr Hunter has gone missing and Reggie seems to be the only person who is worried. Across town, Detective Chief Inspector Louise Monroe is also looking for a missing person, unaware that hurtling towards her is an old friend -- Jackson Brodie -- himself on a journey that becomes fatally interrupted.
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Kate Atkinson's When Will There Be Good News? was voted Richard & Judy Best Read of the Year. After Case Histories and One Good Turn, it was her third novel to feature the former private detective Jackson Brodie. These three novels have been adapted into a successful BBC TV series starring Jason Isaacs. Jackson Brodie made a welcome return in her latest novel, Started Early, Took My Dog. 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.
By Gaby @ Starting Fresh 07 Jan 2010
The blurb of When Will There Be Good News? piqued my interest, but the first few pages had me hooked.
The novel opens to a scene of violence and loss and gives us six-year-old Joanna Mason's third person account of the day that she lost her family. Somehow, despite the details of the day and Joanna's youth, we get a sense of the woman that she becomes. Admirable, strong, courageous, and simpatico.
The other women characters are similarly compelling and parts of the story is told in the third person but from their points of view. There's Reggie who seems to be stalked by death. Brilliant, she did well academically at the horrible posh school where she'd been awarded a scholarship. But socially, the school was a disaster for Reggie. When freed from her mother's watchful eye, Reggie trades school for two jobs and private tutoring of sorts. Reggie's favorite place is at Dr. Hunter's home, with the baby, Dr. Hunter and the dog. Clean, full of light, warm and welcoming, it is where Reggie feels most useful and at home.
The organized, well-read, caring, and efficient Dr. Hunter seems a strange match with her dodgy husband in the "entertainment business". But while Reggie and Detective Chief Inspector Louise Monroe may shake their heads, love is a strange business. When you're among those that Dr. Hunter loves, you bask in the warmth of her affection. She'll phone to speak to baby and to the dog. Accomplished but not vain, Dr. Hunter is an "all rounder" - an athlete, musician, gifted doctor, cherished mother, wife, and friend. Her judgement in all things, excepting her husband, seems unimpeachable.
Through the character and point of view of Detective Chief Inspector Louise Monroe, the book moves towards the tradition of the British detective novels. Centered on work to the detriment of her marriage and social life, DCI Monroe reminds us that When Will There Be Good News? is a detective thriller and mystery. As DCI Monroe and Reggie work to piece together the mystery of Dr. Hunter's disappearance, the tension rises and leads us to a satisfying end.
I thoroughly enjoyed When Will There Be Good News? I laughed, cried, couldn't put it down. If you like detective novels, give it a try. This book is great for a long trip, a cold afternoon or whenever you're looking for a fully satisfying read! Plus, it comes out in paperback on Jan. 10. I'm so glad to have discovered Kate Atkinson.
Publisher: Back Bay Books; Reprint edition (January 11, 2010), 416 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.
"By becoming a crime writer she has - in a way that other "literary" types may wish to note - become a better literary writer than ever: funny, bracingly intelligent and delightfully prickly ... Kate Atkinson is that rarest of beasts, a genuinely surprising novelist" Guardian "Atkinson's genius is her sure control of plot ... immaculately - even lovingly - paced, and it is a measure of Atkinson's talent that I read it in one sitting ... insightful, often funny, life-affirming" Sunday Telegraph "An exhilarating read. Her wry humour, sharp eye for the quirks of human behaviour and subtle characterisation are a constant joy...with writing of this quality, there is good news on every page" Daily Mail "An intricately crafted tale of coincidence and fate, love and longing. From the get-go, Atkinson's pitch-perfect ear for dialogue is apparent ... As in the best crime fiction, dramatic events and unexpected twists abound, but Atkinson subverts the genre by refusing to neatly tie up every thread. And while there is plenty of blood and bitterness, redemption and resolve are well represented too. Good news all around" Independent "Atkinson's world is full of bizarre accidents and meaningless murders, but she celebrates love, laughter and literature so wholeheartedly that I cheered aloud. She is one of the most eccentric of crime writers, and perhaps the sanest. Everybody should read her" Telegraph