Big Sky (Jackson Brodie, #5)
Jackson Brodie, ex-military police, ex-Cambridge Constabulary, currently working as a private investigator, makes a highly anticipated return, nine years after the last Brodie, Started Early, Took My Dog.Jackson Brodie has relocated to a quiet seaside village, in the occasional company of his recalcitrant teenage son and an aging Labrador, both at the discretion of his ex-partner Julia. It’s picturesque, but there’s something darker lurking behind the scenes.Jackson’s current job, gathering proof of an unfaithful husband for his suspicious wife, is fairly standard-issue, but a chance encounter with a desperate man on a crumbling cliff leads him into a sinister network—and back across the path of his old friend Reggie. Old secrets and new lies intersect in this breathtaking novel by one of the most dazzling and surprising writers at work today.

Big Sky (Jackson Brodie, #5) Details

TitleBig Sky (Jackson Brodie, #5)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 18th, 2019
PublisherTransworld Digital
Rating
GenreMystery, Fiction, Crime, Thriller, Mystery Thriller, Audiobook, European Literature, British Literature, Contemporary, Literary Fiction, Novels

Big Sky (Jackson Brodie, #5) Review

  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    Kate Atkinson is the complete package - engrossing storylines and fully formed characters. She is one of my favorite authors. It’s been ages since she wrote a Jackson Brodie book. I was worried about the gap in time, but no worries. I immediately felt a connection with him all over again. How could I not with comments like this “ he couldn’t get the knowledge to rise up from the seabed of his memory - a dismal place with the rusting wreckage and detritus of his brain cells.” He’s dealing with hi Kate Atkinson is the complete package - engrossing storylines and fully formed characters. She is one of my favorite authors. It’s been ages since she wrote a Jackson Brodie book. I was worried about the gap in time, but no worries. I immediately felt a connection with him all over again. How could I not with comments like this “ he couldn’t get the knowledge to rise up from the seabed of his memory - a dismal place with the rusting wreckage and detritus of his brain cells.” He’s dealing with his cynical, hormonal son, who wants nothing to do with him, an aging Labrador with “rusty hips” and his private investigations business which is mostly tracking wandering spouses. Oh, and his ex-partner’s voice rings in his head whenever his thoughts go on a wander. Not only did I love Jackson, but also Harry, the teenage stepson of the woman that becomes Jackson’s client. Once again, the dry humor shines through and I found myself sometimes chuckling out loud. The book moves along at a good clip. It reminded me of Harlan Coben in some ways, especially the humor. Although Atkinson’s characters tend to be more fully formed than Coben’s. And there are lots of characters here, so be prepared to pay attention to who is whom. It takes awhile for it to become sorted as to how they will all come together. “A coincidence is just an explanation waiting to happen.” As with all of Atkinson’s books, time is a variable. It’s subtle here, but when a chapter changes from one character to another, you go back in time to get their perspective on events you just witnessed. It’s not often I award five stars to a mystery. Too often, something is lacking or the story is just too unbelievable. Not here. The writing is just spot on. I found myself highlighting phrases, not because they were important to the plot, but just because I loved the turn of phrase. And any mystery that not only tells a good story but has me consistently laughing deserves five stars. My thanks to netgalley and Little, Brown & Company for an advance copy of this book.
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  • Meredith
    January 1, 1970
    I love this book! I love Jackson Brodie! I love Kate Atkinson! Full review to come!
  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    Admittedly, it’s difficult for me to write an unbiased review of a Kate Atkinson novel. When I received this book from NetGalley, I immediately tweeted “she is our greatest living author, don’t @ me”, which – I actually wish someone would “@” me, because I’m more than happy to explain all the ways Atkinson is brilliant (almost terrifying so).My favourite books of Atkinson’s are Life After Life and A God in Ruins (the latter absolutely shattered me – I think I cried enough to fill oceans), but I Admittedly, it’s difficult for me to write an unbiased review of a Kate Atkinson novel. When I received this book from NetGalley, I immediately tweeted “she is our greatest living author, don’t @ me”, which – I actually wish someone would “@” me, because I’m more than happy to explain all the ways Atkinson is brilliant (almost terrifying so).My favourite books of Atkinson’s are Life After Life and A God in Ruins (the latter absolutely shattered me – I think I cried enough to fill oceans), but I do so love her Jackson Brodie series for its sly wit and the river of devastation running beneath its surfaces. Big Sky is a worthy entry into the Brodie lexicon, and her best since Case Histories.A mystery at its core, with thousands of tiny threads that come together to form a very messy, very real tapestry of human misery and joy and rotten, ruined hopes, Big Sky is about the sex trade, about families and the way they disappoint us, about exploitation and greed, and how where men fall, women rise up.Brodie is hiding out on the coast, working as a private investigator. It’s the usual stuff – cheating husbands, cheating wives, icky individuals on the Internet, and perhaps a stolen item or two or three. He’s clearly bored, but he’s also clearly enjoying the chance to spend more time with his son Nathan – a stroppy, absolutely delightful teenager – their interactions are such comic gold that I laughed out loud numerous times. Big Sky is inarguably hilarious, in that perfectly dry British way – She was a self-described Christian, born-again or something like that (once was enough, surely?) That’s the thing about Kate Atkinson – one minute you’re flinching, the next you’re audibly snorting. It’s a roller coaster.In true Brodie fashion, our erstwhile detective stumbles upon a human trafficking ring in the sleepy little coastal town, and the tension ratchets up and up, until it seems everything will explode, sending bombs across the sea. What’s singularly arresting about the central mystery is that the crimes go back decades and have such miserable arrows running from their centres – you can only imagine how much pain and suffering has been spread. Some bits made my stomach hurt (“the passion wagon”, “parties”, “the two sisters”, “the disappeared, gone where no flashlights could illuminate”), and it’s a testament to Atkinson’s power that the novel isn’t merely depressing – rather, I put it down with a sense of wounds bandaged by glorious retribution. Don’t mistake me – the subject matter is raw and the kind of subtle that makes you wish for a novelist with less grace (sometimes, the less graphic things are, the more the imagination fills in the horrifying blanks). But still, it’s there – subterranean but mighty – like a sword or axe or queen – the female. The strength. The eyes meeting. Warrior to warrior. Survivor to survivor.Where men fall, women rise.With as much power, as much grit, as the big blue sky.Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. I appreciate it!
