Case Histories by Kate Atkinson

What a good year this is turning out to be for BBC screen versions of mysteries.  This summer saw the debut of the Aurelio Zen series on American television.  Now comes the welcome news that an adaptation based on Kate Atkinson’s detective Jackson Brodie will debut on PBS on October 16.  If only the BBC would create a series based on Peter Lovesey’s irascible Peter Diamond, my happiness would know no bounds.

First in the series (both in print and on screen) is Case Histories.  It introduces us to divorced, 45 year old Jackson Brodie, father of an eight year old daughter, and former police officer now turned private detective.  Kate Atkinson has been quoted as saying that with Jackson, she wanted to “try and write a man who wasn’t a wimp or dead.  I wanted to write a good man but with a darkness at his core, a world weary kind of hero.”   Sounds like the perfect crime novel hero to me.

Jackson is investigating three cases.  One is a thirty year old missing person case, one is the unsolved murder of a beloved daughter, and the third involves the search for a witness to a decades old crime.  All the cases involve missing or murdered women, and as the novel unfolds we realize there is a personal reason Jackson is drawn to cases with women in danger at their center.

Atkinson does a masterful job of weaving together the three cases into a coherent story with Jackson at the center.  Her writing is wonderful and she displays a wicked sense of humor.  It is a real treat to read a novel with both a rich, wonderful plot and crackling good writing.  Highly recommended.

Find and reserve this book in our catalog.


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