CBR5 Review #23: Case Histories by Kate Atkinson

Why I Read It: I loved Life After Life, was lukewarm on Started Early, Took My Dog, and wanted to check out more of Atkinson’s stuff. Also, I’m still very much on a literary mystery kick–I can’t get enough!

My Rating: 5 stars

Summary: The book opens with three distinct mysteries, all taking place in Cambridge, England. A toddler goes missing; a beloved daughter is murdered; a young wife goes crazy. Fast forward to the present day, when all of these cases remain unsolved. Jackson Brodie, a private detective, suddenly finds himself investigating all three, and is drawn deeper and deeper into the past–both those of his clients, and his own.

My Review: THIS is what I wanted Started Early, Took My Dog to be. The intertwining mysteries worked so well here, and I was so engrossed in this book that I finished it in a matter of hours. This is a compelling and well-written mystery, and I loved it. It was everything I need in a good mystery: compelling and intriguing crimes that aren’t too hard to figure out, twists and turns, an interesting protagonist, a satisfying conclusion. I like being kept guessing, and this definitely fit the bill.

Brodie is a great main character, and I can see why Atkinson chose to write more books about him. He’s a well-balanced character, a sane observer of the chaotic mysteries he’s been asked to solve yet also complicated enough to remain interesting. I liked him a lot, and I felt much more connected with him than I did in Started Early, Took My Dog (although I did read the books out of order, so this could be an issue with me and not the books).

Should You Read It? Yes! This is a really great crime novel that will fill the Stieg Larsson/Tana French-shaped void in your life (if you’re like me and are obsessed with literary mysteries).


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