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  • Marianne
    January 1, 1970
    “Jackson knew something was dodgy about Barclay Jack, but couldn’t get the knowledge to rise up from the seabed of his memory – a dismal place that was littered with the rusting wreckage and detritus of his brain cells.” Big Sky is the fifth book in the popular Jackson Brodie series by British author, Kate Atkinson. Running Brodie Investigations from a virtual office has allowed Jackson to rent a cottage in East Yorkshire, near enough to Julia’s filming location for him to spend time with their “Jackson knew something was dodgy about Barclay Jack, but couldn’t get the knowledge to rise up from the seabed of his memory – a dismal place that was littered with the rusting wreckage and detritus of his brain cells.” Big Sky is the fifth book in the popular Jackson Brodie series by British author, Kate Atkinson. Running Brodie Investigations from a virtual office has allowed Jackson to rent a cottage in East Yorkshire, near enough to Julia’s filming location for him to spend time with their thirteen-year-old son, Nathan, during his school vacation. And hopefully to instill some knowledge, manners and self-discipline. But on an outing, they witness what appears to be the abduction of a young teen. A find on the beach the following morning cements Jackson’s conviction of foul play, but the local police are uninterested.But Jackson is already occupied with the usual cases involving adulterous spouses, as well as a bit of entrapment and an interesting exercise in reverse online grooming. And then a trophy wife engages him to find out who is having her followed. Crystal Holroyd doesn’t believe it’s her husband, but isn’t about to share another possible source (her murky past) with Jackson. Soon, the turns in this case are enough to distract him from a missing teen. Meanwhile, DC Reggie Chase and her associate, DC Ronnie Dibicki have been assigned to review a paedophile case from the eighties involving two local men. With the surviving offender due for early release, Chase and Dibicki are re-examining the files and questioning probable witnesses and associates regarding the possible participation of a third man.Atkinson’s plot topical and interesting, featuring human trafficking, paedophiles, sex slavery and kidnapping, and has plenty of turns to keep the reader engrossed. As well as saving several lives, Jackson uses the lyrics of country songs as counselling aid, and to disarm a gunman using TV cop show dialogue, before helping a pregnant prospective bride to leave her groom at the altar.But Atkinson’s strength is her characters and some of their inner monologues are an absolute joy, filled with dry British (and often very black) humour and understatement. Jackson’s narrative is peppered with Julia’s (previously delivered or else anticipated, but inevitably critical) comments.There is humour, too, in certain situations and the snappy dialogue, with its tangents and asides, including several laugh-out-loud moments. Atkinson manages to include a bunch of terrible cheese jokes, pun-based names for drag queens, and some truly awful off-colour cabaret-type jokes, as well as ferociously-protective mother with martial arts skills, and Primark scarf that is instrumental in two deaths. Once again, Atkinson carefully builds up her characters until the reader is invested in them and really cares about their fate. Of those characters, Vince initially seems a bit of a sad loser, but which way will he jump when push comes to shove? Crystal and Harry, though, are undeniable gold, and the team of Reggie and Ronnie are pure delight. Fans of the series will remember Reggie Chase from When Will There Be Good News. Atkinson has a wonderful way with words and some of her passages are superbly evocative and vividly descriptive. While it is not essential to have read the earlier books of this series, this book does contain spoilers for earlier books, so it doesn’t hurt to read them in order. As usual, Atkinson provides a brilliant read and fans will be pleased to know that the ending leaves open the possibility of more Jackson Brodie. This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by Penguin Random House Australia
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  • Sue
    January 1, 1970
    “A coincidence is just an explanation waiting to happen.”Remember this sentence as it is important to the entire novel, its course and ultimate denouement.Kate Atkinson has returned with another Jackson Brodie novel after a gap of several years. Jackson now is living in Yorkshire in a seaside town, working as a private investigator, primarily tailing unfaithful husbands for angry wives. Not exactly a fulfilling life but it pays bills and keeps him near his now teenaged son, Nathan, and the boy’s “A coincidence is just an explanation waiting to happen.”Remember this sentence as it is important to the entire novel, its course and ultimate denouement.Kate Atkinson has returned with another Jackson Brodie novel after a gap of several years. Jackson now is living in Yorkshire in a seaside town, working as a private investigator, primarily tailing unfaithful husbands for angry wives. Not exactly a fulfilling life but it pays bills and keeps him near his now teenaged son, Nathan, and the boy’s mother who he still has a thing for (totally unrequited). While in the middle of his case, he happens into the middle of a couple of others and the coincidences multiply. The story can at times seem cluttered and a tad confusing as more characters are introduced without apparent links. But if you have read Atkinson at all you can trust that she knows where she is going and how she will get