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Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada
My virtue is that I say what I think, my vice that what I think doesn't amount to much.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Case Histories

I read Kate Atkinson's One Good Turn last spring and thought it was an intelligent, complex mystery. I liked Case Histories even more but wish I'd read the two in proper chronological order. This novel also features Jackson Brodie, a private detective with a complicated personal life. He falls into three cold cases, disappearances of young girls, and it appears that there may be connections between them. Set in Cambridge this book book starts out with three separate domestic dramas in rapid succession. The first is the disappearance of a three year old girl, the second is the murder of a solicitor's daughter at his office, the third is the murder of a husband by a young wife and mother who has come to the end of her tether. Jackson is a failed husband trying hard to be a father to the daughter he loves and not doing a good job of it. His love for his little girl drives his motivation to help the families who have engaged his services. He sympathizes with them; he sees their heartbreak and fears that the same thing may happen to him so he tries to mitigate their loss. It's all about love, loss and possibility. It's an entertaining story written with wit and with enough twists and turns to keep the reader turning the pages. I recommend it and look forward to Atkinson's next Detective Brodie mystery.

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