Case Histories

Case Histories

by Kate Atkinson

Judy Stanton: Do you sometimes come into a book with such great expectations of loving it, that you have a hard time getting it to live up to that expectation? This book got great reviews and ratings, but I had a hard time engaging with the characters as being "real." Maybe because I was reading another book at the same time with people who had more depth. The focus is three unsolved "cold case" murders and Jackson Brodie's investigation. I love a good mystery, and even though this one had its share of humor, twists and turns, I was not enthusiastic. Sorry! I may have to stop reading more than one book at a time. Makes it hard to keep up with all the characters and their story lines. I'd give this a 3-.
Rating: ***

Debbie Weiss: I, too, enjoyed "Case Histories." At first I was a little confused with the author's style of jumping back and forth between seemingly unrelated stories. However, after a while it became apparent that the stories and characters were somehow related, and I found it fascinating to see how the author wove all the parts together into one all-encompassing whole. Like Arlene, I definitely recommend this book to our readers.
Rating: ****

Arlene Almas: Here is another of Kate Atkinson's Jackson Brodie mysteries (recommended by Gail Reid in her review of "When Will There Be Good News" - thank you, Gail!). There are several mysteries in this novel: what happened to Olivia, the youngest of four sisters, who disappeared 30 years ago? Who murdered Laura in her father's law office ten years ago? Why did Caroline steal someone's identity, and where is the baby she left behind 25 years ago? As Jackson Brodie, private investigator, delves into these three cases from the past, we become familiar with Olivia's three older sisters, Sylvia, Julia, and Amelia; Laura's father, Theo; and Michelle, who as a young mother is accused of committing a violent crime. Even the more minor characters seem not to be so minor after all - each contributes to the fullness of the narrative and the feeling of reality the reader gets from grasping their part in the larger story. I found myself tugged along by each of these people and my desire to have all the mysteries resolved, and Atkinson does not disappoint.
Rating: *****

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