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One Good Turn (Jackson Brodie) Paperback – 2 Jul 2007

3.9 out of 5 stars 224 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Black Swan; 1st edition (2 July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552772445
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552772440
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (224 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,835 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"An absolute joy to read...the pleasure of One Good Turn lies in the ride, in Atkinson's wry, unvanquished characters, her swooping, savvy, sarcastic prose and authorial joie de vivre." (Guardian)

"Atkinson is frequently very funny...while the tone stays light, the plot continues to darken....manages to be that rarest of things - a good literary novel and a cracking holiday read" (Observer)

"Atkinson, while having fun with the murder-mystery genre, slyly slips us a muted tragedy" (Sunday Telegraph)

"One Good Turn is the most fun I've had with a novel this year" (IAN RANKIN Guardian)

"Thrillingly addictive...In One Good Turn Atkinson proves quite unique in her ability to fuse emotional drama and thriller...Imagine a Richard Curtis film scripted by Raymond Chandler, both a little enlivened by the collaboration...The mix is embodied by Brodie. Like all good detectives, he is a hero for men and women alike" (The Times)

Book Description

The second Jackson Brodie novel (after Case Histories) - literary crime from the number one bestselling Kate Atkinson.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In a book that is more fun than any other book I've read all year, Kate Atkinson creates a series of bizarre characters, all involved with murder--either planning it, committing it, or trying to avoid it. Many seemingly unrelated characters, involved in several seemingly unrelated plot lines, make their appearance in the first fifty pages. During the four days in which the novel takes place, however, these characters and plots start to overlap and eventually come together, until, at the end, the reader is smiling with pleasure at the brilliant plotting and ironic twists of fate--full of admiration for Atkinson's skill in bringing it all together with such panache.

In the main plot line, an Edinburgh automobile accident leaves "Paul Bradley," a mysterious man and innocent victim, at the mercy of a crazed, baseball bat-wielding Honda driver. A witness, Martin Canning, the timid writer of Nina Riley mystery stories, reacts instinctively to the impending carnage, hurling his laptop at the Honda driver and saving "Paul Bradley" from certain death. A second set of characters revolves around Graham Hatter, the wealthy developer of Hatter Homes, who is in trouble for bribery, money laundering, and fraud in the building of cheap tract houses.

Jackson Brodie, former cop and private investigator, in Edinburgh for a drama festival in which his girlfriend is involved, introduces a third plot line when he discovers a woman's body on the rocks beside the ocean. It washes out to sea, nearly drowning him when he tries to retrieve it. Sgt. Louise Monroe, who lives in one of the Hatter Homes and whose son is a petty thief, is assigned to investigate the report of the body Brodie claims to have seen.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a relative newcomer to Ms Atkinson's work I had no 'previous' to base any initial attitudes when I started reading 'One Good Turn' but inside a matter of minutes she had me as a fan of both her style, her characterisations and her superb ear for dialogue.
I just love her work and would urge any reader who:

a. likes this type of novel that tells a great story,
b. enjoys laughing out loud,
c. is prepared when doing b., at 2 in the morning, to risk and endure a severe rollicking from a woken spouse...,

to try her out.
For me, a pensioner living in France on a rubbish pension made worse by the exchange rate, there are no regrets about buying all her works. I'll cut down on wine but not on books that I enjoy so much that I can reread them a month later with as much or more pleasure.
Keep on writin' Kate.
David Price
(...)
FRANCE
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Format: Hardcover
A fantastic murder mystery that keeps you guessing throughout. It follows the story of Jackson Brodie, an ex-policeman and ex-private investiagtor. He's in edinburgh for the festival and stumbles across a road rage incident and two murders, all closely connected. Various wonderful characters appear, each chapter written from a different viewpoint. It is a very intricate mystery with plot twists everywhere. Incredibly well written and a fantastic plot. I highly recommend reading case histories, the first book, as it will provide so much background to the characters. It's a bit of fun to read, not an average crime novel, it's more upbeat. I fully intend to read all of the author's other books she is fantastic. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this as soon as it came out as I loved Case Histories. Yes, it's different in style to her previous books such as Behind the Scenes at the Museum, but that doesn't mean it's not as good. There are some very witty moments, but it's also an intriguing detective story that really does keep you gripped. Jackson Brodie is stubborn, cynical, frustrated and dogged and yet somehow vulnerable and almost loveable here as he struggles with the fact that he is no longer a police officer and therefore not in charge of the investigation and has to come to terms with single-mum officer Louise running the show (another cynical character, but I warmed to her as I got to know her). Gloria Hatter is a wonderful creation - her life is as dull as one of Graham's homes but still I found myself growing quite fond of her, too - some of her reflections and actions are pure Victoria Wood though. The insights into an author (Martin's) life are interesting - wonder how many of these little neuroses Ms Atkinson herself has, such as looking up reader reviews on Amazon...!

It's a great story with plenty of twists and turns and I'd really recommend it.
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Format: Paperback
Have you ever seen a painting that has so much detail in the background that the main subject becomes almost invisible to your eye? Have you ever listened to a piece of music that has so many intricate harmonies that the melody becomes obscured? Either way, try to imagine the equivalent book. You now have the base format of One Good Turn in your mind. This story has a brilliant plot, but it takes quite a while to get past all of the memories of the characters and their friends and relations. I would encourage you to persevere, because you will eventually uncover a crime thriller with more twists and turns than the back streets of Edinburgh.

Beginning with a road rage incident that unfolds before an assortment of people queuing for an Edinburgh Festival event, the plot unravels the connections between these people and a millionaire property developer who is lying, close to death, in the intensive care unit of Edinburgh Infirmary. How he got there is for you to read.

There is a good balance of horrific and comical moments in this book. There are also some neat little thought provokers such as that which stems out of the cliché, "as dead as a doornail." Why a doornail? Can death be comparative? How could anything be deader than anything else? Et cetera.

Eventually, the backgrounds are all complete, the strands of the plot are all neatly entwined and there are no remaining loose ends.

Kate Atkinson has a unique style, which she applies to this over-subscribed genre. I like the style and I enjoyed the story, so I would recommend it to most of my friends. There are a few who would not enjoy it, as it is a matter of taste. To the reader of this review, I would say, just try it.
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