there. There is a serious plot involving the abuse of young women and girls developing separate from Jackson and his cheating husband case. But coincidences happen and... “Worlds were colliding all over the place. Jackson thought he might actually have gone mad. Or that he was hallucinating. Or that this was an alternative version of reality. Or all three.” No, not mad. Just involved in too much.The characters are such winners here, all so well drawn. Almost all are truly multi-dimensional. Humor, pathos, righteous indignation are among so many emotions evoked by this novel. And, as always, the mind of Jackson is front and center, full of musical allusions, self deprecating thoughts and constant comments of the women of his life. The book moves at a quick pace and the story itself occurs over a short period of time. I do wonder what will Jackson be up to next. I will be there. I will read anything Atkinson writes.A copy of this book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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  • Jessica Woodbury
    January 1, 1970
    It has been years since I read a Jackson Brodie novel and I never expected to read another, so I'd forgotten a bit what it was like. I remembered they were bleak, measured, patient, smart and sure enough that's just how this one was. The tone is what sticks with you in a Brodie novel more than the crime itself. I have forgotten characters who carry over but it doesn't matter all that much because ultimately a Brodie novel is about spending some time letting melancholy mix with dread and just the It has been years since I read a Jackson Brodie novel and I never expected to read another, so I'd forgotten a bit what it was like. I remembered they were bleak, measured, patient, smart and sure enough that's just how this one was. The tone is what sticks with you in a Brodie novel more than the crime itself. I have forgotten characters who carry over but it doesn't matter all that much because ultimately a Brodie novel is about spending some time letting melancholy mix with dread and just the tiniest touch of optimism.Hope can be hard to come by in a book where the major crime is human trafficking, a crime so calculated and despicable it's hard to imagine what kind of character would do it. Atkinson has given herself a tall order and acquits herself relatively well, differentiating her baddies from one another and still making them feel like real people. I particularly enjoyed Crystal, who's gone from rags to riches but doesn't realize that her husband's money comes from the very horrors she escaped. Brodie is a companionable protagonist, agreeable and considered. He is not overly warm or welcoming, but the kind of guy you can enjoy a comfortable silence with. There are a lot of combined threads in this book that overlap and intersect, and I think we may see a little less of Brodie than usual (as I said, it's been a while) but it's always nice when he's back.I get why not everyone likes these books. They don't give you the quick rhythms we expect from thrillers. (I certainly wouldn't call it a thriller.) I kept thinking I'd read more of it than I had because it seemed like I'd spent so long with it already. But time spent reading a Kate Atkinson novel is always time spent very well.
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  • Susan Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    I am a little angry at Kate Atkinson. She has made me wait 8 long years for a new Jackson Brodie book and I didn't realize how much I missed him before I read this excellent book. Then I had a dilemma. Do I read it fast as I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen next or do I savor it to make it last as long as possible? Well, of course I read it fast because it was so good I had to know what was going to happen next. Despite the long absence I had no trouble getting into the Brodie I am a little angry at Kate Atkinson. She has made me wait 8 long years for a new Jackson Brodie book and I didn't realize how much I missed him before I read this excellent book. Then I had a dilemma. Do I read it fast as I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen next or do I savor it to make it last as long as possible? Well, of course I read it fast because it was so good I had to know what was going to happen next. Despite the long absence I had no trouble getting into the Brodie rhythm. He is a private detective spending time with his teen-age son with Julia who keeps his nose in a cell phone. He is having words with his eldest daughter who calls him a Luddite. He is at loose ends trying to make connections. He is hired by a woman who has seen more plastic surgery than the Khardashians. She is also full of a lurid past and is quite wealthy thanks to her husband who owns a trucking firm. And as he unravels the case, he stumbles onto an ugly crime and people who know each other. Full of coincidences and reminiscent of Life After Life with people meeting up in the oddest ways. As the young rookie female cops keep saying, it is like one big jigsaw puzzle. Of course one of the young women is from Brodie's past who is angry with him as he still owes her money. Things are not resolved in a legal way but certainly a moral one. That goes for the mystery and the personal one. This book is layered in so ways and written by one of the best authors currently working. One of the very best books I've read this year. I will read it again just for the pleasure. Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for a fair review. Please, Kate Atkinson, don't make us wait so long for the next one. Chain yourself to a desk in the cellar and just write, (just kidding sort of).
