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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.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

When Will There Be Good News?

When Will There Be Good News? is Kate Atkinson's third Inspector Jackson Brodie novel - Case Histories and One Good Turn were the first two. It opens with a violent murder. A maniac attacks a mother and her three children when they are walking through a field. Mother, two children and their dog are stabbed to death. Six year old Joanna survives by running and hiding in the tall grass. We know we'll see more of her . Sure enough, thirty years later she reappears and then disappears with her infant.

A couple of familiar characters appear: Brodie, of course, and Detective Chief Inspector Louise Monroe who had a flirtation with Brodie in One Good Turn. Brodie and Louise have moved on to new relationships but their attraction to one another is as strong as ever. It's complicated.

Reggie, a sixteen year old bookish, big mouthed orphan, is added to the mix and pushes the plot along.

Andrew Decker, the murderer of the family also makes an appearance.

There are multiple intersecting stories and many characters. There is a train crash, a kidnapping, more murders, accidental death, domestic violence, drug crime, fraud, oh my! There is coincidence in spades but who cares? Atkinson is a keen observer of human nature. This is an imaginative, well crafted novel and I didn't want it to end.

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