'Investigating other people's tragedies and cock-ups and misfortunes was all he knew. He was used to being a voyeur, the outsider looking in, and nothing, but nothing, that anyone did surprised him any more. Yet despite everything he'd seen and done, inside Jackson there remained a belief - a small, battered and bruised belief - that his job was ...
'Investigating other people's tragedies and cock-ups and misfortunes was all he knew. He was used to being a voyeur, the outsider looking in, and nothing, but nothing, that anyone did surprised him any more. Yet despite everything he'd seen and done, inside Jackson there remained a belief - a small, battered and bruised belief - that his job was to help people be good rather than punish them for being bad.' 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. His days are full of people clamouring for answers and explanations. A jealous husband suspects his wife. Two spinster sisters make a shocking find. A solicitor investigates an old murder. A nurse has lost her niece; a widow, her cats. Jackson has never felt at home in Cambridge, and has a failed marriage to prove it. He is forty-five but feels much, much older. He is at that dangerous age when men suddenly notice that they're going to die eventually, inevitably, and there isn't a damn thing they can do about it. Surrounded by death, intrigue and misfortune, his own life is brought sharply into focus. Ingeniously plotted, full of suspense and heartbreak, "Case Histories" is a feat of bravura storytelling that conveys the mysteries of life, its inanities and its hilarities. It is a life-affirming work of profound insight and intelligence.
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If you enjoy Kate Atkinson you will love this one. It is
Jun 28, 2013
I like this author, but found that this book I couldn't even read.
May 26, 2011
Many twists & turns
This is the first Kate Atkinson book I have ever read. It was recommended to me by a friend - I just happened to see him reading the book and inquired about it. I just finished the book - it was excellent and I can't stop thinking about it. The author slowly brings together several stories/mysteries until the loose ends are tied up at the end. Well most of them anyway. There are some things the reader is left to guess at, but that makes the book just more fun and intriguing. To use the cliche, it was a "page turner". I usually don't have time to read a book in one sitting, so it was hard for me to put down, when it was time for me to do something else.
Mar 19, 2009
Stunning and Brilliant
Apr 3, 2007
A New Hybrid
With "Case Histories," Kate Atkinson bridges the good read and the literary read. This is one of the rare books that you read in one sitting, late into the night. I was almost bereft when it was finished--I never wanted it to end. The writing is witty, intelligent, and compassionate; best of all, Kate Atkinson breaks all the formulaic rules for writing compelling mysteries. This is a wondrous book.
Publishers Weekly, 2008-10-27 Private detective Jackson Brodie finds himself entangled in three distinctly different cases only to thread the needle time and again and come across remarkable connections between them. Susan Jameson delivers an absolutely stunning performance; her classically trained voice is perfect for Atkinson's prose and the shifting point-of-view narration. Though the lead protagonist is male, listeners will never question Jameson's abilities; she brings raw emotion to this tale and her British dialect also gives the story a vintage mystery feel. As Brodie, Jameson is simply flawless, delivering her words firmly and with resoluteness. Hers is a performance that demands repeated listens. A Back Bay paperback (Reviews, Oct. 25, 2004). (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2004-10-25 In this ambitious fourth novel from Whitbread winner Atkinson (Behind the Scenes at the Museum), private detective Jackson Brodie-ex-cop, ex-husband and weekend dad-takes on three cases involving past crimes that occurred in and around London. The first case introduces two middle-aged sisters who, after the death of their vile, distant father, look again into the disappearance of their beloved sister Olivia, last seen at three years old, while they were camping under the stars during an oppressive heat wave. A retired lawyer who lives only on the fumes of possible justice next enlists Jackson's aid in solving the brutal killing of his grown daughter 10 years earlier. In the third dog-eared case file, the sibling of an infamous ax-bludgeoner seeks a reunion with her niece, who as a baby was a witness to murder. Jackson's reluctant persistence heats up these cold cases and by happenstance leads him to reassess his own painful history. The humility of the extraordinary, unabashed characters is skillfully revealed with humor and surprise. Atkinson contrasts the inevitable results of family dysfunction with random fate, gracefully weaving the three stories into a denouement that taps into collective wishful thinking and suggests that warmth and safety may be found in the aftermath of blood and abandonment. Atkinson's meaty, satisfying prose will attract many eager readers. Agent, Kim Witherspoon. (Nov. 9) Forecast: Blurbs from Rachel Cusk and Jim Crace and elegant, subdued jacket art should remind readers that Atkinson crosses genres, attracting readers of literary fiction as well as thrillers. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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