Tracy Waterhouse leads a quiet, ordered life as a retired police detective - a life that takes a surprising turn when she encounters Kelly Cross, a habitual offender, dragging a young child through town. Both appear miserable and better off without each other - or so decides Tracy, in a snap decision that surprises herself as much as Kelly. Suddenly burdened with a small child, Tracy soon learns her parental inexperience is actually the least of her problems, as much larger ones loom for her and her young charge.
Meanwhile, Jackson Brodie, the beloved detective of novels such as Case Histories, is embarking on a different sort of rescue - that of an abused dog. Dog in tow, Jackson is about to learn, along with Tracy, that no good deed goes unpunished.
The prolific Kate Atkinson once again shows herself to be a master at crafting literary mystery with Started Early, Took My Dog. Unlike many mysteries, where the action is plot-driven (characters conveniently appear to carry things along), Kate Atkinson uses murder and mayhem to flesh out her characters and the dastardly crimes that define who they are and what they're capable of. (Reviewed by BJ Nathan Hegedus).
The New York Times - Janet Maslin
…[Atkinson's] books cannot be simply read. They must also be wrestled with, and that's where much of the fun lies… Ms. Atkinson remains a wonderful stylist and Grade A schemer…
The Washington Post - Kevin Allman
[C]omplicated, elegant and completely satisfying… Atkinson's dark wit and mastery at sketching connections - between people, places, times, things, emotions - are reminiscent of Ruth Rendell, and Atkinson shares that grand master's facility in balancing cynicism, compassion and pragmatism. The result is crime fiction that's also splendid modern literature.
This book will not disappoint Atkinson and Jackson Brodie fans, but it might be a stretch for some readers to keep up with the multifaceted plot, though it is well worth the effort.
The sleuthing is less important than Atkinson's fascinating take on the philosophic and emotional dimensions of her characters' lives.
Starred Review. For its singular melding of radiant humor and dark deeds, this is must-reading for literary crime-fiction fans.
Starred Review. Atkinson injects wit even in the bleakest moments... yet never loses her razor-sharp edge.
Sunday Times (UK)
Crime has given Atkinson the freedom to write an ambitious, panoramic work, full of excitement, colour and compassion.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Cloggie Downunder a brilliant read Started Early, Took My Dog is the fourth book in the Jackson Brodie series by popular British author, Kate Atkinson. Set some two years after When Will There Be Good News, Jackson is wandering around England, looking for his fake wife, Tessa, and... Read More
Does trying to decipher the meaning of British phrases make you raving bonkers?
Confused over all those acronyms used to identify British police officers? Do you find yourself reading and rereading certain sentences asking: What the heck does this mean? How is it that trainers don't seem to mind being tossed into a boot, and how do they fit in it anyway? Read on.
PC: Police Constable
WPC: Woman Police Constable
DC: Detective Constable
DS: Detective Sergeant
DI: Detective Inspector
DCI: Detective Chief Inspector
D Supt: Detective Superintendent
Guv: used to show deference when referring to one's superior whose rank is of inspector or greater, regardless of sex
New York Times bestselling author Deborah Crombie makes her mark with this absorbing, finely hued tale of suspense - a deeply atmospheric and twisting mystery full of deadly secrets, salacious lies, and unexpected betrayals involving the mysterious drowning of a Met detective - an accomplished rower - on the Thames.
From acclaimed author and television dramatist Peter May comes the first book in the Lewis Trilogy - a riveting mystery series set on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland's Outer Hebrides, a formidable and forbidding world where tradition rules and people adhere to ancient ways of life.
These are 2 of the 8 readalike suggestions for Started Early, Took My Dog. Members have full access to all readalikes. If you are a member, please login. To find out more about membership, click here.
A Man Called Intrepid author dies aged 89(Dec 03 2013) William Stevenson, a journalist and author who drew on his close ties with intelligence sources to write two best-selling books in the 1970s, A Man Called...