I completely love it that Kate Atkinson is now a crime writer albeit a ‘literary crime writer’ her version of a crime novel is one where there is no gore but plenty of thought, mulling over of things, and beautifully plotted humorous wonderfulness (I’m gushing), this is crime for grown-ups of a certain age who like a thinking novel.
This is the fourth in the series which begins with Case Histories where we first met Jackson Brodie (but which I have only just read see this post) and whom we have now come to completely adore as he bumbles his slightly depressed way through life and love and sorts out the odd criminal along the way. His new life as a private investigator hasn’t gone so swimmingly and he has been ripped off by his most recent wife who has absconded with a sizable chunk of his fortune, he is back into it again though searching for Hope McMaster’s parents. She was adopted and the family moved to New Zealand and wants to find her roots. Add to that story Tracy who is a recently retired cop who accidentally ‘buys’ a small child and also Tilly who is an elderly actress whose mind is fracturing. There are these three separate stories which will ultimately connect, but it is the getting there that is the thing. She weaves her story and you are completely taken on a journey, it is all so real, so beautifully done and this is a crime novel that doesn’t read like a crime novel.
My favourite thing about her writing is that you feel totally inside the heads of the characters, you understand how they feel and why, even though it may be totally bizarre that they act the way they do, but you get why they are being bizarre. It should be set reading for everyone in the world!