Kate Atkinson's brilliant new novel, bringing back Jackson Brodie from the bestselling CASE HISTORIES.
It is summer, it is the Edinburgh Festival. People queuing for a lunchtime show witness a road-rage incident - an incident which changes the lives of everyone involved. Jackson Brodie, ex-army, ex-police, ex-private detective, is also an innocent bystander - until he becomes a suspect.
With CASE HISTORIES, Kate Atkinson showed how brilliantly she could explore the crime genre and make it her own. In ONE GOOD TURN she takes her masterful plotting one step further. Like a set of Russian dolls each thread of the narrative reveals itself to be related to the last. Her Dickensian cast of characters are all looking for love or money and find it in surprising places. As ever with Atkinson what each one actually discovers is their true self.
Unputdownable and triumphant, ONE GOOD TURN is a sharply intelligent read that is also percipient, funny, and totally satisfying.
Reading Group Book Questions
A murder mystery with comic overtones from the award-winning British storyteller.Resurrecting Jackson Brodie, the private eye from Case Histories (2004), Atkinson confects a soft-hearted thriller, short on menace but long on empathy and introspection. Her intricate, none-too-serious plot is triggered by an act of road rage witnessed by assorted characters in Edinburgh during the annual summer arts festival. Mysterious possible hit man "Paul Bradley" is rear-ended by Terence Smith, a hard-man with a baseball bat who is stopped from beating Bradley to a pulp by mild-mannered crime-novelist Martin Canning, who throws his laptop at him. Other onlookers include Brodie, accompanied by his actress girlfriend, Julia; Gloria Hatter, wife of fraudulent property-developer Graham Hatter (of Hatter Homes, Real Homes for Real People); and schoolboy Archie, son of single-mother policewoman Louise Monroe, who lives in a crumbling Hatter home. Labyrinthine, occasionally farcical plot developments repeatedly link the group. Rounding out the criminal side of the story are at least two dead bodies; an omniscient Russian dominatrix who even to Gloria seems "like a comedy Russian"; and a mysterious agency named Favors. Brodie's waning romance with Julia and waxing one with Louise; a dying cat; children; dead parents and much more are lengthily considered as Atkinson steps away from the action to delve into her characters' personalities. Clearly, this is where her heart lies, not so much with the story's riddles, the answers to which usually lie with Graham Hatter, who has been felled by a heart attack and remains unconscious for most of the story. There are running jokes and an enjoyable parade of neat resolutions, but no satisfying denouement. Everything is connected, often amusingly or cleverly, but nothing matters much.A technically adept and pleasurable tale, but Atkinson isn't stretching herself. (Kirkus Reviews)
Series: Jackson Brodie
Number Of Pages: 544
Published: 16th December 2006
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.9 x 12.8 x 3.4
Weight (kg): 0.38
Edition Number: 1