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Case Histories: A Novel | [Kate Atkinson]

Case Histories: A Novel

Case One: A little girl goes missing in the night. 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.
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Publisher's Summary

Case One: A little girl goes missing in the night.

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (694 )
5 star
 (251)
4 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.0 (504 )
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Story
4.3 (498 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (8)
Performance
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  •  
    LillyO Idaho Falls, ID USA 07-28-11
    LillyO Idaho Falls, ID USA 07-28-11 Member Since 2003

    LillyO

    HELPFUL VOTES
    42
    ratings
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    "Enjoyed the Complexities"

    I thought the characters, plot, etc. were realistic and very well "painted" by Atkinson. I liked how no one was "all good" or "all bad." Like real-life, I found the people portrayed to be interesting, but also full of surprises (some good, some bad). My only "quibble" with the book was the end felt quite rushed. Having been quite eloquent and verbose, the final chapters seemed to somewhat "fall off, abruptly." But still didn't undermine the book! Woo hoo! Well-done, Kate!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Iris Pereyra 01-01-15

    Addicted to books, but especially to audiobooks!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    86
    ratings
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    27
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    Story
    "Beautiful writing and engaging stories"

    This was my first Kate Atkinson book and I enjoyed her style of writing very much.

    As you probably know, the books consists of 3 stories/crimes that after 30 years, are being investigated by PI Brody as he looks into a possible connection between all of them.

    The start of the book felt a little difficult to follow up but by the 2nd story the author starts putting all the pieces together and I found the conclusion satisfying, although perhaps the journey was more enjoyable than the destination.
    I am not typically a reader that grumbles a lot about the ending of books so very rarely this is an issue for me, but I can see how the wrapping of Case Stories might not satisfy many readers.

    Susan Jameson was a wonderful narrator and a perfect fit in my opinion for this audiobook.
    I am not sure that I've heard more books narrated by her but I'll make sure to look up her name for others in the future.

    Case Histories it's sort of a complex read but I found the writing beautiful & compelling so if you are into literary mysteries this might be a good option for you.

    I am adding the other 3 books on the series to my long list of books to read/listen in 2015!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. 11-01-14
    S. 11-01-14 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    108
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    88
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    Performance
    Story
    "Very interesting -"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    melissa Norwich, CT, United States 08-28-14
    melissa Norwich, CT, United States 08-28-14 Member Since 2014

    An avid reader who cherishes my time with a good book!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
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    26
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    13
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    Story
    "Entertaining and well written"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andre Ithaca, NY, United States 09-06-12
    Andre Ithaca, NY, United States 09-06-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    312
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    85
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    3
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    Story
    "Beautifully read murder mystery"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kate Santa Monica, CA, United States 12-24-11
    Kate Santa Monica, CA, United States 12-24-11 Member Since 2006

    Girl Reader

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    Story
    "Not a Mystery, But a Mildly Entertaining Novel"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Despite the title and the other reviews, this is not a mystery in any way, so be warned. There is a detective, and he does have clients, but that's about the extent of the mystery-ness of the book. It's more like an Anne Tyler novel with slightly more grisly backstories for the characters. Also, be warned that the characters are uniformly negative in their perspective, with a strong tendency towards passivity, or at least, extensive complaining about their situation. By contrast, a book like


    Has Case Histories turned you off from other books in this genre?

    I didn't like moody contemporary novels about people who are unhappy with their lives before listening to this, and I still don't. I suppose it would be more accurate to say this book didn't suddenly fill me with a desire to read more books in this genre.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The best thing about this book is that it served as a valuable reminder to doublecheck reviews on Amazon.com to make sure you know what you're getting before you buy something.


    Any additional comments?

    A waste of a credit.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kentucky Woman Louisville, KY United States 07-24-11
    Kentucky Woman Louisville, KY United States 07-24-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    "Interesting story, unlikable characters"

    The author spent way too many words revealing the inner ruminations of some of her characters -- particularly two middle-aged sisters, who are very much preoccupied with themselves and their sexuality. I suppose that authors like to present "realistic" characters, but I don't think anyone in the book was particularly honorable or admirable.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen San Diego, CA, United States 12-20-10
    Karen San Diego, CA, United States 12-20-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of the best audiobooks I've heard"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    06-16-09
    06-16-09 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Enjoyed the accent"

    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.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. Steyn Newton, MA United States 05-24-13
    G. Steyn Newton, MA United States 05-24-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Bad literary fiction, awful mystery story"

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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