Started Early, Took My Dog (Jackson Brodie) by Kate Atkinson
|Started Early, Took My Dog (Jackson Brodie) by Kate Atkinson|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: The fourth book in the Jackson Brodie series will read as a standalone, but why would you wnat to? Start at the beginning and give yourself a treat|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 496/12h11m||Date: February 2011|
|Publisher: Black Swan|
|External links: Author's website|
I guess that most of us have made the odd impulse purchase but Tracy Waterhouse, security chief at the Merrion Centre in Leeds, blew most people's ideas of an impulse purchase out of the water one morning. Seeing a known prostitute dragging a toddler through the shopping mall whilst cursing at her, Waterhouse followed the woman and bought the girl for £3000. The difficulty of a purchase like this is knowing what to do next and Tracy's humdrum life is replaced with one of stress, fear and an overwhelming love for four-year-old Courtney.
She might have thought that the transaction to purchase Courtney went unnoticed, but there were witnesses to what happened. One was Tilly, an ageing actress teetering on the edge of dementia, and Jackson Brodie, supposedly in search of someone else's roots, but actually looking for somewhere to live and for the wife who seems to have absconded with most of his money. The money doesn't worry Jackson - it was an unlooked-for inheritance - and if he was honest, he knows that he should never have married Tessa. It's a matter of principle. He should have married Louise - but she's now married to someone else.
I read Kate Atkinson for her exquisite writing. It soothes my brain and makes me smile with delight. I know that there will be laugh-out-loud moments and that the plot will be intricate, constructed much in the way of a complex jigsaw, with every piece being important to the overall picture. I wasn't disappointed. I expected that the first part of the book would require concentration to grasp the full cast of characters and that it was likely that there would be jumps in time, but once you've accommodated all this you'll have people in your mind whom you know as intimately as many of your friends.
There's death - of course there is. Jackson Brodie seems to attract it. But there's a sense of a new beginning too. Tracy Waterhouse might have acquired Courtney, but Brodie acquires a dog. Knocking out the owner isn't the usual way of doing this, but on this occasion it worked just fine and the dog seems more than happy with his new master, who will come to appreciate the benefits. Who would have thought that trying to locate details of the birth parents of a woman living in New Zealand could be so difficult?
As well as reading the book I listened to an audio download (which I bought myself) narrated by Nicholas Bell. There was the odd mishit with names of places in the Leeds area, but that's me being very picky. Bell was a real pleasure to listen to and has an excellent range of voices, both male and female and I was never in any doubt as to which character was speaking. It was rather like listening to a play with added commentary. I'll return to both the book and the audio version again.
I'd like to thank the publishers for making the digital copy of the book available to me.
If you'd like to read more of Kate Atkinson, her debut was Behind the Scenes at the Museum. You could read the Jackson Brodie series in chronological order or as a standalone, but some of the references will make more sense if you've at least read When Will There Be Good News?
You can read more book reviews or buy Started Early, Took My Dog (Jackson Brodie) by Kate Atkinson at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You could get a free audio download of Started Early, Took My Dog (Jackson Brodie) by Kate Atkinson with a 30-day Audible free trial at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Started Early, Took My Dog (Jackson Brodie) by Kate Atkinson at Amazon.com.
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