I had never read any of Kate Atkinson's books before. She is an excellent writer. This audio book is an abridgement, but I did not detect any disruption to the flow of the story. After hearing this audio book, I checked on other books she has written. Apparently Jackson Brodie, the main character in One Good Turn, is also a character in some of her others. He is a very likable character - an ex-cop, ex-private detective, and new millionaire. He can't keep himself from being drawn into the mystery, murder, and mayhem around him. Atkinson lives in Edinburgh and the story is set in that area. I frequently do not enjoy stories written by writers from Great Britain, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one. The humor, idioms, etc., were easily understood and well-written. The reader of this audio book is Robin Atkin Downes. According to the cover, he is proficient in 40 dialects, and it really shows in his reading of this book! Frequently, British accents are difficult to understand, but not so here. His accents are great! Each character is distinct from the others, making the story easy to follow.
I read some other reviews of this book and, without fail, the people who said, "I can't stand this book--too many characters and too many plotlines" were also people who said that they didn't finish the book. Let this be a plea to any reader who picks up on of her books--stick with it! Trust me. This woman is one of the best plotters of fiction that I've ever read. By the time you're about 2/3 of the way through the book, I will bet that you won't be able to put it down.
If you haven't read any other reviews of this book yet, be aware that it's a sequel to another Kate Atkinson mystery called "Case Histories." You can certainly read this one without reading Case Histories first, but you'll lose a little bit of background of two of the characters.
Go ahead--take a chance. Try out Kate Atkinson.
An entertaining read, much like Case Histories (this is a sequel). The mystery was engaging and the writing good. I like that Atkinson seems to be developing Brodie as a returning character, but his point of view doesn't dominate the narrative. She fleshes out a lot of characters even though they will probably not be series regulars. The extreme interconnectivity/ high number of coincidences in the plot lines was a bit much, but Atkinson seems to recognize that, so it wasn't a real nuisance.
I loved this book! I remembered much less about it than _Case Histories_ so it really felt like reading it for the first time all over again! Poor Martin - the way things happened to him were... tragically comic. And the way everything fit together! She is such an artist, that Kate Atkinson! I was sad that Julia had to be written out, but I do hope that Jackson Brodie and Louise end up together in the next book - which I am soo excited to read!
Not as good as her first book (Case Histories) but thoroughly enjoyable all the same. A good mystery where the lives of several strangers intersect through a series of otherwise ordinary events.