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  • Sheila
    January 1, 1970
    3 stars--I liked the book. Trigger warnings for sexual abuse.I have an enduring fondness for Jackson Brody (and his parenthetical conversations). The character never fails to charm, and this book is no exception. I also adored Crystal and Harry and Bunny--in fact, the range of side characters in this book was fabulous.Like all Brody books, the main plot revolves around lost girls--in this case it takes a wide focus, as Brody gets enmeshed in human trafficking and a pedophile ring. As usual for A 3 stars--I liked the book. Trigger warnings for sexual abuse.I have an enduring fondness for Jackson Brody (and his parenthetical conversations). The character never fails to charm, and this book is no exception. I also adored Crystal and Harry and Bunny--in fact, the range of side characters in this book was fabulous.Like all Brody books, the main plot revolves around lost girls--in this case it takes a wide focus, as Brody gets enmeshed in human trafficking and a pedophile ring. As usual for Atkinson, all the loose ends get tied up and resolved. However, it almost seems like Brody was along for the ride in this book--he sort of stumbles into the crimes rather than actively investigating them, and isn't really the one who solves them.I received this review copy from the publisher on NetGalley. Thanks for the opportunity to read and review; I appreciate it!
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  • Storyheart
    January 1, 1970
    After too long a wait, Jackson Brodie is back and in fine form. Last autumn, I attended a packed reading given by Kate Atkinson and the auditorium filled with cheers when the author announced she had just that week finished a new Brody novel. Our excited expectations have been met--"Big Sky" crackles with Atkinson's trademark wit, labyrinthine plotting and characters that we either love, or love to hate. I've enjoyed everything Atkinson has ever written and this novel is no exception. Highly rec After too long a wait, Jackson Brodie is back and in fine form. Last autumn, I attended a packed reading given by Kate Atkinson and the auditorium filled with cheers when the author announced she had just that week finished a new Brody novel. Our excited expectations have been met--"Big Sky" crackles with Atkinson's trademark wit, labyrinthine plotting and characters that we either love, or love to hate. I've enjoyed everything Atkinson has ever written and this novel is no exception. Highly recommended!Thank you to the publishers and Netgalley for the ARC.
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  • Carol - Reading Writing and Riesling
    January 1, 1970
    Now I want to read the rest of this series! This can be read as a stand-alone but deserves to be read in order - such great characters with intriguing narrative arcs.My View:Superbly plotted, complex in themes and design, mysterious and heart breaking, it was amazing to discover the intersection of characters’ lives, landscapes and crimes (committed against and by whom.) Past and present worlds collide in a mystery where valour and doing the right thing are triumphant. Justice is well served, th Now I want to read the rest of this series! This can be read as a stand-alone but deserves to be read in order - such great characters with intriguing narrative arcs.My View:Superbly plotted, complex in themes and design, mysterious and heart breaking, it was amazing to discover the intersection of characters’ lives, landscapes and crimes (committed against and by whom.) Past and present worlds collide in a mystery where valour and doing the right thing are triumphant. Justice is well served, the law is not.I love a character lead narrative in the crime fiction/literary crime read. The details wash the canvas in grey not emphatic black and white. Life is complex, messy, sometimes our perspective of the outside does not match the inside view, and sometimes there is hope and compassion where you least expect to find it. This contemporary read is perfect! Enough said – go out and order/purchase this one now. You will not regret it.
