Cambridge is sweltering, during an unusually hot summer. To Jackson Brodie, former police inspector turned private investigator, the world consists of one accounting sheet - Lost on the left, Found on the right - and the two never seem to balance.
Jackson has never felt at home in Cambridge, and has a failed marriage to prove it. Surrounded by death, intrigue and misfortune, his own life haunted by a family tragedy, he attempts to unravel three disparate case histories and begins to realise that in spite of apparent diversity, everything is connected...
©2004 Kate Atkinson (P)2010 Random House Audio
Author, reviewer, publisher @SilverWoodBooks.
'Case Histories' is a great story (or series of inter-connected stories) featuring the charismatic Jackson Brodie (so excellently given voice by Jason Isaacs which was perfect casting). I thoroughly enjoyed the way the various strands played out and were resolved - lots going on, as there always is in an Atkinson book. I would really liked to have given 5 stars but I couldn't because of the abridgement. It completely ruined the latter parts of the book for me... often I was left wondering who certain characters were as I didn't think I'd heard of them before (or they'd not had sufficient introduction, as they would have done in an unabridged version). I didn't purchase this book for a long time as I was hoping an unabridged version would be forthcoming but eventually gave up waiting as I really wanted to listen to the story. If any other listeners are thinking of doing that, then go ahead - it doesn't totally ruin the experience, but it does make you feel a bit frustrated.
Case Histories is the first in the Jackson Brodie series. It starts with short descriptions of three cases from years before - the disappearance of a small girl, and two brutal murders. For various reasons, Jackson (an ex-copper turned PI) is approached by people related to the victims, who all want to look again at aspects of the cases.
I really enjoyed this, although I think that's at least as much due to Isaacs' narration as to the book itself. The book is a tricky balance, with a tone of light, ironic humour despite the profound and sometimes upsetting details of the stories. The narration manages to point up the humour while also being serious enough to be moving, when that's necessary.
This is the first audiobook I have listened to and it was a good combination of reader and material.
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