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Case Histories (2004)

by Kate Atkinson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Jackson Brodie (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,5723331,017 (3.79)938
The first book in Kate Atkinson's Jackson Brodie Mysteries series, called "The best mystery of the decade" by Stephen King, finds private investigator Jackson Brodie following three seemingly unconnected family mysteries in Edinburg. 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 . . .… (more)
Recently added byJoeB1934, JFBCore, private library, Andy5185, AmLee67, jbelyea
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    The Fit by Philip Hensher (KayCliff)
    KayCliff: The sisters of the heroes of both books were raped and murdered when the characters were children.
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    BookshelfMonstrosity: These two books are domestic fiction in which father and daughter is a main topic.
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» See also 938 mentions

English (317)  French (4)  Dutch (3)  German (3)  Spanish (2)  Italian (2)  All languages (331)
Showing 1-5 of 317 (next | show all)
I am not a fan of detective novels or police procedurals, but this was written by Kate Atkinson and I have found her other books marvelously inventive and never boring. I’m glad I decided to chance it, because Jackson Brodie is an individual, not a cliche, and Atkinson’s approach to this genre is different than most, as well.

Jackson is a private detective with four cases, and they are different cases, just as a real detective might have. Each of them is interesting and each solved in a realistic way. I loved the way Atkinson weaved between the cases, revealing clues to us as they were revealed to Brodie, and allowing us an opportunity to put together the pieces. I confess, with delight, that I did not solve a single one of them ahead of the reveal.

I seldom want to go on to a second book in a series like this. I loved the Jesse Stone movies, but I left Robert Parker’s books after only one attempt to become interested; I heard nothing but good things about Tana French, but Cassie Maddox left me flat. I’m thinking I haven’t had enough of Jackson Brodie, he’s interesting enough to make me want to see what becomes of him. Who would have guessed?


( )
  mattorsara | Aug 11, 2022 |
Case Histories: a novel is written by Kate Atkinson.
I was first aware of author Kate Atkinson when I watched a Masterpiece Theater/Mystery presentation of a new series featuring detective Jackson Brodie. (The character written by Ms. Atkinson.)
The series was dark and gloomy - very noir.
I have gone on to read many of Ms. Atkinson’s other novels and found them intricately layered, with many ‘what if’ scenarios or imagined past lives and circumstances; very layered, brooding, quirky and mysterious. The very air is heavy with it.
This first book featuring Jackson Brodie has Mr. Brodie, private investigator, involved in three ‘seemingly’ unrelated mysteries. 1. a mysterious and unresolved case of a very young girl, gone missing from her family home 30 years previously. 2. a young office worker randomly attacked and murdered. 3. A young mother, mentally unstable, creates a grisly, macabre escape for herself.
The book is very ‘dark’. All three mysteries are cold cases. The stories are very mesmerizing - hypnotic, almost. **** ( )
  diana.hauser | Jul 22, 2022 |
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 .


A child gets abducted from a tent during a long hot summer in the 1970s. A woman kills her husband in a fit of post partum depression leaving her child with her parents as she reinvents herself. A teenager is attacked in the office of her father as she works as a temp.

Spread over 30 years and mixed timelines, this is an interestingly written story where all the strands come together in the end. Jackson is not the only damaged person in the book, with all characters having their own story. Timelines chop and change, going back to the 1970s and into recent history, with parts of the already told story being told again from another person's perspective.

Most of the time it's not immediately apparent why characters turn up in the story, but over the course of the book it becomes more clear.

The story of the teenager's killer comes a little fast and late in the story, although Jackson knows the identity about 2 chapters earlier. I'm not sure whether Caroline's story was truly fufilling, and therefore whether there should have been more or less of it.

Overall a cleverly written book, whose plus points outweigh any of the minor negative points
( )
  nordie | Apr 18, 2022 |
I really thought this would be better based on the blurb on the front from Stephen King. It was fairly predictable about half way through. ( )
  Erica8 | Dec 8, 2021 |
I really liked this book, it was one of those that makes you abandon anything else you read at the moment and just get to the end as soon as possible. Although I must say I had my problems with all too casual mentioning of child abuse or with Amelia whining "oh no, i'm not beautiful enough for Daddy to molest me", or the stupid idea of Binky's nephew trying to kill Brodie, or with a long lost child (Tanya) being thrown into the plot way too obviously.
But it was interesting and captivating and I am going to read next books in Brodie series. ( )
  alissee | Dec 8, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 317 (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.”
 
Atkinson has always been a gripping storyteller, and her complicated narrative crackles with the earthy humor, vibrant characterizations, and shrewd social observations that enlivened her first novel but were largely swamped by postmodern game-playing in Human Croquet (1997) and Emotionally Weird (2000).
 

» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Atkinson, Kateprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Arduini, Adasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Isaacs, JasonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jameson, SusanNarratorsecondary 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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

The first book in Kate Atkinson's Jackson Brodie Mysteries series, called "The best mystery of the decade" by Stephen King, finds private investigator Jackson Brodie following three seemingly unconnected family mysteries in Edinburg. 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 . . .

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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.

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Hachette Book Group

3 editions of this book were published by Hachette Book Group.

Editions: 0316010707, 0316033480, 1600245005

 

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