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Mysteries are interesting and usually multifaceted. There are a lot of British references and terms that may be tricky for American readers. Get our latest recommendations, competitions and ebook deals to your inbox every week. Are you human? Big Sky Jackson Brodie has relocated to a quiet seaside village in North Yorkshire, in the occasional company of his recalcitrant teenage son Nathan and ageing Labrador Dido, both at the discretion of his former partner Julia.
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Comment Please note: Moderation is enabled and may delay your comment being posted. Sue Stubbs says. Helen Almond says. Anne Olesen says. All of them! So excited for Big Sky and to find out what Jackson is up to no. MrsB says. Re reading them all again before I start on Big Sky. Deborah says. Jane says. Heather Walker says.
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Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie books in order:
Mentioning them, Atkinson has to introduce their parents, Rosemary and Victor, and say how they came to marry though Victor was twice as old as his bride; and to explain that requires Victor's own history, including his mother's committal to a lunatic asylum in Devotees of private-eye novels should be warned. This isn't one; not really. Jackson Brodie is certainly an authentic character: ex-policeman, ex-soldier, with a case history of his own, a beloved daughter, and tragic skeletons rattling in his head.
He has a failed marriage, an overdeveloped sense of justice and an underdeveloped sense of self-preservation.
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- Family skeletons and a man with a knife.
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But the momentum of the book, this continual sliding and tumbling backwards in time, rather debilitates the framing narrative. Jackson proceeds at a shuffle, pondering and blinking bemusedly at the incidental attempts on his life. Also on Jackson's case-list are an air hostess suspected of adultery; the sister of a convicted killer attempting to locate a niece; and the man obsessed with the death of his daughter.
Theo Wyre, a fat solicitor, is fat because Laura Wyre is dead. Theo has a desperate need to nurture, and now there's only himself to feed.
Kate Atkinson’s Case Histories on Pbs
Laura is dead because she was working in Theo's office the day a stranger in a yellow golfing jersey pulled out a knife. She had taken the job because she loved her dad; and her dad had wanted to protect her. All these bits of history Atkinson tells us with her customary emotional candour. The history of the man with the knife is, if you like, what she needs Jackson Brodie for.
Atkinson is always perceptive and engaging, and this time perhaps a degree less antic in her postmodern playfulness. Shakespeare pops up, as usual. No character in an Atkinson novel can hear the word "convent" without thinking "Get thee to a nunnery". But as the book goes on, there seem to be fewer of these fidgety parentheses, and a new and welcome sense of calm and assurance that it's tempting, if presumptuous, to identify with maturity. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here.
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