You know, I've heard nothing but great reviews about Kate Atkinson's works, but just haven't gotten around to reading one yet - until now. Boy, I've been missing an absolutely fantastic mystery author!
Case Histories opens with three different crime cases from the past being presented, each described in great detail up to the moment of the actual crime taking place. The background is fascinating - the feelings, emotions and background that lead up to that point.
We then meet Jackson Brodie, former police inspector turned private investigator. He is hired to investigate all three of these case histories. As he delves deeper into each one, tiny threads connect one case to the other. Atkinson does a magnificent job of carefully weaving all these seemingly disparate threads together into a deliciously intricate, detailed plot. Many times the same scene is replayed from a different character's viewpoint, completely changing it. Three quarters of the way through I still hadn't figured it all out.
I actually listened to Case Histories in audio format. The reader, Susan Jameson, was excellent. This book is set in England and her accent was perfectly suited. Her inflections brought the words and tone to life, expressing incredulity, sadness, despair and a host of other emotions easily.
Atkinson slyly throws in a seemingly innocuous line or comment that proves germane to the outcome, so you'll want to listen or read carefully. Definitely an author I'll be following from here forward!
You can browse inside Case Histories.