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  • Maine Colonial
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free digital publisher’s advance review copy of the book via Netgalley. However, on the day it is published my plan is to go to my local bookstore and buy it. It’s just so good I want to own it and be able to re-read it anytime.This is part of a crime fiction series, but you don’t need to read the prior books in the series before this one. This is called the Jackson Brodie series and he is certainly a character, but you wouldn’t describe these as police procedurals (Brodie was previ I received a free digital publisher’s advance review copy of the book via Netgalley. However, on the day it is published my plan is to go to my local bookstore and buy it. It’s just so good I want to own it and be able to re-read it anytime.This is part of a crime fiction series, but you don’t need to read the prior books in the series before this one. This is called the Jackson Brodie series and he is certainly a character, but you wouldn’t describe these as police procedurals (Brodie was previously a Detective Inspector) or detective novels (Brodie became a private investigator), at least not in the conventional sense of those sub-genres. The books aren’t about Brodie’s investigation, marshaling the evidence and following leads. They are about Brodie’s life and about his life intersecting with a kaleidoscopic cast of characters.And what a cast in this novel. Crystal Holroyd--the 39-year-old wife of Tommy Holroyd of Holroyd’s Haulage, mother of little Candy, stepmother of the odd but sweet Harry, compulsive house cleaner and survivor of a gruesome pubescence—hires Jackson to figure out who has been following her. Pulling on that thread leads to one heck of an unraveling, involving a sad-sack about-to-be divorcé, a group of friends up to no good (plus their families), the acts at a seaside burlesque show, people from Crystal’s past, and bit-part appearances by Jackson’s latest client and her adulterous husband. On top of that, you have Jackson’s kids, his ex Julia, and his lovely regularly borrowed Lab, Dido. I think kaleidoscopic is a good word for this novel. Every time you go from one chapter to another, the action shifts to another viewpoint, and the result can be fractal and dazzling.My descriptions are completely inadequate to convey how wonderfully funny, tragic and intriguing this novel is. I felt downright exhilarated as I read the last several chapters and I’m still on a book high now.
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  • Donna Hines
    January 1, 1970
    What tangled webs of lies would you like to take part in today?Jackson is a man set out to save the world taking out sexual predators one by one in the sex trafficking trade.It's dark, it's grizzly, it's a rewarding career...Each chapter is told from various viewpoints, each with past and present crimes of passion, each with tangled webs of lies/deceit/trickery .Tangents and after thought fill the pages allowing readers to feel the back and forth nature of each crime investigation.Crystal is the What tangled webs of lies would you like to take part in today?Jackson is a man set out to save the world taking out sexual predators one by one in the sex trafficking trade.It's dark, it's grizzly, it's a rewarding career...Each chapter is told from various viewpoints, each with past and present crimes of passion, each with tangled webs of lies/deceit/trickery .Tangents and after thought fill the pages allowing readers to feel the back and forth nature of each crime investigation.Crystal is the 'trophy wife' and the most relatable with zero knowledge of her own husband while carrying her own set of secrets.After all Jackson Brodie is a former police officer turned P.I. holding a soldier's mind set.He is tough, no nonsense, but gets down to biz and does so with that spark that we love as readers.The entire plot twists including the numerous deaths, the hidden cash, the human trafficking coupled with money laundering just sealed the deal.Ronnie and Reggie were powerhouses all on their own serving as both a detective constable and former detective inspector in their own right.Oh and don't forget the 'little black book' as what's a powerful story without one...right?!So I'll leave you with some of my fav quotes, " You do what you think is right." "Righteous compromise." "There's trouble where I'm going but I'm going there anyway." "A man's home is his castle." Now make sure you add this one and get cracking on it as it's one hell of a ride!Thank you to Little Brown and Company for auto approval @ NetGalley in allowing me to view this ARC early in exchange for this honest review.Thank you to Kate Atkinson who never disappoints.Thank you to NetGalley and Amazon Kindle who keep reviewers happy to the core!I hope you enjoy this as much as I did and remember always leave a review.xoxo
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  • Carolyn
    January 1, 1970
    *4:5* Stars. ”A coincidence is just an explanation waiting to happen.””Truth is absolute but the consequences of it aren't.”I have always loved the enthralling Jackson Brodie series by Kate Atkinson. Although it has been a long nine years since the previous book in this series, Big Sky works as a standalone, and once again be charmed by her brilliant writing which contains mystery, dry humour, and quotable sentences which provide food for thought. Brodie has now moved to a seaside village and h *4:5* Stars. ”A coincidence is just an explanation waiting to happen.””Truth is absolute but the consequences of it aren't.”I have always loved the enthralling Jackson Brodie series by Kate Atkinson. Although it has been a long nine years since the previous book in this series, Big Sky works as a standalone, and once again be charmed by her brilliant writing which contains mystery, dry humour, and quotable sentences which provide food for thought. Brodie has now moved to a seaside village and has occasional visits from his sarcastic teenaged son and their elderly, slow-moving dog, courtesy of his ex Julia. He is now working on small cases as a private detective, such as surveillance of cheating spouses, but feels police work is ’still in his DNA’. Featured is the case of an alluring woman who believes she is being watched and followed and wants Brodie to find out who it is. She rules out her husband, thinking he is too busy and disinterested to be spying on her. Brodie believes she is being paranoid until he sees a threatening note she received. One day he follows her car with her children on board, observing another car trailing her vehicle. He can only look on while her teenaged stepson her three-year-old daughter are abducted. She is vehement in calling Brodie a terrible detective. Brodie’s part in the book is small but crucial and always interesting. While reading the book you will meet disparate, well developed characters which seem to have little connection to Brodie’s story, and only tenuous connection to one another. Even the minor characters are unforgettable. Paying attention to the various names is important, and will be richly rewarded for the reader. These separate threads are woven together in surprising ways and collide in a tension-filled scene of frightening consequences. We have more insight into Brodie’s personal, lonely life and thoughts, thought-provoking exquisite writing, murder, and a very ugly and cruel sex trafficking business will be revealed. There is much left to wish for another book in the Jackson Brodie series, and in the meantime, this has inspired me to reread all the previous books
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  • Chris Pavone
    January 1, 1970
    Kate Atkinson is one of those very rare writers who's a master at absolutely every aspect of the novel—character and plot and voice and language and themes and humor and dialogue and on and on. I love everything about BIG SKY, a giant mosaic of people and stories that fit perfectly together in a complex, beautiful pattern, offering tremendous reading pleasure on every single page.
