Thursday, April 30, 2009
REVIEW: Case Histories by Kate Atkinson
A friend recommended Case Histories to me awhile back. She first asked me if I liked crime fiction and when I said 'no' she said she'd still recommend this book to me. I wasn't sure about it at all and not having read anything by Kate Atkinson before, or indeed anything else recommended to me by this friend, I wasn't very convinced. I thought I'd give it a go during my holiday, and I wasn't disappointed. I will definately look out for more by her, including the sequel, When Will There Be Good News?
Case Histories isn't light reading though. It went straight into three case histories involving a missing little girl, a man who witnesses the violent death of his beloved daughter, a woman suffering from post-partum depression reaching for an axe. All three cases are picked up by an ex-policeman turned private investigator, Jackson Brodie and during the course of the novel the three cases overlap and converge. Whilst it is crime that is being investigated, I'd say that it was less a detective novel and more an in-depth look at personal tragedy and loss. Each character is really developed and unique, each suffering a great deal and handles their own private grief in such different ways.
I loved the bits of humour and irony throughout this book, Kate Atkinson has a great voice and a great eye for detail. She has written such wonderful characters and I thought the layered narrative really worked, going back and forth in time over certain events to see what happened from a different perspective. Highly recommended.
Have you read this book or anything else by Kate Atkinson?