Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Big Sky - Kate Atkinson

I was so happy when I heard that Kate Atkinson was penning a new Jackson Brodie novel. It's been nine years, but oh it was worth the wait. Big Sky was a fantastic read.

I loved settling in to catch up with Brodie. Atkinson has moved things along in real time - the book is set in 2019. He's living in a seaside town with his old doh, has contact with his son and is working as a private investigator. Lot of 'catch them cheating' cases, but hey, they pay the bills. He's out walking one evening when he comes across a desperate man standing on the edge of a cliff, ready to end things. This chance encounter leads Brodie down a dark and twisted path.

Oh, I had missed Jackson's irreverent sense of humour, his inner dialogue and his innate ability to land himself in the thick of things. With a few side trips....

Atkinson's plotting is impeccable, detailed and so current. The crime could be inspired by many newspaper headlines. But Atkinson puts her own twist and delivery on the crime. And I wondered how all the threads were going to be connected by the end. Where Atkinson shines for me is in her characterizations and dialogue. Each character, including minor players, are fully fleshed out and so detailed. I love that we're privy to each player's inner thoughts. I was particularly fond of Crystal - a wife and mother trying to leave her past behind. Her stepson Harry was another character I was drawn to. Fans of the series will recognize Reggie - now grown up and a policewoman. She and her partner Ronnie are a great duo - I hope we see more of them.  Just as detailed are her descriptions of time and place. The vaudeville-esqe theater, the boardwalk and it's tacky attractions and more.

Atkinson's work is meant to be savoured and enjoyed, taking in the details she provides in every aspect of the book. All four hundred delicious pages. Love, love, loved it! Here's hoping we don't have to wait another nine years for more of Jackson! Read an excerpt of Big Sky

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