Tag Archive > Kate Atkinson

Life After Life

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Life After Life,  Kate Atkinson, book reviewThere may be a sense of déjà vu about this review, as this is far from the first that that I have sat down to review a book that has time as its central theme (Ferney, 11.22.63 and The Time Traveler’s Wife all spring to mind). However, while these novels all have time travel or time slips as their key conceit, Kate Atkinson has offered something rather more curious in her latest novel, Life After Life. I have previously read and enjoyed all of Atkinson’s other novels, both the stand-alone “literary” ones and her Jackson Brodie series of crime novels; that a favourite author should write a book on a theme that holds such interest for me shot this book to the top of my reading pile.

The key to the book lies in a comment uttered by a character towards the end: “What if we had the chance to do it again and again … until we finally get it right?”


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When Will There be Good News?

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When Will There be Good News? by Kate Atkinson, book reviewWhen Will There be Good News?” is the third of Kate Atkinson’s crime novels featuring Jackson Brodie, and picks up a couple of years after One Good Turn. Quite a bit has happened in Brodie’s life in the intervening period, and also in the life of Detective Chief Inspector Louise Monroe, who was introduced in One Good Turn and is one of the major characters in “When Will There be Good News?” Kate Atkinson is very skilled at drip feeding the back stories of her characters throughout her book – at the end a complete picture has emerged, explaining how and why certain earlier events have happened. There are certainly plenty of unexpected developments here, right until the last chapter, and the plot is of the highest quality.

Several plot strands run throughout the book.


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One Good Turn

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One Good Turn: A Jolly Murder Mystery - Kate Atkinson, book review“Matryoshka is the word of the day”, says one of the characters in One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson, her second crime novel to feature Jackson Brodie. And the structure of the book does seem to take its lead from the Russian nesting dolls which crop up from time to time throughout the story. I tend to like books with a strong structure, and certainly Atkinson adopts one here; she is playing with the form of the crime novel, although not to the detriment of either plot or character development.

One Good Turn picks up Jackson Brodie about two years after the end of Case Histories. He is visiting Edinburgh during the festival along with his actress girlfriend, who is performing in a play.


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Case Histories

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Case Histories , Kate Atkinson, book reviewKate Atkinson is a versatile writer. Her first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, won the Whitbread Prize and would be considered by many as a modern classic. She subsequently wrote several other novels which would probably be classified as literary fiction, but more recently she has also written several books of crime fiction.

Having read her earlier books, I have been meaning to read the crime fiction for some time. Case Histories was the first of these and introduces Jackson Brodie, a former police officer turned private investigator. The books were televised earlier this year, which has probably introduced Brodie to a much wider audience who will hopefully be encouraged to try her other books.


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