Do you all have that list of authors in your head that you’d like to read, when given the moment? Well, due to a couple strong recommendations (I wish I could elaborate on the source – if it was you please say so!), author Kate Atkinson was always on my radar as someone to pick up. Serendipitously I stumbled across her novel, CASE HISTORIES, in the bargain bin at B&N (ok, maybe it wasn’t serendipity as much as it was escaping the cold and being a *great* shopper).
So yesterday, my last day of a very long though not-as-relaxing-as-one-may-think Christmas vacation, I sat down to read it and couldn’t put it down. Oh I tried – I had to unpack, clean up, wash dishes, dry my hair – but in between every small task I glanced longingly at book – and quit trying to be productive until I finished it.
Officially classified as a detective/crime novel, I found it more to be a sweeping drama than a mystery. The flap copy says: “private detective Jackson Brodie—ex-cop, ex-husband and weekend dad—takes on three cases involving past crimes that occurred in and around London…” – but it doesn’t factor in the hints Atkinson drops throughout the novel, and the intertwining of the individual stories and the unanticipated interaction between characters. I think only a very talented author can successfully write a novel weaving this many story lines together (not to mention the alternating point of views), and she does without missing a beat.
I’ve already ordered her next two novels featuring Jackson Brodie – for which my expectations are very, very high. I get the feeling Atkinson won’t disappoint!
Obviously I love the alliteration of her name and when I came across the shiny jacket of her latest, I’D KNOW YOU ANYWHERE (my mom used to call me a crow due to my affinity for anything that shimmers in the light), I couldn’t resist.
I had expected I’D KNOW YOU ANYWHERE to be more action-packed and thrilling, but similar to CASE HISTORIES above, this book had a psychological depth that surprised me.
Told from the perspective of the Eliza Benedict, a wife and mother who overcame her terrifying kidnapping as a teenager. She was the only victim of Walter to escape his entrapment alive. Already dealing with a sullen teenager and a young child, a letter from her captor and his approaching execution puts her hidden past back to the forefront.
I’m happy I finally had the opportunity to experience both authors. Kate Atkinson immediately left me wanting more and I’ll definitely make more room on my bookshelf for Lippman – I’ve been told that many of her books are more traditional thrillers with a repeating character that I’d love to try.
Any authors you recently “met” that you can’t wait to read again? Or, any shiny covers attract you lately?