Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Jackson Brodie, Part Three
Kate Atkinson has done it again with When Will There Be Good News?, and it's better than ever. Atkinson's latest novel involving soldier-turned cop-turned private detective-turned private citizen who never fails to find himself in the middle of a debacle- Jackson Brodie is being released next week and it is a smashing good read. Atkinson is a master at assembling a cast of many who are seemingly disconnected and bringing them all together in a climactic and explosive ending.
Besides Brodie, in this story we meet Dr. Hunter, a woman who lived through the greatest horror one could at only six years old, and her family - 'the baby' and her rather clueless husband. Detective Louise Monroe, an unhappily married newlywed, who has a history with Jackson. The Needler family, in which ex-husband David is stalking his ex-wife and children. A murderer, who has recently been released from jail. And last but not least, certainly not least, Miss Reggie Chase, nanny to Dr Hunter's baby, a 16 year old that looks 12, she is bookishly brilliant, but streetwise as well. She has formed a bond with Dr. Hunter and her son that will save them all. Reggie Chase is the best drawn character I've met in literature in ages. She is brave, strong, persistent, clever, and wise and she steals the show here.
How to define When Will There Be Good News? There is murder and there is mystery, but it is not a murder mystery. It is humorous in a very, very black way, yet it is very much a drama. I will not even attempt to outline the plot here - it's quite complicated, and frankly I think you're better off just diving in to this splendidly satisfying book. I couldn't recommend it more highly, yet do advise that it is not for the faint of heart.
There's more. To answer the question - When Will There Be Good News? - well, next week is the answer to that. If you come back and visit me you will find a giveaway for this very book compliments of Hachette Books. Giveaway will be open to US and Canadian residents.