Amy Reads Books


One Good Turn - Kate Atkinson I loved Case Histories, and I was desperate to read this follow-up partly because I love Kate Atkinson, and also because the BBC have seralised the first three novels in the Jackson Brodie series (there are currently four novels, but I'm not sure if Atkinson is writing more) and I wanted to read the novels before I watched the TV series so all the twists and turns weren't spoiled.This novel takes place two years after Case Histories and as the synopsis states, an incident of road rage throws together multiple characters whose lives all intersect in various ways. There's the aforementioned Jackson Brodie, in Edinburgh because his girlfriend Julia is performing in a play at the Fringe; Martin Canning, who writes crime novels under the alias Alex Blake and who is running from a bad experience in Russia; Gloria Hatter, the wife of Graham, the owner of a fraudulent housing company and Louise Monroe, the inspector assigned to the increasingly complicated deaths which start with Brodie discovering a body of an island.On the crime side of things the crimes of One Good Turn are not quite so believable as those in Case Histories; the idea of serial patterned murders seems slightly more CSI than the average newspaper; so it certainly lacked the horrible 'ordinary' nature of the previous novels crimes. Atkinson also doesn't tie everything up nicely; in the end we know who committed the murders but we don't really fully understand why. I couldn't decide whether I liked the fact that the full facts had to reveal themselves, or whether I found it slightly annoying as I couldn't quite gain the closure on the crimes that took place.That being said, one thing to know about the novel is that it is incredibly fast pace and takes place over just four days; meaning that it was pretty easy to devour it. Despite the pace, Atkinson, as usual, fleshing out all her characters in a way that means that they almost seem real. Only one of the characters, Tatiana, is a little bit of a stereotype, the rest are all hugely interesting and may start seemingly stereotypical (snobby rich woman; isolated writer) and then turn out to be much more; although none are especially likeable, with perhaps the exception of Louise and Jackson.One Good Turn was certainly an enjoyable, heart-pounding read and I'm already enjoying the third novel in the series; When Will There Be Good News?