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  • Marilyn Smith
    January 1, 1970
    PI Jackson Brody has a small case following a wandering husband - predictable and slow but Brodie notices things driving around that any ex-cop/P.I. can't ignore, pulling him into more convoluted mysteries.well worth the read -
  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    Loved the story, with her trademark humor even in the midst of a serious plot line. My biggest disappointment: not enough Jackson Brodie. It was almost like he was only a minor character.
  • Dan Radovich
    January 1, 1970
    THANK YOU KATE! Thank you for bringing Jackson Brodie back for us. Not one of the best in the series, but to me, Kate Atkinson is one of the best authors writing today. Her talent glows in every work she brings to us. Such a gifted storyteller. We find Brodie in a coastal town with his son. (Their interaction is some of her best writing in BIG SKY.) Jackson is doing basic PI work, when he comes upon a human trafficking ring. Once that plot begins, so does the 'harder' part of the story. Atkinson THANK YOU KATE! Thank you for bringing Jackson Brodie back for us. Not one of the best in the series, but to me, Kate Atkinson is one of the best authors writing today. Her talent glows in every work she brings to us. Such a gifted storyteller. We find Brodie in a coastal town with his son. (Their interaction is some of her best writing in BIG SKY.) Jackson is doing basic PI work, when he comes upon a human trafficking ring. Once that plot begins, so does the 'harder' part of the story. Atkinson has never shied away from the rough and ugly world of crime, but she also never abuses with scenes that are strictly gratuitous. Any Jackson Brodie adventure is a welcome treat to be savored. New Brodie readers - start at the beginning with CASE HISTORIES - you just need to. Loyal Atkinson/Brodie readers - ENJOY!
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  • Anne
    January 1, 1970
    I'm sorry to say this is my first exposure to Atkinson; where I have I been?? I recognize all the titles but I just haven't read one until now. I know this should be a stand-alone novel and it is, but I feel a little like I walked into a fancy dinner party with many guests who all knew each other and I was on the outskirts the entire time. Clearly not the author's fault! There were just so many characters that I had to make a list to keep all the relationships straight; that takes a little enjoy I'm sorry to say this is my first exposure to Atkinson; where I have I been?? I recognize all the titles but I just haven't read one until now. I know this should be a stand-alone novel and it is, but I feel a little like I walked into a fancy dinner party with many guests who all knew each other and I was on the outskirts the entire time. Clearly not the author's fault! There were just so many characters that I had to make a list to keep all the relationships straight; that takes a little enjoyment away from just immersing myself in the book. Still it was a fascinating look at Jackson Brodie, a flawed but strong character. Murder, sex trafficking, adultery, families, relationships...this book has it all and clearly Atkinson is a brilliant writer! So I'll go back to the first and read in order. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 as it's my reading habits that are at fault here.Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!
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  • Tonstant Weader
    January 1, 1970
    Big Sky is Kate Atkinson’s fifth novel featuring Jackson Brodie, former cop turned private investigator. In this story, Brodie has moved to a quiet village along the coast and is doing rather pedestrian detective work, tracing debtors and trailing cheaters. However, from the introductor chapter in which two sisters get hired for a job working in a hotel over an internet video interview, we all know there’s going to be some trafficking in this story.In fact, there is a lot that happens and we see Big Sky is Kate Atkinson’s fifth novel featuring Jackson Brodie, former cop turned private investigator. In this story, Brodie has moved to a quiet village along the coast and is doing rather pedestrian detective work, tracing debtors and trailing cheaters. However, from the introductor chapter in which two sisters get hired for a job working in a hotel over an internet video interview, we all know there’s going to be some trafficking in this story.In fact, there is a lot that happens and we see it through the perspective of many characters. Two policewomen are investigating an old case in the hope of finding additional conspirators in a child sexual abuse ring. We get to know Vince, a rather hapless nice guy whose wife is murdered and he seems a logical suspect. (His inner monologue is hilarious!) We meet Vince’s golf friends, Tony and Andy, who are very successful and friend friends, as Vince describes it, excluding himself from their closeness. We meet Tony’s wife, Krystal, a woman who judges herself far too harshly but whose capacity for love and strength of will are boundless. She also has zero interest in Brodie. Her stepson Harry and his friend/mentor Bunny, an aged drag queen, bring humor and heart to a story that can be very grim.Big Sky has all of Atkinson’s subtle humor and warm compassion. The subject matter, human trafficking and child sexual abuse, is reepugnant and kept mostly to readers’ imagination. The disparate threads of the story with are strewn about, so much so that on page 54, I realized I still didn’t know what the story was about, other than that prologue. But patience is rewarded. The threads first begin to weave together nearly a quarter of the way into the book, though by the end, they produce a satisfying and clear pattern, a pattern that reveals, perhaps, more justice than law and order.I loved Big Sky for many reasons. As a reader, it was a marvel to see Atkinson spread the narrative out to all these people and then draw it in tightly to a cohesive story. I also appreciate the sly humor that enlivens the story. Atkinson is rough with a quip. Then there is the humanity of it found in people’s capacity for love and the capacity to justify oneself, recognizing they are doing evil, but finding moral comfort in their disapproval of their own actions and with small kindnesses that do more to comfort the conscience than to comfort the victims.Big Sky is a good addition to the Jackson Brodie series, though Brodie’s role is more Zelig than Zorro. He is here, he is there, but often a bystander, unaware of the bigger picture. Nonetheless, his idea of justice plays a bigger role than he does himself, I think.Big Sky will be released on June 25th. I received an ARC from the publisher through Shelf Awareness★★★★https://tonstantweaderreviews.wordpre...
