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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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3,2591631,694 (3.77)373
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. 100
    Case Histories: A Novel by Kate Atkinson (teelgee)
  2. 90
    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. 22
    The Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith (2810michael)

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English (156)  Dutch (4)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  All languages (163)
Showing 1-5 of 156 (next | show all)
As always, Kate Atkinsons books are deceptively light, the writing is so conversational and wry and you feel like you are listening to the story rather than reading it; and it zips past too quickly. A lot of coincidences in this book, but none of them felt forced. And it helped that I had recently been to Edinburgh and was imagining myself back there when reading the book. ( )
  jkdavies | Jun 14, 2016 |
Had I looked below the title and seen ‘A jolly murder mystery’ I might have been more prepared for the jaunt Atkinson takes the reader on in the second part of her book. For the first hundred or so pages I really enjoyed her style, offering more than a simple mystery story but one which also reflected in passing on the human condition and offered one or two interesting bits of information although Gloria’s idea that ‘the present’ is s named because ‘every day was a gift’ wasn’t one of these.

While there were one or two unconvincing aspects to the first part of the book, such as Brodie not fighting the charge of wounding Terry Smith and allowing himself to be deluded about Julia, it didn’t prepare me for the extravagance of the second part. It felt a bit as if Atkinson herself couldn’t take it all seriously enough and just decided to send the whole thing up. I did like, though, the unfinished relationship between Jackson and Louise and the way things didn’t work out with Julia at the conclusion of the novel. ( )
  evening | Jun 2, 2016 |
This was terrific! I loved the way that the author had one central event which linked all these otherwise disparate characters. And then she takes her time filling in the blanks and the back stories until they all come together. It's like reading a Rubik's Cube... ( )
  mmacd3814 | May 30, 2016 |
One Good Turn -Atkinson
4 stars

This is the 2nd book in Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie series, but since I read them completely out of order, this is the last one for me…. unless and until she writes another.

Jackson should be enjoying the unexpected inheritance that he received at the end of book one. But, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Seriously, he reminded me of my dog, a corgi/aussie mix. Like Tiger, Jackson was bred to have a job. He simply isn’t happy with a life of leisure. Fortunately, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival provides enough murder and mayhem to make his life interesting. Interesting, but also on the fringe. I think Jackson was sidelined by more interesting characters, especially the female anti-heroes.

I love the way Atkinson tangles her many plot lines and eventually resolves them in unexpected ways. She also seemed to have a lot of fun with her awkward, cozy mystery writer and his publishers. (It’s a bit of a trend; Kate Atkinson, David Mitchell, Rowling/ Galbraith, all them sticking literary pins into authors, agents, and publishers.) She leaves me wondering what will happen to all these interesting people a few years into the future, but she probably isn’t going to tell me.
( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
I'm loving this book. I find Kate Atkinson's character descriptions hilarious. I was choking with laughter at the exchange between Gloria and her husband's call girl, Tatiana. Martin the mild mannered writer is also beautifully wry. I don't want this book to end! ( )
  J.Bryan | Apr 27, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 156 (next | show all)
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Male parta, male dilabuntun
(Wat oneervol is verkregen, wordt oneervol verkwist.)
Cicero, Philippicae, 11, 27
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Voor Debbie, Glynis, Judith, Lynn, Penny, Sheila en Tessa.
Voor hoe we waren en voor hoe we zijn
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He was lost. He wasn't used to being lost.
Every day was a gift, she told herself, that was why it was called the present.
He knew he would have to do something proactive, he was not a person to whom things simply happened. His life had been lived in some kind of neutral gear, he had never broken a limb, never been stung by a bee, never been close to love or death. He had never strived for greatness, and his reward had been a small life.
The matronly cashmere seemed to confirm something that Gloria had suspected for some time, that she had gone straight from youth to old age and had somehow managed to omit the good bit in between.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:29 -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 9 descriptions

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