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One Good Turn: A Novel by Kate Atkinson

One Good Turn: A Novel (original 2006; edition 2006)

by Kate Atkinson

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3,0341501,872 (3.76)353
Title:One Good Turn: A Novel
Authors:Kate Atkinson
Info:Little, Brown and Company (2006), Hardcover, 432 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Edinburgh, crime fiction, coincidence

Work details

One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson (2006)

  1. 90
    Case Histories: A Novel by Kate Atkinson (teelgee)
  2. 80
    When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson (2810michael)
  3. 00
    Mainlander by Will Smith (charl08)
    charl08: Both novels have a strong sense of place as they describe crimes that are not straightforward, and involve complex characters, challenging 'crime' genre.
  4. 12
    The Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith (2810michael)

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English (144)  Dutch (4)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  All languages (151)
Showing 1-5 of 144 (next | show all)
I love Kate Atkinson’s writing in One Good Turn, each chapter turned out like a new short story, polished to perfection, filled with character and plot, and smoothly carrying the story on to the next. Protagonist Jackson Brodie seems slightly darker than in the first novel, Case Histories, as if the rewards of luxury might be too much time to think dark thoughts. But he’s back on British shores, following Julia’s acting career on the road to the Edinburgh Fringe. There he meets a dead body, a female detective, temptation and mystery. But One Good Turn isn’t simply a Jackson Brodie story. It’s the story of each of its characters; of a mother, struggling with her teenage son; of a shy man thrust into the spotlight; of guilts long-hidden and festering; and of guilts too easily forgotten. One Good Turn is the tale of a woman scorned, a woman scorning, and a woman caught in between; or of a boy, a man, and a man still struggling to grow up. Perhaps it’s just a window into the unexpected lives of unlikely heroes and heroines, but if so the glass is astoundingly clear, and the view is enthralling.

Unexpected road rage, unintentional death, unwanted heroism, unwilling assistance and unwelcome distractions all feed into this novel as each good turn leads to further demands, and each promise leads to betrayal. Each chapter is tightly woven, offering the perfect chance for distraction at its end, and the perfect promise of satisfaction to undistracted readers. I loved this book.

Disclosure: I think it was a Christmas gift from a friend. ( )
  SheilaDeeth | May 15, 2015 |
I enjoyed this one very much, although maybe not quite as much as Case Histories. The story was a bit more "enclosed" than the first in the series: it took place in a shorter time period and the events happened in closer proximity. I did find this volume to be more predictable than the other one (there was more of an obvious connection among most of the characters). But, as with Case Histories, Atkinson's skill at character development shines.

It's a well-plotted and thoughtful story with enough humor and danger to keep us interested. I already have When Will There Be Good News (the next in the series) and I look forward to reading it. ( )
  glade1 | Mar 30, 2015 |
Fringe fest shows, Russian maids, an unpublished manuscript, and a shady real estate deal, the Jackson Brodie series is never short on interesting twists. Set during the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland, Brodie is traveling with his girlfriend Julia and taking a break from his work. Unfortunately, trouble seems to find him no matter where he goes.

We meet a slew of characters: Paul Bradley a mysterious man who gets rear-ended, meek Martin, an author with little to no personal life and an in ability to say no, a cop named Louise and her son Archie who is hanging out with the wrong crowd. Then there's Gloria, a 59-year-old woman, trapped in a loveless marriage with a cruel man. Each person adds a new layer to the mystery.

BOTTOM LINE: It was good, but I didn't love it as much as Case Histories. Jackson Brodie is a fantastic character, and Atkinson is a master of drawing completely different plot lines together in a believable way by the end of the novel. This plot felt a bit too forced, but I’m looking forward to trying the next one in the series.

“A coincidence is just an explanation waiting to happen.” ( )
  bookworm12 | Feb 2, 2015 |
An enigmatic Jackson Brodi mystery. The story is much like the matryoshka dolls which metaphorically appear in the story. Loved the Edinburgh setting. ( )
  tangledthread | Dec 16, 2014 |
Interlocking stories beginning with a good turn that eventually goes wrong. The analogy with the matryoshka doll is very cleverly accomplished, because that's exactly what this book is - a story within a story within a story... The events are fast moving and the characters are that peculiar mix that might be found anywhere. Jackson is a very appealing sleuth, even though his relationships usually match his favoured hurtin' country music. Atkinson is a genius at allowing the reader to have the unusual experience of a good hoot of laughter while reading a crime novel. Excellent! ( )
1 vote VivienneR | Dec 9, 2014 |
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Book description
It is the Edinburgh Festival. People queuing for a lunchtime show witness a road-rage incident - an incident which changes the lives of everyone involved. Jackson Brodie, ex-army, ex-police, ex-private detective, is also an innocent bystander - until he becomes a suspect.

With Case Histories, Kate Atkinson showed how brilliantly she could explore the crime genre and make it her own. In One Good Turn she takes her masterful plotting one step further. Like a set of Russian dolls each thread of the narrative reveals itself to be related to the last. Her Dickensian cast of characters are all looking for love or money and find it in surprising places. As ever with Atkinson what each one actually discovers is their true self.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0316012823, Paperback)

Kate Atkinson began her career with a winner: Behind the Scenes at the Museum, which captured the Whitbread First Novel Award. She followed that success with four other books, the last of which was Case Histories, her first foray into the mystery-suspense-detective genre. In that book she introduced detective Jackson Brodie, who reopened three cold cases and ended up a millionaire. A great deal happened in-between.

In One Good Turn Jackson returns, following his girlfriend, Julia the actress, to the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh. He manages to fall into all kinds of trouble, starting with witnessing a brutal attack by "Honda Man" on another man stuck in a traffic jam. Is this road rage or something truly sinister? Another witness is Martin Canning, better known as Alex Blake, the writer. Martin is a shy, withdrawn, timid sort who, in a moment of unlikely action, flings a satchel at the attacker and spins him around, away from his victim. Gloria Hatter, wife of Graham, a millionaire property developer who is about to have all his secrets uncovered, is standing in a nearby queue with a friend when the attack takes place. There is nastiness afoot, and everyone is involved. Nothing is coincidental.

Through a labyrinthine plot which is hard to follow because the points of view are constantly changing, the real story is played out, complete with Russians, false and mistaken identities, dead bodies, betrayals, and all manner of violent encounters. Jackson gets pulled in to the investigation by Louise Monroe, a police detective and mother of an errant 14-year-old. There might be yet another novel to follow which will take up the connection those two forge in this book. Or, Jackson might just go back to France and feed apples to the local livestock.

Atkinson has written an enjoyable and lively story of no degrees of separation among the most unlikely cast of characters. Some plot lines have been left to drift, but it does hang together in a satisfying fashion. --Valerie Ryan

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:55:37 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Millionaire ex-detective Jackson Brodie follows his girlfriend to Edinburgh for the famous arts festival, but when he witnesses a brutal attack on a man, he becomes caught up in a string of events that draw him into a deadly conspiracy.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 10 descriptions

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