5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Case Histories: (Jackson Brodie) (Paperback)It has been a long time (too long) since a novel grabbed my attention on the first page and did not let go until the end. This book did.
Three stories (case histories) about loss are brought together around a central character; Jackson Brodie, an ex-policeman turned private investigator who starts to investigate the three old cases.
It is beautifully written with very strong characterisation: a wonderful mix of touching (sometimes genuinely moving) and funny. As an exercise in genre busting it is very interesting: it is only nominally a crime novel, although the crime elements are well handled, it is much more interested in the characters. All the threads are well handled but the story of the family of girls and their overbearing academic (worse, mathematician) father is particularly strong as is the story of the father losing the favourite daughter.
The book is not perfect. For me, the biggest weakness was the main protagonist Jackson Brodie: he is well enough drawn to drive the plot forward but, for me, he is never a wholly convincing character. Towards the end of the book Aktinson adopts a slightly odd narrative structure (she gets away with it) and the ending is rather too neat and happy for my tastes.
However, this is still the best novel that I have read is a (very) long time, I recommend it wholeheartedly. Now I'm off to read her other books.