Monday, September 5, 2011

Case Histories

I just finished Case Histories by Kate Atkinson.  It's the first in a series of mystery novels about Jackson Brodie, a British private investigator.  It was great, absolutely engaging.  Besides an unsolved murder in Jackson's family past, there were three separate mysteries woven into the novel.  I don't read tons of mysteries, so I don't know if this is common, but it seemed unique to me.

Jackson is a divorced forty-something with a young daughter, still bitter over some events in his past.  He used to be on the police force, but now he has a small private investigating business, just him and a cranky secretary.  The cases he takes are small, usually involving cheating spouses, but suddenly he has more work than he knows what to do with: a child gone missing thirty years earlier, a young woman stabbed by an unknown assailant, and the daughter of a murderer being sought by her long-lost aunt. 

What I liked was that the book was not totally plot driven.  I really felt like all the characters were real, separate people.

What I really kept thinking is that Jackson ought to hang out with Frank Mackey, the Irish detective from Faithful Place by Tana French.  He also is divorced, has a young daughter, is bitter, etc.  Really the only difference is that Jackson is from northern England and Frank is from Ireland.  Was Tana French inspired by Jackson Brodie? They certainly aren't so similar that it feels like she was ripping Kate Atkinson off - more that Jackson and Frank are from a certain, common mold.

Anyway, it was a good book, I recommend it, and can't wait to get the next one.

No comments:

Post a Comment