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  • Katie Bruell
    January 1, 1970
    Another wonderful Kate Atkinson. I just want to get lost inside her words and stay there forever.If you haven't read the others in the series for a while, I recommend re-reading, since characters pop up here that you'll probably wish you remembered more about. But, either way, a lovely read.
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  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    I love Kate Atkinson and I especially love her Jackson Brodie mysteries. I was especially pleased to see Reggie, a newly minted police detective reunited with Jackson again.Highly recommended for all mystery readers.
  • Natalie
    January 1, 1970
    I loved all the novels featuring Jackson Brodie, so my first criticism of this book is....WHY DID YOU WAIT SO LONG? That being said, I think Atkinson is truly one of our great writers, but the hiatus of 8 years (filled with some incredible novels) made it difficult for me to sink into the character of Jackson. The book demands that the reader have access to the earlier adventures of Brodie. but after 8 years it was tough, even for a fan, to pick up all the details. So, admittedly, I found it dif I loved all the novels featuring Jackson Brodie, so my first criticism of this book is....WHY DID YOU WAIT SO LONG? That being said, I think Atkinson is truly one of our great writers, but the hiatus of 8 years (filled with some incredible novels) made it difficult for me to sink into the character of Jackson. The book demands that the reader have access to the earlier adventures of Brodie. but after 8 years it was tough, even for a fan, to pick up all the details. So, admittedly, I found it difficult to get back into the pieces of Brodie’s life that brought him here. BIG SKY takes on an issue that is often on the news and universal, the trafficking of young people in the sex trade. It is very well done and provides a framework for Brodie’s crime solving foray. As I read this book, I remembered how much I love the character of Brodie. I hope he comes back soon. I am certain that readers will enjoy the book and find a basis for discussions on the issue of sex trafficking. Thank you Netgalley for allowing me to be an early reader and get reacquainted with one of my favorite characters.
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  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie novels are among my favorite mysteries, with JB being an especially fun character. So, along with many others, my initial thought when I knew there was (FINALLY!) a new Jackson Brodie novel, was “how soon can I get my hands on it?” Thanks to Little, Brown & Company and NetGalley, I received a copy of Big Sky in exchange for my honest review a few months pre-publication. This gives me time to recommend it to all my mystery-loving friends! Yes, it really is good, Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie novels are among my favorite mysteries, with JB being an especially fun character. So, along with many others, my initial thought when I knew there was (FINALLY!) a new Jackson Brodie novel, was “how soon can I get my hands on it?” Thanks to Little, Brown & Company and NetGalley, I received a copy of Big Sky in exchange for my honest review a few months pre-publication. This gives me time to recommend it to all my mystery-loving friends! Yes, it really is good, and it was worth the wait!Jackson has sort of retired and is living on the coast, in the same physical area as his sort of lover Julia (the actress, whose TV series provides some great counterpoint to the story), his uber-teenage son Nathan (whiny, snarky, etc) and his sort of aging Lab Dido. Jackson spends some of his time on things like tracking unfaithful spouses, but he isn’t really a full-on PI anymore – just as he is a former policeman, he is maybe a bit rusty but his instincts are all there, sharp as ever (along with his wit).There are several main characters, with each chapter told from the point of view of one of them, which at first was a bit of a headscratcher (as in, “I KNOW that all these threads are going to come together, but WTF?”) but it all gets aligned in the end. That’s one thing I love about it, it is a bit disorganized and messy, just as life tends to be. There isn’t a nice linear plot for our lives, nor is there one for this novel.TBH, I didn’t remember enough of the prior Brodie novels to recognize when references to earlier plotlines were made, other than in broad strokes (e.g. Julia and Jackson’s relationship), but it was fine. I would guess that even those who haven’t read earlier Brodie novels will enjoy this, and those who have read them and like them will LOVE it. Five stars.
