Kate Atkinson - When Will There Be Good News?
"... an absolute joy to read."
The third book in this series starring private eye Jackson Brodie opens with a brutal murder of a young mother and two of her children by a knife-wielding madman in the English countryside. Six year-old Joanna runs away and survives the massacre.
30 years later she is a GP in Edinburgh, living a seemingly perfect life with a beautiful home, husband and baby son. Such a busy life necessitates a nanny and 16 year-old Reggie, whose own mother recently died in a freak drowning accident, gets the job.
A perfect life rarely lasts forever and DCI Monroe comes visiting to tell Joanna that the man responsible for the murders has been released at the end of his jail sentence ľand has since disappeared. When the doctor and her baby themselves go missing, it appears that Reggie is the only person worried about it.
Meanwhile, Jackson Brodie - who is in the middle of a paternity suit - boards the wrong train. A mistake that results in the theft of his identity and his near death.
Kate Atkinson delivers everything I look for in a good book. This is a compelling tale with a cast of characters that grab your attention and, in particular with the spunky Reggie, your heart. All of this, wrapped up in a prose style that is an absolute joy to read. Reading Atkinson's work, you just know that she would give great banter over a few glasses of wine.
With a series of wry and witty observations Atkinson charts the lives and adventures of her characters, bringing them all together in ways you would least expect. Some people might argue that there are just too many coincidences in the way that this happens. My advice is to just go with it, enjoy the ride and revel in the scenery.
This is crime, Jim, but not as you know it. The tone is light, deft almost, and it gives you a false sense of security right up to the moment when someone is killed with a pencil stabbed through their eye.
Reviewed by: M.M.