September 14, 2009

Case Histories by Kate Atkinson

I really enjoyed this novel: Case Histories from Kate Atkinson. It features a new (to me) character: a private detective named Jackson who is presented with three long-cold mysteries. Gradually all three are unraveled and even share a few story-threads in common.

I find it remarkable that in both of the Atkinson novels I have read, this and Behind the Scenes at the Museum, Atkinson heavily invests in the complications -- the desperate affection and rivalry -- of sisterly relationships. And, in each novel one sister has had a hand in a death and an other sister takes the blame.

I would so very much like to read an interview with an Atkinson sibling, but it appears that I cannot as wee bit of internet research seems to show that she is an only child, which really disrupts my theory of writing as PTSD therapy. I suppose that is a compliment to Atkinson, that she could concoct such complex relationship drawing not-at-all upon personal experience.

Behind the Scenes at the Museum has a complicated, and often confusing, pattern of narration; Case Histories does not. It reads easily and hooked me early on. The mysteries are well-crafted in that I thought I knew who did what to whom, but I was wrong. And once again I am struck by how well Atkinson writes the internal dialogue of the very young.


1 comment:

  1. I actually have this on my TBR pile. Hoping to pick it up soon. :)


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