Jul 31, 2009

Review of Case Histories- Kate Atkinson

Case Histories- Kate Atkinson

The scene is set in Cambridge, with three case histories from the past: A young child who mysteriously disappeared from a tent in her back garden; An unidentified man in a yellow jumper who marched into an office and slashed a young girl through the throat; and a young woman found by the police sitting in her kitchen next to the body of her husband, an axe buried in his head.

Jackson Brodie, a private investigator and former police detective, is quietly contemplating life as a divorced father when he is flung into the midst of these resurrected old crimes. Julia and Amelia Land enlist Jackson’s help to find out the truth about their younger sister. They embroil him in the complexities of their own jealousies, obsessions and lust.

Another woman named Shirley needs Jackson to help find her lost niece. Jackson meets solicitor Theo Wyre whose daughter, Laura, was murdered in his office and is desperate for Jackson to help him lay Laura's ghost to rest.

As he starts his investigations Jackson has the sinister feeling that someone is following him. In digging into the past Jackson seems to have unwittingly threatened his own future. This wonderfully crafted, intricately plotted novel is heartbreaking, uplifting, full of suspense and often very funny.

Case Histories revolves around Jackson Brodie investigating three cold cases. One case about a missing young girl, another involves a wife murdering her husband, and the third is about a murder of a young women.
The mysteries are fused with Jackson's personal life which slowed down the pace considerably. I did like the characters. They were complex, flawed, and real. The mysteries weren't all that interesting to me, though. As the story goes along you basically figure it out. No surprises here, other than that it was a little boring. After hearing so many positive things about the book, I was expecting much more. I would probably catagorize this as more of a drama. It wasn't a disappointment, more like not what I expected, at all.

Rating- 3/5

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Back Bay Books (October 17, 2005)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316010707


  1. I felt the same way when I read this but it does seem like everyone else absolutely loved it.

  2. I haven't read this yet but it is on my TBR pile. I haven't read any books by this author (don't know if she has others), and was looking forward to trying someone new. I will still probably read it, but it has moved down my list alittle. Thanks for the review.


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