After reading and loving Life After Life I knew I had to go back and read some other Kate Atkinson novels. I went with Case Histories because of the crime element. Interestingly we have never shelved Case Histories in crime, which I think is a mistake but at the same time can see why we didn’t.
Kate Atkinson is a wonderful writer. The depth she brings to each character adds a whole new layer missing from most run of the mill crime mysteries. Atkinson also defies the crime genre’s conventions playing with structure and challenging your expectations.
The book opens with three case histories. An unsolved murder, a child gone missing and a seemingly straightforward murder. We then meet Jackson Brodie. Not your traditional British detective. He’s an ex-soldier, ex-policeman now private investigator, a rare breed in a British mystery. He has his own, well suppressed, demons and is having trouble being a father to his daughter post-divorce.
Jackson is involved in each of the three case histories in one way or another. A father wants answers about who murdered his daughter ten years ago; the sisters of a missing girl have uncovered new evidence after the death of their father and a woman wants to track down her niece who was adopted after her mother murdered her father. Jackson doesn’t throw himself into the case but does get himself entwined in the lives of those involved which makes finding the answers more complicated than they already are.
I can’t wait to dive into the rest of the series and hopefully hear her speak at the Sydney Writers Festival in May.
Classification: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
Format: Paperback (198mm x 129mm x 28mm)
Imprint: Black Swan
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Publish Date: 1-Jun-2005
Country of Publication: United Kingdom