Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Case Histories

Case Histories by Kate Atkinson, 312 pages

In 1970, cherubic 3-year-old Olivia Land, the youngest of four sisters, disappeared from her own back yard. In 1979, Laura Wyre was making copies at her first day working in her father's law office when a deranged man ran into the office and slashed her throat. And then there's Michelle, a woman who married too young and, buckling under too much stress with a new baby, murdered her husband with an axe in 1974. Years later, these three unrelated events become inextricably tied together when private investigator Jackson Brodie begins investigating all three at the same time.

While this is theoretically a mystery (or rather, three mysteries in one), it's also a detailed study of the family situations related to all three cases, full of complex characters who were all affected deeply by these monumental events in their lives. As with Atkinson's later books, this is fantastic, and I'm kicking myself for not reading it earlier. I'll definitely be reading more of the Jackson Brodie books.

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