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Case Histories by Kate Atkinson

Case Histories (original 2004; edition 2005)

by Kate Atkinson

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5,993281696 (3.78)803
Title:Case Histories
Authors:Kate Atkinson (Author)
Info:Black Swan (2005), Edition: paperback / softback, Unknown Binding
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, 2000s, series, detective, mystery, family, UK

Work details

Case Histories: A Novel by Kate Atkinson (2004)

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» See also 803 mentions

English (272)  Dutch (3)  French (3)  German (1)  Italian (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (281)
Showing 1-5 of 272 (next | show all)
Murder mysteries aren't really my thing, especially when a kid's involved. But the way the different stories intertwined was compelling and creative. ( )
  trwm | Oct 6, 2016 |
In Atkinson's inaugural novel in the Jackson Brodie series, the reader is introduced to the eponymous hero, former soldier and police detective, and now a private investigator. In this novel, Brodie is hired to investigate three apparently unrelated cases which occurred in Manchester, England. The first involved the disappearance of a 3-year-old, the youngest, and favorite, of four girls. The second involved the random and seemingly motiveless killing of a solicitor's daughter. The final case involves Brodie locating a daughter that was placed with another family after her mother murdered her husband with an ax. Each one has its challenges with each case not appearing to be what once first assumed. The characters in this novel are so well fleshed out, it is no wonder that the BBC filmed this book as the first of a three part series. After reading the book I'm eager to watch the series and to see how it translated to film. ( )
  John_Warner | Aug 29, 2016 |

I should be well familiar with Atkinson's style of über-description, and not be distracted by it at the beginning of the book. I do feel like she went to the school of "go off on a tangent when you get the chance" and also the school of "don't worry, the reader will love it". Only, I don't always love it. It makes reading the book go both fast and slow. Fast because that description is always fascinating, and slow because I get irked that she is not getting to the freakin' point.

Regardless, I did enjoy the novel, even with its bizarre plot. The first three chapters throw you for a loop (don't be dissuaded by them, though), and it's not even obvious until a few more chapters in that there is a protagonist to this story, and that he will actually be a central focus. Well, central focus is putting it a bit strongly - he will be integral to the completion of the story. Well, completion may be putting it too strongly...

OK, now I'm just teasing. It is, after all, a mystery and the best mysteries are not wholly finished. Especially if one is planning a series around them. This Atkinson does in spades. I didn't love the ending - but not because the story wasn't wholly finished. I just didn't like what she ended up creating as a lifestyle for Jackson (our protagonist), as if this was what he would always have wanted. ( )
  khage | Jul 31, 2016 |
#7 of the 10 novels of Kate Atkinson. I've been reading them in the wrong order -- 8, 1, 2, 7, 10, 9, 5 -- but the order doesn't matter. They all work standalone and, indeed, things change from book to book anyway. This is the first of the Jackson Brodie detective stories and I think the later ones are better. Only because the final resolution of this one seemed a bit unsatisfactory and mechanical. Still, she's a fabulous writer. Every page is worthwhile. ( )
  PhilipJHunt | Jul 21, 2016 |
Interesting characters and premise, and yet somehow felt unsatisfying at the end. I'm not sure anyone actually received justice and, frankly, it was written in such a way that you don't really know what would constitute justice. There's a difference between the complexities of reality and creating something that seems to deliberately paint the world into shades of grey for what appears to be the purpose of moral equivocation.
I'll have to think some more about how I really feel about this one. At one point--as recent as the last three chapters, where I thought of this a s 4-star, but ultimately felt it only merited three. I almost added more Kate Atkinson to my to-read list, but now that status is merely pending.
The prose is fine, and I think she used the technique of showing the same event from multiple vantage points quite effectively. I enjoyed the humor--almost Dave Barry-esque in the use of parentheticals to call out the mild bizzareness of modern life. ( )
  gpaisley | Jun 18, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 272 (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.”

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kate Atkinsonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jameson, SusanReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32)
For Anne McIntyre
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How lucky were they? A heat wave in the middle of the school holidays, exactly where it belonged.
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.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
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.

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.

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.

Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316010707, Paperback)

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 investigator Jackson Brodie begins investigating all three cases, startling connections and discoveries emerge . . .

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:00 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Case One: Olivia Land, youngest and most beloved of the Land girls, goes missing in the night and is never seen again. Case Two: Theo delights in his daughter Laura's wit, beauty, and selfless love. But her first day as an associate in his law firm is also the day when Theo's world turns upside down. Case Three: Michelle looks around one day and 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 escape route...As Private Detective Jackson Brodie investigates all three cases, startling connections emerge. Inextricably caught up in his clients' emotions, Jackson finds their unshakable need for resolution very much like his own.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 12 descriptions

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