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Case Histories by Kate Atkinson
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Case Histories (original 2004; edition 2004)

by Kate Atkinson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,817268727 (3.78)792
Member:rodrick
Title:Case Histories
Authors:Kate Atkinson
Info:Doubleday UK (2004), Hardcover, 304 pages
Collections:Public library, 2010-14
Rating:***1/2
Tags:fiction, mystery, British

Work details

Case Histories: A Novel by Kate Atkinson (2004)

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» See also 792 mentions

English (259)  Dutch (3)  French (3)  German (1)  Italian (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (268)
Showing 1-5 of 259 (next | show all)
While the actual mysteries are nothing new, the manner of the storytelling is. Ms. Atkinson leads the reader down these paths, suggesting conclusions, and then there is a different perspective and the story turns out to be different than expected. There is a bit of grimness about the stories - but then the characters involved are dealing with the aftermath of the tragic. ( )
  tjsjohanna | Apr 8, 2016 |
I do find it hard to make up my mind about Kate Atkinson’s books. It seems to me that at their best they really examine the human condition in an honest way but they also seem at times to be unconvincing in their plots and this book was no exception, the Caroline subplot, for example, seeming all rather far-fetched in order to create surprises. And then there’s Quintus, a paper-thin one-dimensional character whose role it is simply to make Jackson seem in danger. Still, I like the character of Jackson Brodie even if the way he take innumerable blows to the head but retains his clear thinking puts him more into the mythical realm of James Bond. ( )
  evening | Mar 17, 2016 |
LOVED everything about this book. It was so intriguing, well-written, funny, great character development. Can't wait to read all the rest of the series! ( )
  anglophile65 | Mar 8, 2016 |
This was one of the strangest books I've ever read. I received it as a gift and was expecting it to be the beginning of a British police procedural series, which is indeed one of my favourite genres. Well, let's just say that the book is English and it is set in modern-day Cambridge, with many, many looks back to earlier time frames like the 1970's and the early 1990's. The book is actually about four separate crimes and they are all connected by one investigator, Jackson Brodie, who is a former police officer and now a private detective. I like Jackson Brodie. He's a smart and very thorough investigator who has a very sad story of his own from his own childhood that has helped make him into the superlative investigator that he is. But, I found the book itself very disjointed and it was hard to follow the storyline because of the four separate tragedies and even harder to get a handle on the characters because each of the four stories has different people and different personalities. I must admit that I felt lost at times when I began a new chapter. The book is actually quite complex, and Ms. Atkinson is very literate and her characters are believable. The stories are all terribly sad, and although all four are solved by the end, it left me feeling strangely unsatisfied with the ending. The book is not anything like I expected, and that wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing, but the novel felt so unconnected and random that I couldn't seem to get my head around all the plot threads. ( )
  Romonko | Mar 6, 2016 |
3.25 stars

Jackson Brodie is a private investigator in 2004. In this book, he is working on a few different cases, one where a younger sister went missing in 1970; one where a daughter was killed in 1994 and a few more. We also get a look into Jackson's life.

It felt a bit like short stories to me in that some of the stories (the two mentioned in my “summary”) were more interesting to me than the rest. In fact, I don't even remember much about the others at all. The two stories that were interesting to me were the ones introduced at the start of the book. As more stories and characters were introduced later on, I wasn't interested in learning about new characters. The only connecting factor in the stories was Jackson, so again, that contributed to the short story “feel” to me. ( )
  LibraryCin | Feb 17, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 259 (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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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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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

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.

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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