Case Histories

by Kate Atkinson | Mystery & Thrillers |
ISBN: 0385671288 Global Overview for this book
Registered by assiniboine of North Vancouver, British Columbia Canada on 12/9/2023
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Journal Entry 1 by assiniboine from North Vancouver, British Columbia Canada on Saturday, December 9, 2023
Case Histories is the first novel in Kate Atkinson's Jackson Brody mystery series. I've never read her before and I couldn't put this book down. It was gripping and wonderfully written.

The first three chapters in the book -- "Family Plot"; "Just a Normal Day" and "Everything from Duty, Nothing from Love" -- describe three cold cases, each one gripping, that happened many years in the past.

In "Family Plot" a three-year-old girl goes missing overnight, while sleeping in a backyard tent with her older sister. "Just a Normal Day" is anything but, as a overwrought new mother caves her husband's head in with an axe, when he carelessly wakes her fussy baby. "Everything for Duty, Nothing for Love" is a complex story about a single father whose beloved daughter is murdered by a knife-wielding stranger in a seemingly random attack, her first day working as a summer temp at his law office.

Detective Jackson Brody is introduced in Chapter four, and he is hired to work on all three of the cases. Brody is recently-divorced, a music lover and a self-described born-again smoker. He is despondent over the breakup with his ex-wife Josie and loathes the smug git that she's now living with. The light in his life is his little-girl Marlee, whom he shares custody with Josie.

Atkinson excels at bringing all her quirky and flawed characters to life, and helping us feel their troubles, lonliness and pain, but also has a great humorous streak and a sharp eye for the ridiculous and laughable.

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