“Case Histories” by Kate Atkinson

Thanks to Random House UK and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

I’m really not a crime fiction kinda gal but this series sounded quirky enough to give it a shot. Stephen King praising it highly may also have had a hand in my decision.

This is the first in the Jackson Brodie series. Jackson, a retired police inspector and ex-soldier, now works as a Private Detective in Cambridge. I’m aware this novel was initially published back in 2004 and has since spawned further books and a television series, the fact that Jason Isaacs plays Jackson in the tv series has helped me to understand why the women in the book find him so utterly irresistible…

One of the reasons I don’t really like crime and mystery books is that I usually guess the killer or twist pretty early on. I can confess however, that this book kept me guessing right up until the end which definitely made it a more enjoyable read. The plot concerns three different mysteries – the historic case of a missing child, the apparently motiveless murder of a young woman and the missing daughter of an axe murderer.

The nature of the plot required some suspension of disbelief. The fact that the people involved were pretty much all interconnected was a tricky pill to swallow, I could see it MAYBE happening in a small town or village but in a city? Hm. The attempted murder subplot against Jackson was rather silly and unnecessary too.

The writing itself was good and it’s a real page turner as you’d hope from a book of this genre. I found it a little difficult to keep track of all of the different points of view (there are a LOT) but it might have been the formatting of the ebook itself. The characters were sometimes a little larger than life but overall, they were fine except Marlee, who is an utter and complete spoiled brat.

A better than average mystery novel about the dangers girls face and the enduring impact of grief and loss. A fine start to the series and I’m looking forward to reading the rest.

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