MysteryWoman, January 1, 2012 (view all comments by MysteryWoman)
When the Jackson Brodie "Case Histories" series which were filmed in Edinburgh, appeared on PBS I found myself completely caught up in their intricate, suspenseful plots. Atkinson weaves stories masterfully with the disparate characters eventually coming together in conclusions which surprise, delight, and, in some cases simply blow the reader away.
The series with its lovely, haunting soundtracks was a joy to watch and hear. When I came across this book, I eagerly purchased it. To say I was not disappointed is an understatement! I look forward to reading her other books, among them, "One Good Turn" and "Behind the Scenes at the Museum."
This is the third in a series of what I describe to friends as "literary mysteries". Common to all three books is the detective/former policeman, Jackson Brodie. All three feature many threads that all tie together (astoundingly) at the end.
In this novel, Jackson is, once again, involved in a mystery very much against his better judgment. He's involved in an accident and saved by a young woman named Reggie who also has two mysteries of her own to work out. As the various stories are presented you find yourself thinking, "She's never going to connect all of these..." but, amazingly enough, at the end everything fits together in ways you could never have predicted.
Atkinson is one of the few writers who can literally entrance me these days, to the point where family, home, job and interests start taking a back seat to finishing the book. Her characters are compelling and so well fleshed out that you honestly think you know them. The books are masterfully written and deeply satisfying. I'd invite Atkinson to dinner if I could.
Jena, May 26, 2009 (view all comments by Jena)
Lots of page-turning goodness, but too many of the other elements didn't work for me. I didn't like the shifting perspectives. Some of the characters took too long to get tied in to the rest of the plot, and because of the perspective shifts, they took too long to get to know. (As the NY Times review says, it "at times derail[s] the narrative momentum.")
This book begins with promise and doesn't quite follow through, though readers will find themselves determined to find out what happens despite.
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K N, January 31, 2009 (view all comments by K N)
Kate Atkinson does it again - this smart, savvy novel -part mystery, part coming-of-age story, part love story is at times poignant, at times laugh out loud funny - always with Atkinson's sharp British wit and excellent eye for character - another great chapter in the story of Jackson Brodie. If you liked Case Histories or One Good Turn, you'll love this one - maybe the best of the bunch.
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Little Brown and Company -
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"In Atkinson's stellar third novel to feature ex-cop turned PI Jackson Brodie (after One Good Turn), unrelated characters and plot lines collide with momentous results. On a country road, six-year-old Joanna Mason is the only survivor of a knife attack that leaves her mother and two siblings dead. Thirty years later, after boarding the wrong train in Yorkshire, Brodie is almost killed when the train crashes. He's saved by 16-year-old Regina 'Reggie' Chase, the nanny of Dr. Joanna Hunter, ne Mason. In the chaos following the crash, Brodie ends up with the wallet of Andrew Decker, the recently released man convicted of murdering the Mason family. Enter DCI Louise Monroe, Brodie's former love interest, who's tracking Decker because of a recent case involving a similar family and crime. When Dr. Hunter disappears, Reggie is convinced she's been kidnapped and enlists the reluctant Brodie to track her down. A lesser author would buckle under so many story lines, but Atkinson juggles them brilliantly, simultaneously tying up loose ends from Turn and opening new doors for further Brodie misadventures. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
by Carolyn See, The Washington Post Book World,
"Thank God, in these hard times, for a cheerful, ghoulish, gory book like this....[A] grand mystery, with plenty of misdeeds and overwrought coincidences, as well as quotes from Scots ballads, old nursery rhymes and the classics, so you can feel edified while being creeped out..."
by Booklist (Starred Review),
"[M]ay be the best entry yet....In Atkinson's world, the most vulnerable are easy prey...but the mayhem is offset by the expansiveness of her singular narrative voice....It is that tonal range that gives this novel its incredible richness."
by Library Journal (Starred Review),
"Evocative, smart, literary, and funny...both complicated and a page-turner....A book that will easily stand up to more than one reading; highly recommended."
by Janet Maslin, The New York Times,
"Although When Will There Be Good News? has been expertly rendered by Ms. Atkinson, it is a reminder that she is too versatile a writer to stick with any one incarnation.....It shows off an imagination so active that When Will There Be Good News? can barely contain it."
by Kirkus Reviews,
"[P]sychologically astute....Like the most riveting BBC mystery, in which understated, deadpan intelligence illuminates characters' inner lives within a convoluted plot."
by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
"A step up in plot mechanics from her last book, One Good Turn, this Atkinson novel reaches a satisfying conclusion that suggests good news is indeed on its way."
by Christian Science Monitor,
"[T]he most satisfying novel of Atkinson's trilogy....[T]horoughly entertaining....Thankfully, she offsets such tidy resolutions by leaving one or two characters with disheveled conclusions."
Three lives come together in unexpected and deeply thrilling ways in the latest novel featuring ex-detective Jackson Brodie, the hero of the national bestsellers Case Histories and One Good Turn.
Atkinson's Jackson Brodie, hero of the national bestsellers Case Histories and One Good Turn, returns in an intense new literary thriller where three lives come together in unexpected and deeply thrilling ways.
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