I find that I must agree with mystery/suspense author Harlan
Coban in saying that Kate Atkinson is a "must read" author. When Will There
Be Good News begins with a horrible life altering crime that occurred to a
family over 30 years ago. The results of this crime unfold throughout the span
of the story. Kate Atkinson has the amazing ability to allow individual pieces
of the lives of her characters to connect and intermix and even unravel in a
mesmerizing fast paced way. I fully intended to read this book in a calm and
normal manner but once the story began to unfold
I literally attacked the book
and could not resume my regular life until I had read the final page. In fact, I
read the last 50 pages so breathlessly that I could not have stopped reading if
I had wanted to. I literally did not want the story to end even while I was
speed-reading to the finale.
Atkinson fills her story with a wide cast of well developed, fascinating characters, including:
The list goes on, including characters who are key players without us even meeting them
including Scout and Sadie, two dogs who are essential to the way Kate Atkinson
unfolds each character and relationship.
When Will There Be Good News is very readable, although complex, it is not the kind of complexity wherein you must go back and read and reread again. The characters and their unfolding relationships to each other become a part of you. You will yearn for everyone to end their lives happy and unscarred even as quite horrible actions and events unfold all over Edinburgh. Kate Atkinsons newest book is not a quiet ride it is a roller coaster of surprises and thrills and chills that will leave you feeling a bit breathless as you read its final chapter.
Started Early, Took My Dog, Atkinson's fourth novel to feature Jackson Brodie will publish in the UK in August 2010; no USA date is known at this time.
This review was originally published in October 2008, and has been updated for the January 2010 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.
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