Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Review: Case Histories by Kate Atkinson


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, shed 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.

This poor book has been sitting on my shelves for quite a while. With the release of When Will There Be Good News? my interest in this series was renewed and I decided now was a good time to get caught up.

Jackson Brodie is a bit of a mystery as a leading character. I didn't feel that I got to know him all that well. I thought he was likeable, but not a character that I immediately wanted to know more about. Hopefully more of his personality will come through in later books.

I thought the individual cases were interesting, but that things came together a little too neatly for me. It seemed like there were too many coincidences to be very realistic.

Even with that, this is a series that I think is worth following. I enjoyed watching Brodie's thought process as he worked through these cases. I have also heard from others that the series gets stronger with each book. 3.5 stars

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4 comments:

Sandy Nawrot said...

I read this book awhile ago...in fact, I had to read your synopsis to be sure. It got rave reviews in EW, so it made my list. I think I am in the same boat as you...a good book (not necessarily one that blew me away), and worth pursuing.

Cathy said...

I read this quite a while ago and liked it. I wasn't blown away either, but I could see the promise (if that makes sense). I've heard so much about When Will There Be Good News that I recently pulled the second in the series, One Good Turn, off my TBR shelves. I loved it, and I'm looking forward to getting my hands on Good News!

Diane said...

Oh wow, I did not realize this was part of a series. I have Case Histories and One Good Turn on my TBR shelves. Thanks for posting.

Literary Feline said...

I enjoyed Case Histories too. I haven't yet read the other books in the series, but I do want to one day. Great review!