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Private detective Jackson Brodie finds his own need for resolution sparked by three investigations including those of two sisters who discover a shocking clue to the disappearance of their third sister thirty years earlier, a lawyer whose life is turned upside-down when his daughter joins the firm, and a woman whose past mistakes and demanding family life culminate in a violent escape. Reprint.
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Case Histories continues a winning streak for Kate Atkinson which began when her impressive novel Behind the Scenes at the Museum won the Whitbread First Novel Award. Since that book, Atkinson has gleaned a keen following of readers who are prepared to follow in the surprising directions the unpredictable author takes us on. And Atkinson--so far--hasn’t let us down.
The perfectly judged prose that distinguished Human Croquet is fully in evidence in Case Histories, and a new frisson here comes from the genre-stretching that Atkinson is indulging in. In some ways, this book could almost be seen as a new take on the crime novel (not the first genre one would expect the author to tackle), but the crime elements here Atkinson uses are peripheral. The protagonist here is a former police inspector who now makes a living as a private investigator. Jackson Brodie is making ends meet in a sweaty Cambridge summer and trying to deal with his own failed marriage. But if his life is adrift, perhaps Brodie can justify his existence via his belief that he can do some good for the people he encounters in his job. But he is to find that he will be irrevocably changed by those he is trying to help.
As a vividly created cast of characters surround the beleaguered Brodie, all the novelistic skills that shone in Atkinson's earlier books are fully in play. Those deluded into thinking they've picked up something resembling a standard private eye novel will find something much more rich and strange; Atkinson goes from strength to strength.--Barry ForshawReview:
"So well-written...Everyone who picks it up will feel compelled to follow it through to the last page." Guardian "Her best book yet...a tragi-comedy for our times.'" Katie Owen, Sunday Telegraph "'A greedy feast of a story by a masterful author ... Will stay with you for a long time after you have finished reading it. '" Daily Express "'Civilised, funny, life-affirming and hugely enjoyable. I can't recall reading crime fiction quite like this before- honest, ironic, and cheerfully unselfconscious. I urge you to share my surprise and delight.'" Philip Oakes, Literary Review "One of the most brilliantly playful, witty and original writers we have." Scotsman
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