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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 Ratings


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  • mary
  • VENTURA, CA, United States
  • 01-20-09

Trippy book

I liked this book a lot, it was really different. At first, the story seemed disjointed. You are slowly introduced to the tie-ins but it comes together smoothly. The characters in the stories are explored and exposed. The ending was kind of abrupt, I thought I missed something. I liked the narrator. She had perfect delivery and emotion. I was looking forward to listening to the second in the series, but it is abridged. I don't do abridged. Instead I look forward to listening to the third in the series, which has been highly rated. Give this one a try.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

captivating story

i loved this book. i was fascinated by the stories and the structure of the novel, watching the characters and their stories unfold. when it ended, i so wanted it not to be over. the narration was excellent. lots of characters, but she managed to imbue them with enough individuality that a listener can easily follow. i'm looking for other works by this novelist for my library.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A fun listen with an edge

Kate Atkinsons' writing is on the sunny side of popular fiction. Mostly because, it's her story-telling talent which make her books enjoyable, and not a low common denominator type of popularity.

I must admit the core plot is just a tv series type of "cold cases" suspense story. However, what makes it a worthwhile listen is the focus on the individuals left behind these "cold case" stories.
In addition, the book provides a variety of bitter-sweet lovable characters, that make the story captivating.
(and ofcourse there's Susan Jameson's next to perfect narration).

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Deftly written, completely original mystery

I was looking for a lightly entertaining british mystery novel, but instead found this artfully interwoven collection of timeshifting stories that manages to never feel gimmicky and delivers terrific payoffs. I regret the former reviewer didn't stick with the story, because they missed out on some fantastic character development, truly fine writing and what ends up being a really satifying narrative. Speaking of narrator, Susan Jameson does a fantastic job and her rich delivery of the many different dialects really brings the story to life. She also does a great job with the male characters, which is so often the downfall of opposite sex audiobook artists. Highly reccomend!

25 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story


It always surprises me when I read negative reviews of a book I completely enjoyed, and in this instance I couldn't disagree with the naysayers more. If you prefer your characters well rounded and real, the story line captivating and the narration a delight to listen to, you'll enjoy this listen.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • G. Steyn
  • Newton, MA United States
  • 05-24-13

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.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Qbook
  • Betterton, MD, USA
  • 06-29-09

Structure That Drew Me In

Ms. Atkinson's writing is silky smooth constantly going down little lanes full of character details. I was totally drawn in to this book which is full of tension. The biggest tension is between the smooth, slow pace of the sentences and the feeling something big is just around the corner. When that big thing comes, it really isn't as big as the details of the characters' lives. For some readers, this is a let down; for me, this is an honest approach, very grounded, very real. I can't wait for more of Kate's voice.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Amy
  • Centerville, OH, USA
  • 11-12-08

Interesting mesh of stories

This novel is a well written collage of several stories which intertwine mysteriously. I enjoyed it very much.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Not a typical mystery

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.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful