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on 25 August 2010
If you come to this cold, without having read the Jackson Brodie books before you may not like this as much as I did. One of the major criticisms laid against the author is that she includes too many coincidences. This is a bit like dismissing the many popular fantasy and magic books because there is no such thing as magic. The author incorporates these coincidences deliberately, its part of her unique world and scheme of things, accept this and you have a wonderful read. After all, we are all subject to continual quirks of a fate, if we hadn't taken time out to double check the front door we might have hit that lorry on the wrong side, chosen another cafe and we wouldn't have met the man of our dreams.
Jackson himself I find adorable, he's hard, he fights 'em all off and he's as soft as butter round kids. I did find there was perhaps a surfeit of other characters and bit players in this book and like other readers I couldn't quite see the point of the ageing actress Tilly though it did bring in an amusing side line tale of a soap opera.

The writing is often very funny, I like the bit when she describes a hideous mauve leather sofa as 'an undignified end for a cow' Its wry and dry and it's a bit love it or hate it, I have friends who find this author a real pain in the butt. If you are new to Jackson I would really recommend you buy or borrow the earlier books first, otherwise you will find yourself asking 'Who is Louise? Who is Josie?" If you are a seasoned reader of these books I would say its not the best perhaps but it is still sharp and acute and very very readable..the last of which is surely what we want from a book.
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on 5 June 2017
This is the second Kate Atkinson book that I have read, after enjoying the first, and I found it to be , again, very readable. The main character is very agreeable, and the book is enjoyable.
The only thing I found annoying ,( as an owner of dogs for 35 years) was, how perfectly well behaved and silent that dog was , being left in hotel rooms and rucksacks for ages and ages, without detection ! It was either very unrealistic, or my dogs haven't been sufficiently well trained all these years!!!
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on 14 April 2017
Kate Atkinson is one of the best in the business at interweaving storylines and her Jackson Brodie books are by far her strongest. As always we follow Jackson as he searches out the truth with great settings, twists and characters. Well worth watching the Jason Issac's TV show, Case Histories, if you enjoyed this book as much as i did.
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on 15 May 2017
Another excellent Jackson Brodie outing. Loved it, so cleverly woven together. Am gutted there seem to be no more JB's in the series. Really like the observations Kate Atkinson makes. She writes like I think only with more erudition.
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on 11 November 2011
Loved this & was gripped by it. Quite complicated, you have to work to keep up with the development & interplay of the various characters, but that's good. Her plots are clever & complex, & (through her characters) she makes intelligent, incisive comment on various issues. Her depiction of Leeds is spot on! Somebody complained that one plotline is left hanging, presumably to be worked through in the next book, but I liked that; there is quite enough to be going on with here, & I enjoy the fictional worlds of Waterhouse & Brodie being developed & elaborated upon from book to book.
Worth mentioning I got this secondhand in perfect cond. paying only a total of £2.79 inc postage, & it came within a couple of days.
Excellent!
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on 21 September 2010
What makes a good story? Kate Atkinson combines all the right ingredients and bakes for a perfect finish.
Her characters are believable and endearing; you want to walk with them and discover all you can about them.
I have read all the Jackson Brodie books, this being the fourth, and I can't fail to empathise with him.
The characters and situations are linked in amazing and clever ways. the author makes the commonplace aspects of life become fascinating.
We even see life through the dog's eyes at times in an amusing way. If you haven't read Kate Atkinson before you don't know what you're missing!
Highly recommended!
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on 18 April 2012
Started Early Took My Dog was our Book Club choice. We were told to expect good things from this well known author and were a little dissapointed at the rather scatterbrain style. Too many names to remember and why did the story need two detectives of the same name. Quite confusing. A sad story for the children but good character description of the main woman who had the care of the child at heart. Social worker's behaviour rather suspect. A very 1970's human story. B.M Jones.
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on 11 November 2017
I just love the way Kate Atkinson intertwined stories in a way that keeps you guessing, taking directions you wouldn't predict but that are neither implausible nor cheesy or neat. I wish there were more Jackson Brodie novels, I'm going to miss him!
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on 11 August 2017
Kate Atkinson does the detective genre...what's not to like? A writer of great skill and humanity with a flawless touch and wicked sense of humour..
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on 7 October 2015
A highly complex yet fascinating mystery. Murder, kidnapping, twisted together in this exciting story. Frequent flashbacks revealing the gory details. Very readable.
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