Case Two: A beautiful young office worker falls victim to a maniac's apparently random attack.
Case Three: A new mother finds herself trapped in a hell of her own making - with a very needy baby and a very demanding husband - until a fit of rage creates a grisly, bloody escape.
Thirty years after the first incident, as private detective Jackson Brodie begins investigating all three cases, startling connections and discoveries emerge.
©2004 Kate Atkinson; (P)2005 Hachette Audio
I got this book despite some negative reviews because many people said it was really good. The story was good and eventually I did become engaged in it, despite the fact that the first chapter was really quite annoying. I think the narration harmed the book rather than helped it, the narrator was fine when just reading but as soon as she did dialogue her voice became very grating and men and women took on a strange high pitched tone which made many characters very unlikeable. I think this book would be better in paper form and I do plan on getting the next one but will probably read it myself although I might listen carefully to the audible preview to see if the different narrators do a better job.
I am always slightly puzzled by the mixed reviews on various books, and realize that everyone has different tastes. Having said that. however, I am a loss to understand why this book did not captivate everyone who read it. As other reviewers have stated, the structure of the book is ingenious. The characters are fascinating, and the ending has some surprises. Jackson Brody is not a typical hero, and the people who populate the book are eccentric and unpredictable. The narrator was flawless, and I was disappointed to discover that she only narrates one other Kate Atkinson book, and that only five of her books are even available on audio. One of them (the next book in this series) is only available in an abridged form. I've already bought the book in print form (well, actually for my Kindle - so Amazon gets my money in either case) and will hope for more Kate Atkinson books on audio, hopefully read by Susan Jameson.
It is unusual in some ways, although not a unique format. It took me a bit to get into the book, but I am glad I stuck with it. I very much enjoyed the book, although I agree with some of the other reviews, the ending is a bit of a disappointment. The performance is outstanding and the book is a worthwhile listen. I would read other books by this author.
An avid reader who cherishes my time with a good book!
I had reservations about the way the book was structured at first but the author does a good job at tying it all together and delivering an interesting story overall. It was a little slow in parts but in general this is a good read.
I'll start with the positive -- on a sentence-by-sentence level, Atkinson is a solid writer. Nothing particularly spectacular, but nothing wince-worthy either.
Unfortunately, at any higher level than that, this book is awful.
* There are coincidences at a level to make Dickens blush.
* There are plot points that come out of nowhere (Brody's inheritance, for example).
* There are wild events that are more appropriate to a Tom Clancy novel or a Roadrunner cartoon (does anybody except Wile E. Coyote attempt to kill someone by dynamiting his house?)
* The detective does virtually no detecting -- probably just as well, because by the time the third case comes his way, we're almost 2/3 through the novel. One of the cases is solved by one phone-call.
* The stories are resolved with the kind of magical wand-waving that I associate with Victorian literature, not modern serious writing.
I was pre-disposed to give this novel a lot of leeway -- as I wrote above, Atkinson's writing is very solid, which is a nice thing. But I just don't even begin to understand the glowing reviews this book is getting.
While the story is read beautifully, in the end it is quite disappointing. Four disappearances/murders are carefully described. A hero appears who is determined to find the villains who did them, and the writeup promises that they will all be surprisingly related. But by the end of the book only one case is resolved, and no relationship is shown with any of the other cases. Basically, the writing just peters out, giving a very blah impression.
I really enjoy the accent used by the narrator for the characters, I could see myself in Cambridge. The unspoken thoughts were funny. I love the way each case intertwined with the other.
Finely written and wonderfully delivered by Jameson. Disappointed in the resolution however, making me think I missed something.... But the journey was awfully good indeed.
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
It took me a while to get the hang of Atkinson's writing. The story line meanders a bit but is eventually - and artfully - brought back in line. The characters are quirky, flawed and very real. As with her other books, this one felt complete. The ending isn't rushed, but is paced exactly like the rest of the book. It all adds up to one terrific listen.
I like books that have interesting characters and easy to follow plots. For example, Cormoran Strike, is a great character for me.
When I read the great reviews about this book, I was really looking forward to the listen. I was terribly disappointed. The author was trying to be creative in her approach to writing a mystery novel. However, she failed terribly. This was more a sociological study than a mystery. I think the author fell in love with her own words at the expense of the plot which was confusing and, even more disappointingly, unsuspenseful. The reader was terrible. Why do readers of English novels have to make their English accent so overly English? Could Susan Jameson have rolled her "R's" any longer.The plot was confusing and the ending like a limp rag. I couldn't wait for the book to be done. If you're looking for a good well written mystery novel, try anything by James Lee Burke or Henning Mankell.
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