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Case Histories: A Novelby Kate Atkinson
"Atkinson connects the lives of her ensemble cast of characters with a blithe, fairytale-like narration that can be, at turns, hilarious, macabre and suspenseful, but is blessed at all times with a remarkable lack of sentimentality. She bestows her characters, for the most part, with cruel childhoods and bleak adulthoods, but those good enough, and lucky enough, will be given a chance to solve their mysteries and, perhaps, find happiness." Anna Godbersen, Esquire (read the entire Esquire review)
Synopses & Reviews
A triumphant new novel from award-winner Kate Atkinson: a breathtaking story of families divided, love lost and found, and the mysteries of fate.
Case One: Olivia Land, youngest and most beloved of the Land girls, goes missing in the night and is never seen again. Thirty years later, two of her surviving sisters unearth a shocking clue to Olivia's disappearance among the clutter of their childhood home...
Case Two: Theo delights in his daughter Laura's wit, effortless beauty, and selfless love. But her first day as an associate in his law firm is also the day when Theo's world turns upside down...
Case Three: Michelle looks around one day and finds herself trapped in a hell of her own making. A very needy baby and a very demanding husband make her every waking moment a reminder that somewhere, somehow, she'd made a grave mistake and would spend the rest of her life paying for it — until a fit of rage creates a grisly, bloody escape.
As Private Detective Jackson Brodie investigates all three cases, startling connections and discoveries emerge. Inextricably caught up in his clients grief, joy, and desire, Jackson finds their unshakable need for resolution very much like his own.
Kate Atkinson's celebrated talent makes for a novel that positively sparkles with surprise, comedy, tragedy, and constant, page-turning delight.
"[A] compelling narrative drive....Playful humor, an impressive technique, and an offbeat detective with a penchant for weeping are the most obvious pleasures of a page-turner that succeeds in being both brainy and thoroughly entertaining." Booklist (Starred Review)
"[A] literary star on the rise....Case Histories combines the suspense of a whodunit with the richly textured plot of a sprawling family saga....
"[The] complicated narrative crackles with the earthy humor, vibrant characterizations, and shrewd social observations....[A] compulsive page-turner....Wonderful fun and very moving: it's a pleasure to see this talented writer back on form." Kirkus Reviews
"Ms. Atkinson...grabs hold of the reader and doesn't let go....[A] wonderfully tricky book....To read it is to enter a hall of mirrors....
"Superfluous plot elements...may lead to comparisons with Ian Rankin's Inspector John Rebus series, but only briefly, for this is a very new world of old crimes. Recommended." Library Journal
"Atkinson's preoccupation with family secrets finds its natural place in a strong, confident plot....In Case Histories, [her distinctive novelistic] skills have found their literary home." Times Literary Supplement (London)
"If Case Histories were a typical crime novel, it would be an entertaining adventure....But...in revealing [her characters'] flaws and motivations [she] achieves a richer, more satisfying result that is as much a 'why-done-it' as a whodunit." Denver Post
"Kate Atkinson's funny, furious fourth novel rumbustiously drives a path through the genre of detective fiction, demolishing its careful, forensic summations of human behavior and replacing them with bloody, believable, vigorous tales of wrongdoing and loss, of personal." Rachel Cusk, author of The Country Life
"[O]dd and brilliant....[A] delightful, fascinating, and bitingly funny read. Atkinson has brought to life a marvelously diverse cast of unforgettable characters... (Grade: A)" Entertainment Weekly
"I think it's her best book yet, an astonishingly complex and moving literary detective story that made me sob but also snort with laughter. It's the sort of novel you have to start rereading the minute you've finished it." Jacqueline Wilson, Guardian Summer Books
This new novel from award-winner Atkinson is a breathtaking story of families divided, love lost and found, and the mysteries of fate. As Private Detective Jackson Brodie investigates three cases, startling connections and discoveries emerge.
About the Author
Kate Atkinson was born in York and now lives in Edinburgh. She has won several prizes for her short stories. Her first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, won the Whitbread First Novel Award and was then chosen as the overall 1995 Whitbread Book of the Year. Her critically acclaimed second and third novels, Human Croquet and Emotionally Weird are also published by Black Swan as is her collection of short stories, Not the End of the World.
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