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Case Histories by Kate Atkinson
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Case Histories (2004)

by Kate Atkinson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Jackson Brodie (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,890318915 (3.79)908
Private detective Jackson Brodie finds his own need for resolution sparked by three investigations, including that of two sisters who discover a shocking clue to the disappearance of their third sister thirty years earlier.
  1. 110
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  3. 30
    The Accidental by Ali Smith (Sarasamsara)
  4. 20
    Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem (Smiler69)
  5. 10
    Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (kiwiflowa)
  6. 10
    The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (debbiereads)
  7. 10
    The Invisible Ones by Stef Penney (RidgewayGirl)
    RidgewayGirl: Both books are written by highly acclaimed authors and feature an unhappy private investigator specializing in missing persons.
  8. 00
    The Fit by Philip Hensher (KayCliff)
    KayCliff: The sisters of the heroes of both books were raped and murdered when the characters were children.
  9. 00
    The Murderer's Daughters by Randy Susan Meyers (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: These two books are domestic fiction in which father and daughter is a main topic.
  10. 01
    Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris (sturlington)
  11. 01
    In the Woods by Tana French (sturlington)
  12. 01
    Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O'Farrell (kiwiflowa)
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» See also 908 mentions

English (304)  French (4)  Dutch (3)  German (2)  Italian (2)  Spanish (1)  All languages (316)
Showing 1-5 of 304 (next | show all)
I really wanted to love this book but I never cared enough about the characters and the plots. I saw at least one twist coming from miles away, and another twist just didn't make any sense because it involved a character we (the reader) hadn't been introduced to. I liked Jackson and Marlee, but fought to stay engaged with the others. Overall, not a great read. ( )
1 vote bookishtexpat | May 21, 2020 |
Atkinson is a new author to me and I did like the author's portrayal of Jackson Brodie. I was confused about the lack of continuity until near the end. Even then, some of the intertwining stories seemed disjointed and unfinished ~ a sense of but happened next? The premise for the Jackson Brodie series is sound, so I hope book 2 is better. ( )
  SandyAMcPherson | Apr 30, 2020 |
A gem. Jackson Brodie has only mildly improbably things happen to him like his house exploding and inheriting a fortune wait scratch that. And he gets knocked unconscious as usual. And hooks up with the wrong woman as usual. There's a little internal puzzle, everyone interconnects, it's all very satisfying. ( )
  adzebill | Mar 9, 2020 |
Case Histories by Kate Atkinson introduces us to private investigator Jackson Brodie. Through luck and serendipity, Brodie ends up with three cases to investigate that are quite unusual. Some might even say unsolvable. Following the death of their father, sisters Julia and Amelia press Jackson to try and find what happened to their sister Olivia, missing some thirty years. Theo Wyre's daughter was murdered a decade in the past, the case long gone cold. Twenty years ago a young housewife unable to cope with a colicky child and an unsupportive husband snaps one day. The aftermath leaves a child orphaned for all intents and purposes. On top of this, Brodie is dealing with his precocious daughter Marlee, his ex- wife's new beau, and one godsawful toothache.

Each of these cases are linked with delicious hints of synchronicity. I loved that! Jackson really seemed to stumble upon these things like providence (or a curse). He's persistent and dedicated once he turns his mind to a case, though he tried many times to impress upon the 'clients' that the task is likely futile, especially since two are cold cases.

I adored Brodie! He has a good heart, and wants to help people. Yet he's gruff, standoffish at times, and clearly flawed. It hurt to see him going through the states of grief when it came to finding acceptance that his daughter was being moved to New Zealand. He might have some interesting parenting notions, but he's a good da and doesn't deserve to go through that! I know, things happen, but still…

Of the three cases, the most interesting to me was the missing little girl. The story behind that, the childhood four sisters shared, and the truth of Olivia's fate was heart-breakingly believable. All of the cases felt so to me, as did the synchronicity leading to their being solved. Cold cases can be like that. It's often luck, serendipity, and synchronicity that lead to them being resolved. I loved this book and I'm definitely going to continue the series!

****This book was purchased and read for my own enjoyment ( )
  PardaMustang | Feb 26, 2020 |
When I started this book the first chapters read like three short stories. Each chapter describes three very different crimes. The story then goes on to flesh out the individual back stories and introduces a cop turned private eye who gets drawn into each of the cases in a very clever way.

The story jumps around a bit from storyline to storyline and I sometimes found myself confused or struggling to remember a character's place in the story. In spite of that, the unusual set up and telling of the story kept me interested and I quite liked the detective. He isn't one of the Green Beret-hero types, but instead is just a nice guy trying to do his best while dealing with his own family struggles. Recommended. It didn't fill any of my 2015 book challenge categories, but that's okay :) ( )
  Terrie2018 | Feb 21, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 304 (next | show all)
We have a woman who once thought she was marrying a “great mathematician” but now finds herself—a mother of four daughters and pregnant again—wondering what her glowering husband “would look like when he was dead.”
 
Atkinson has always been a gripping storyteller, and her complicated narrative crackles with the earthy humor, vibrant characterizations, and shrewd social observations that enlivened her first novel but were largely swamped by postmodern game-playing in Human Croquet (1997) and Emotionally Weird (2000).
 

» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Atkinson, Kateprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Arduini, Adasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Isaacs, JasonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jameson, SusanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32)
Dedication
For Anne McIntyre
First words
How lucky were they? A heat wave in the middle of the school holidays, exactly where it belonged.
Quotations
She should have done science, not spent all her time with her head in novels. Novels gave you a completely false idea about life, they told lies and they implied there were endings when in reality there were no endings, everything just went on and on and on.
It wasn't that [he] believed in religion, or a God, or an afterlife. He just knew it was impossible to feel this much love and for it to end.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
CASE ONE:
Olivia Land, youngest and most beloved of the Land girls, goes missing in the night and is never seen again. More than thirty years later, two of her surviving sisters, each achingly lonely in her own way, reunite when their cruel and distant father dies. There, among the clutter of their childhood home, they unearth a shocking clue to Olivia's disappearance.

CASE TWO:
All of Theo's happiness is tied to his devoted daughter Laura. He delights in her wit, her effortless beauty, and her selfless love, and in the fact that she's taken a position at his prestigious law firm. But on her first day on the job, a maniac storms into the office and turns Theo's entire world 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, she made a grave mistake and will 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. Jackson finds himself inextricably caught up in his clients' lives — their grief, their joy, their desire, and their unshakable need for resolution are very much like his own.

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