On a dark night thirty years later, ex-detective Jackson Brodie finds himself on a train that is both crowded and late. Read more...
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On a dark night thirty years later, ex-detective Jackson Brodie finds himself on a train that is both crowded and late. Lost in his thoughts, he suddenly hears a shocking sound...
At the end of a long day, 16-year-old Reggie is looking forward to watching a little TV. Then a terrifying noise shatters her peaceful evening. Luckily, Reggie makes it a point to be prepared for an emergency...
These three lives come together in unexpected and deeply thrilling ways in the latest novel from Kate Atkinson, the critically acclaimed author who Harlan Coben calls "an absolute must-read."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 49.
- Review Date: 2008-07-28
- Reviewer: Staff
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, née 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.)
When the past returns
When last we left Jackson Brodie, the excellently quirky retired police detective in Kate Atkinson's equally excellent series, he was stranded in Edinburgh during the Scottish summer arts festival, unwittingly pulled into a murderous, greedy mystery.
To say Brodie is a man with a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time (for him, at leastothers generally benefit from his stumbling upon their misery) would be an understatement. In When Will There Be Good News?, a melancholy Brodie has parted ways with his girlfriend Julia (although he suspects they might have a biological tie: "They had maintained a low-grade kind of communication with each other; he phoned her and she told him to sod off, but sometimes they spoke as though nothing had ever come between them. Yet still she maintained the baby wasn't his.")
Nearly killed in a massive train wreck, Brodie is rescued by Reggie Chase, a girl who hears the accident and comes to help. Reggie, it turns out, is a 16-year-old orphan who works as a nanny for Dr. Joanna Hunter. Dr. Hunter witnessed the brutal murder of nearly her entire family when she was only six years old, and just as the killer is due to be released from prison, she disappears. Reggie, who idolizes her employer, is left wondering where she went and enlists a reluctant Brodie to help her find out.
To reveal much more of the plot would require a roadmap resembling the tangled interchange of several major highways. Besides, why spoil the treat that awaits anyone who picks up this book? Atkinson, whose previous Jackson Brodie mysteries Case Histories and One Good Turn firmly established her as the master of deftly interwoven plot lines, is better than ever in When Will There Be Good News? This smart, surprising, darkly funny novel takes the reader on a wild ride that starts with the gut-wrenching first chapter and doesn't stop until the final page. How does Atkinson do it? Doesn't matterso long as she keeps it coming. She has hinted that this book may be the last in the series, at least for a while. To which I say: long live Jackson Brodie.
Amy Scribner writes from Olympia, Washington.