Friday, April 24, 2009

Case Histories - Kate Atkinson


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.

12 comments:

carolsnotebook said...

This is the only Atkinson book I've read, but I loved it. Thanks for the reminder. I should pick up One Good Turn.

bermudaonion said...

I haven't read any of Kate Atkinson's work - I'm probably the last person in the world who hasn't now. This one sounds like a winner!

Marie said...

Nice review. I read "When Will There Be Good News?" last year and loved it. "Case Histories" is on my wishlist.

Dar said...

I've heard a lot of good things about Atkinson too but never read anything. Seems like I should!

Serena said...

wow, I have never heard of this author before! Thanks for the review.

avisannschild said...

I have this one on my TBR pile, so I'm glad to hear it's so good!

Serena, really? I'm surprised!

Cathy said...

I'm so glad you liked this book. I've read Case Histories and One Good Turn, with When Will There Be Good News? waiting on the TBR shelves.

Ruth @ Bookish Ruth said...

Great review. I have When Will There Be Good News? in my TBR pile. I really love it when I come across an audiobook where both the book and the narrator are great.

Ladytink_534 said...

I read this when it first came out and I remember not liking it very much but other than the blue thing (Mouse?), I don't remember anything else about the book.

Melissa said...

I have a little something for you on my blog. You can pick it up here.

Suzanne said...

I like Nancy Pearl, that famous librarian who does author interviews and she interviewed Kate Atkinson. Here's the URL if you are interested in listening. It's at the bottom of the page.
feed://www.seattlechannel.org/podcasts/BookLust.xml
Thanks for the good review!

Amy said...

I recently bought this and am looking forward to reading it. Glad you enjoyed it!