Friday, August 19, 2016

One Good Turn

One Good Turn is the second novel in Kate Atkinson's Jackson Brodie series.  I had read the fourth one first, and then the first one second. Now I've finished the second one read third.

I don't recommend this haphazard approach. These are books that should be read in sequence.  In this second one, Brodie's romantic interest is a woman he met in the first novel who was central to one of the crimes he was investigating.  There are references in this second book to other characters in the first that you would miss if you had not read the initial story.  Also, I realized towards the end of this one that an allusion I vaguely recall from the fourth novel is based on events in this one.

So if you are going to read these I suggest reading them in order.  And if you like to read, I suggest you read them.  This, One Good Turn, is not as good as the preceding book, Case Histories.  Still it is well written. You have to pay attention right from the start because events that seem peripheral are often not, and events that you think occur in the order she reveals them may not be.  There is a surprise ending in this one that caught me off guard. Not worth reading the book for this reason alone, but still it was one of several positive aspects of the book.

If you want to know nothing about the story skip to the next paragraphs.  In this one, an automobile accident precipitates a series of events that involve a real estate king, his spouse, a policewoman, her kid, a detective writer, a cleaning company that doubles as an escort service, a lunatic bat swinging body guard, and of course Jackson Brodie.  Brodie coincidentally is present at the time of the accident as is the spouse of the real estate tycoon, the son of the policewoman, and the detective writer.

I feel when I read books by Atkinson as if I am boarding a roller coaster when I open the novel. The ride is wild and mostly enjoyable.  You have to keep going back to read sections when a clue implicates a character that appeared 50 pages previously.  But it really does force the reader to pay attention.

An indication of how good she is as a writer is that before I finished One Good Turn I went on Amazon and bought the next book in the series, When Will There Be Good News.

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