Little Brown and co.
One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson
Two years after the events of Case Histories left him a retired millionaire, Jackson Brodie has followed Julia, his occasional girlfriend and former client, to Edinburgh for its famous summer arts festival. But when he witnesses a man being brutally attacked in a traffic jam – the apparent victim of an extreme case of road rage – a chain of events is set in motion that will pull the wife of an unscrupulous real estate tycoon, a timid but successful crime novelist, and a hardheaded female police detective into Jackson’s orbit. Suddenly out of retirement, Jackson is once again in the midst of several mysteries that intersect in one giant and sinister scheme.
Well, I stuck with this book, because I usually always do, but it was not the most enjoyable read from this writer. At first was disappointing in that it is a bit all over the place with the plot and seems to have a lot of padding and flashbacks, some which interrupt the story badly. However it got a lot better as it went along and it is chock full of comic scenes and smart one liners, such as the backbone of Scottish religion descibed as, ‘alcohol, football and feeling hard done by,’ and Martins reply to the question about the housekeepers offering special ‘extras’, he said, ‘ there was a nice girl Anna who offered to defrost the fridge’, hilarious in context.
Disappointingly the characters are not all up to scratch as in the writers previous books but the story trundles along very well. The relationship between Archie and his mother Louise appears very realistic for his age group, she asks ‘what did you do at school’ and he answers ‘stuff’, perfect dialogue. There is a very mixed up feeling about the whole plot you have to keep your eye on all the characters, some was very true to life and some just like a farce. There was a bit too much of moving backward and forward in time and there were some coincidences that were just too coincidental. Jackson Brodie is my hero of the piece, stereotyped but very very nice, someone you would like to meet.
What saves this book from being too complex and tedious are the writer’s fantastic droll style, her remarkable subtle way with words and a satisfying ending.