A murder mystery with comic overtones from the award-winning
British storyteller.Resurrecting Jackson Brodie, the private eye
from Case Histories (2004), Atkinson confects a soft-hearted
thriller, short on menace but long on empathy and introspection.
Her intricate, none-too-serious plot is triggered by an act of road
rage witnessed by assorted characters in Edinburgh during the
annual summer arts festival. Mysterious possible hit man "Paul
Bradley" is rear-ended by Terence Smith, a hard-man with a baseball
bat who is stopped from beating Bradley to a pulp by mild-mannered
crime-novelist Martin Canning, who throws his laptop at him. Other
onlookers include Brodie, accompanied by his actress girlfriend,
Julia; Gloria Hatter, wife of fraudulent property-developer Graham
Hatter (of Hatter Homes, Real Homes for Real People); and schoolboy
Archie, son of single-mother policewoman Louise Monroe, who lives
in a crumbling Hatter home. Labyrinthine, occasionally farcical
plot developments repeatedly link the group. Rounding out the
criminal side of the story are at least two dead bodies; an
omniscient Russian dominatrix who even to Gloria seems "like a
comedy Russian"; and a mysterious agency named Favors. Brodie's
waning romance with Julia and waxing one with Louise; a dying cat;
children; dead parents and much more are lengthily considered as
Atkinson steps away from the action to delve into her characters'
personalities. Clearly, this is where her heart lies, not so much
with the story's riddles, the answers to which usually lie with
Graham Hatter, who has been felled by a heart attack and remains
unconscious for most of the story. There are running jokes and an
enjoyable parade of neat resolutions, but no satisfying denouement.
Everything is connected, often amusingly or cleverly, but nothing
matters much.A technically adept and pleasurable tale, but Atkinson
isn't stretching herself. (Kirkus Reviews)
'An absolute joy to read...the pleasure of One Good Turn lies in the
ride, in Atkinson's wry, unvanquished characters, her swooping, savvy,
sarcastic prose and authorial joie de vivre' Guardian
The second Jackson Brodie novel (after Case Histories): literary crime
from the prizewinning, number-one bestselling author of Big Sky and
It is summer, it is the Edinburgh Festival. People queuing for a
lunchtime show witness a road-rage incident - a near-homicidal attack
which changes the lives of everyone involved. Jackson Brodie, ex-army,
ex-police, ex-private detective, is also an innocent bystander - until
he becomes a murder suspect.
As the body count mounts, each member of the teeming Dickensian cast's
story contains a kernel of the next, like a set of nesting Russian
dolls. They are all looking for love or money or redemption or escape:
but what each actually discovers is their own true self.
|Country of origin:
||197 x 127 x 32mm (L x W x T)
General & literary fiction >
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