Sunday, November 18, 2007

BOOK: One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson

One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson
New York Times Notable Book 2006
randomhouse book for review

I like books like this: a murder mystery, with a seemingly unconnected cast of characters. The first half of the book is spent setting the stage and I felt like a juggler keeping track of all the people and motives and backstories. And then, gradually, people become connected and the story really picked up.
Jackson Brodie is the main character, I suppose, and according to the back cover, he was the investigator in Atkinson's last book, Case Histories. I would mention that it wouldn't be required to read the first book, as I didn't feel I missed any back story in reading the sequel, but I would be very interested in seeing what happens with Jackson next. Jackson witnesses a road rage incident that sets off the chain of events and characters. A meek writer, an obnoxious comedian, a dirty rich developer, his fed up wife, and a few Russian immigrants round out some of the characters, along with a tough female detective for Jackson to butt heads with.
Although it felt a little long, the action is continuous and a thread of humor is woven throughout so that I enjoyed reading it a lot. The summer arts festival in Edinburgh provides the background, and Atkinson kept my interest with so many different characters.

2 comments:

Stephanie said...

I have never read an Atkinson book. I really have been meaning to, just never find the time!! I've heard Case Histories is excellent though.

Nice review! I'm glad you liked this one!

Erin said...

I think it depends on the book, but sometimes when there are too many characters or stories involved I get distracted. It depends on how successfully the writer weaves it together.