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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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3,3351691,631 (3.76)383
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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Showing 1-5 of 162 (next | show all)
Charming but a little flabby. Kate, you know I love you to bits, but this one was too long. ( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
For some reason read the Brodie series' last three in reverse order; this was the least successful of the four total, but that don't matter much; I love me some Jackson Brodie. ( )
  jjaylynny | Nov 12, 2016 |
An apparently simple road rage incident is witnessed by a crowd of people - unconnected to one another . Or are they?

A tightly woven tale of intrigue after intrigue of how these characters fit together and how many crimes are facets of one crime - yet not 'the crime'.

A great entertaining read. ( )
  pamjw | Nov 1, 2016 |
One of the many good things about Kate Atkinson's books is that you get more than one book in one. "One Good Turn" is both a story about the lives of a whole bunch of characters (like all of her books) told with wit and insight, and a detective mystery that drives a plot along towards a satisfactory, and, in this case, a somewhat surprising ending. Great writing. Accessible. ( )
  PhilipJHunt | Aug 7, 2016 |
Although I have heard good things about the Jackson Brodie series I had not read any of them until I finally got around to reading this one which is the second in the series. Now I am going to have to see if I can find Case Histories, the first book.

Jackson Brodie is in Edinburgh for the Fringe Festival because his lady love, Julia, is performing in a play. He is rather at loose ends because Julia is spending so much time rehearsing. When he witnesses a vicious road rage incident he automatically memorizes the license number of the aggressive driver. This driver had run into the back of another car which had to stop suddenly for a pedestrian. He got out of his car with a baseball bat in hand, hit the driver with the bat, then broke all the windows in his car and then was going back to hit the driver again. A bystander threw his briefcase at him, deflecting the blow and the thug got back in his car and drove off. The Good Samaritan, a writer of cozy mysteries who uses the pseudonym of Alex Blake, goes to render assistance to the victim and Jackson goes over to see if he needs help. He gives Alex his number but disappears when the real police show up. He figures that with all the witnesses who were lined up for a Fringe show someone else will have gotten the license number and he doesn't want to get involved. Soon however he has found a dead girl on a beach then lost her to the rising tide and met DI Louise Monroe who didn't know whether to trust Jackson. Alex Blake (Martin Canning in real life) puts the lie to the saying of which the title of the book is a part. His briefcase disappeared and he spends his day babysitting the victim in hospital and then has to stay with him overnight to make sure he doesn't have a concussion. Except the victim drugs him unconscious and steals his wallet. When he finally gets home he finds police all over because a Fringe performer who has been staying with him was beaten to death. In fact, his death has been announced and it takes some time to straighten that out. Then he finds that his office, where the last remaining backup of his novel in progress was stored, has been ransacked. He realizes that his life may be in danger so he asks Jackson for assistance. Quite an eventful few days at the Fringe Festival.

I have read several of Atkinson's other books. Life after Life was simply amazing and this book is not of the same calibre but it is entertaining. ( )
  gypsysmom | Jul 25, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 162 (next | show all)
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Male parta, male dilabuntun
(Wat oneervol is verkregen, wordt oneervol verkwist.)
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Voor Debbie, Glynis, Judith, Lynn, Penny, Sheila en Tessa.
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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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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)

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