When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson
|When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson|
|Genre: Literary Fiction|
|Reviewer: Eileen Shaw|
|Summary: Funny, literary, sharp as a knife, and moving in a dark direction from the horrifying first few pages, this is a deeply gratifying read.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 480||Date: January 2009|
|Publisher: Black Swan|
Gabrielle, her two little daughters, Jessica and Joanna, and baby Joseph, are walking home along the leafy lanes one afternoon when a monstrous event occurs which only one of them survives. Thirty years later we are in a posh Edinburgh suburb where Dr Hunter, her husband Neil and their baby live with 16 year-old nanny Reggie (short for Regina), commuting daily from her high rise flat. In the same city, Detective Chief Inspector Louise Monroe is worrying about the case of a young family suffering harassment from an ex-husband as well as investigating a possible (separate) case of arson.
In London, Private Eye Jackson Brodie has married again – his new wife Tessa is a museum curator and has gone off to a conference in New York. Jackson is on a train speeding towards Edinburgh – a journey that is about to be horrifically interrupted.
Kate Atkinson triumphs again in all quarters. Not only has she devised a gut-wrenching, not to say heart-wrenching crime story, she has peopled it with realistic characters with whom the reader cannot help sharing every terrifying moment. Moreover, as the suspense and the intricacy coalesce into a disturbing narrative, as with her other forays into Jackson Brodie's private eye career, Case Histories and One Good Turn, she makes you laugh, she quotes poetry, she plays tricks with cultural references and she skewers your mind and attention to the page. This is a crime novel, but it has the feeling and scope of a literary tour de force. Treat yourself – read this book.
Further Reading Suggestion: Try Benjamin Black's Christine Falls - it doesn't have the humour but it is a similarly riveting read and has high literary values (Benjamin Black is John Banville, Booker Prize Winner for his novel The Sea). Detective fiction comes of age!
When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson is in the Richard and Judy Shortlist 2009.
When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson is in the Independent Booksellers' Prize 2009.
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