Case Histories

Case Histories

A Novel

Book - 2004
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A triumphant new novel from award-winner Kate Atkinson: a breathtaking story of families divided, love lost and found, and the mysteries of fate. Case One: Olivia Land, youngest and most beloved of the Land girls, goes missing in the night and is never seen again. Thirty years later, two of her surviving sisters unearth a shocking clue to Olivias disappearance among the clutter of their childhood home. . . Case Two: Theo delights in his daughter Lauras wit, effortless beauty, and selfless love. But her first day as an associate in his law firm is also the day when Theos world turns upside down. . . Case Three: Michelle looks around one day and finds herself trapped in a hell of her own making. A very needy baby and a very demanding husband make her every waking moment a reminder that somewhere, somehow, shed made a grave mistake and would spend the rest of her life paying for it--until a fit of rage creates a grisly, bloody escape. As Private Detective Jackson Brodie investigates all three cases, startling connections and discoveries emerge. Inextricably caught up in his clients grief, joy, and desire, Jackson finds their unshakable need for resolution very much like his own. Kate Atkinsons celebrated talent makes for a novel that positively sparkles with surprise, comedy, tragedy, and constant, page-turning delight.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Co., c2004.
Edition: 1st American Ed.
ISBN: 9780316740401
0316740403
Characteristics: 312 p. ; 25 cm.

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From Library Staff

Jackson Brodie, a tender-hearted run-down Cambridge private detective, investigates three separate cold cases: a missing child, a slain teen, and an axe murder. The detective story framework allows the author to playful scatter clues while giving us vivid psychological portraits of the families ... Read More »


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j
jimsauer1
Sep 13, 2020

JB #1
Karen Lieneke Recommendation

b
blcwrites
Feb 06, 2020

This was a fun, funny, smart read and loved how all of the case histories matched up in the end. I also rec the DVDs as well. I checked out this book as a relief from the news of the world and glad I did.

n
NedSu
Dec 10, 2019

I was first exposed to the author in Transcription, published circa 2018, and wanted to see if Atkinson's other works contained the same wit and subterfuge. This introduction to the Jackson Brodie novels had some very dark moments in the 4 case histories that intertwined. The author's humor, witticism, and banter is in its nascent phase during Case Histories, but it is but it is present. Brodie's interaction with his ex wife and their child are some of the best examples of her wit. While the 4 cases seem to be a lot, and there is some incongruous overlay that borders on Deus Ex Machina coincidences, this was a very satisfying read, not so much plot driven as intimate looks at each of the characters and their thoughts. I'm signing up for an even earlier work, and plan to follow that up with more Jackson Brodie novels.

i
INVS
Nov 22, 2019

I'll start again on KA books because she has smart-arse banter, makes me use the dictionary, use my 'other brain'. The loose connections that some other reviewer mentioned may be one of the reasons I enjoy her writing. It's like trying to put threads back in place, reverse knitting. A 'sort of' similar read is by J. ironmonger, Coincidence, I've read & listened to more than once.

b
bmigneron
Sep 03, 2019

First novel in Jackson Brodie series

w
wyenotgo
Jul 31, 2019

Helter skelter. Undisciplined, sloppy writing. And yet, at times, brilliant: e.g. the verbal sparring between the two sisters Julia and Amelia, sibling rivals all through their lives, is masterfully done. The tangled story line held my attention throughout, even though it unravels in ugly, disappointing ways at the end. Atkinson appears to suffer from ADD, unable to stick to one event long enough to make her point, even shifting to another decade within a single paragraph. There's a bit too much of everything — characters, murders, story lines. As for mystery, there are too many dead bodies for us to care very much about any one of them.
And could the police really have been as incompetent as all that?

t
Tdruid
Mar 11, 2019

This depressing book is mostly about child abuse & neglect & the warped, damaged adults who manage to survive it. The murder mystery is a minor sub-plot. It was very uncomfortable & unpleasant to read & I rather wish I hadn’t.

d
dsw3914
Jan 31, 2019

Because the DVD TV series was one of my favorites, I really wanted to like this book, however, I did not like it much at all. The book was about 305 pages but the total investigation of any of the at least 3 cases (maybe 4 or 5?) could have been condensed into probably 50 pages. The rest was reflection, introspection, rambling, etc. I read it all but it was not well spent time. I may take time to read her book of short stories but not sure right now. The Jason Isaac version of Jackson Brodie in the TV series was much better than the Jackson Brodie of the book. Watch the DVD's of the 2 TV seasons. Forget the book.

a
athena14
Dec 01, 2018

I was rivetted by the interlocking case histories until the last pages, when it was all wrapped up with a bow, and I couldn't believe her endings.

d
dmckenziehague
Sep 28, 2018

Complex plot written in a way that will need extra focus to understand what the author is saying. I recommend!

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