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  • Judy
    January 1, 1970
    I have treasured all of the previous Jackson Brodie novels and Big Sky did not disappoint. I'm a huge fan of Atkinson. Brodie is aging well and the writing when he is the focus has the wonderful counter-points of Julia's comments. He's an active parent to a sullen teenager and a loving caretaker of an aging labrador--Dido, Queen of Carthage. The initial scene involves his older daughter--this is Brodie in middle age. The tension between him and Julia persists and her television show provides a f I have treasured all of the previous Jackson Brodie novels and Big Sky did not disappoint. I'm a huge fan of Atkinson. Brodie is aging well and the writing when he is the focus has the wonderful counter-points of Julia's comments. He's an active parent to a sullen teenager and a loving caretaker of an aging labrador--Dido, Queen of Carthage. The initial scene involves his older daughter--this is Brodie in middle age. The tension between him and Julia persists and her television show provides a fascinating counter point to the actual drama that unfolds. The initial third of the book set up the back story of the investigation and at times felt less compelling, but mid-way Brodie was back and the book is wonderful. It's all nuance, humor, realism and reflection. There are wonderful characters of Crystal, Harry, Reggie, and references to past Brodie novels. Brodie never gets his full due, but as Reggie states, quoting Dr. Hunter: "What does justice have to do with the law?". Atkinson is a superb writer and I hope she continues to bring us Jackson Brodie. This is a book to read and re-read, as are all the Brodie novels.
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  • Sonya
    January 1, 1970
    Big Sky returns to the ongoing life of retired policeman Jackson Brodie, who supports himself by taking on small surveillance jobs; he's hired by suspicious spouses to document infidelities. But as in all the previous novels about Brodie, his past returns to haunt as he goes about co-parenting a teenager with his old love, Julia. The setup is similar to the other Brodie novels. The first third or so of the story introduces a bunch of seemingly unrelated characters and situations. With detailed e Big Sky returns to the ongoing life of retired policeman Jackson Brodie, who supports himself by taking on small surveillance jobs; he's hired by suspicious spouses to document infidelities. But as in all the previous novels about Brodie, his past returns to haunt as he goes about co-parenting a teenager with his old love, Julia. The setup is similar to the other Brodie novels. The first third or so of the story introduces a bunch of seemingly unrelated characters and situations. With detailed exposition, the reader gets inside the minds and histories of these characters; even the ones who will turn out to be terrible people get a full introduction. And just as the setup follows a pattern of previous installations, so too the theme of lost and exploited and hurt children is the focus of Big Sky. There's an old human trafficking ring in the town where Brodie lives that's still active, though it takes a lot of policework (featuring When Will There Be Good News's best character, Reggie) and serendipitous detecting by Brodie to pull it all together.Atkinson excels in all her novels in character development, and particularly of children and adolescents. In Big Sky, a young teen named Harry shines. His mother has died, his father is remote, and his stepmother takes him under her wing. His portrayal of wit, innocence, and hunger for love is the novel's strength. Jackon Brodie doesn't fare as well here. He's aging and at times aimless, and his perception relies too much on what he imagines Julia will say about his every thought. He doesn't know how he fits into the #metoo age. But the women of Big Sky have no trouble finding agency and a new strength with new thinking. Big Sky has fantastic writing but might rely too much on the events of past novels. It would not stand on its own, apart from its predecessors, without a lot of confusion. And while Atkinson is a master of mixing timelines, in this novel, there is an excess of time and point of view shifts. Attention must be paid in the transitions to figure out who is talking, and when. All in all, it's an enjoyable return to the Brodie universe even when he's not the star.Thanks to Net Galley for an advance copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
    January 1, 1970
    Big Sky is Kate Atkinson’s fifth book featuring ex soldier, ex policeman, turned private investigator, Jackson Brodie, and though it follows Case Studies, One Good Turn, When Will There Be Good News?, and Started Early, Took My Dog, Big Sky can be read as a stand-alone.Having temporarily relocated to a seaside village in Yorkshire to spend time with his teenage son, Brodie’s current investigations, involving background checks, employment theft, cheating spouses and missing pets, don’t pose much Big Sky is Kate Atkinson’s fifth book featuring ex soldier, ex policeman, turned private investigator, Jackson Brodie, and though it follows Case Studies, One Good Turn, When Will There Be Good News?, and Started Early, Took My Dog, Big Sky can be read as a stand-alone.Having temporarily relocated to a seaside village in Yorkshire to spend time with his teenage son, Brodie’s current investigations, involving background checks, employment theft, cheating spouses and missing pets, don’t pose much of a challenge. When he is hired by a trophy wife who believes she is being followed, he expects the answer will be simple, but instead Brodie stumbles into a tangled web of exploitation, greed, and death.Big Sky unfolds through multiple perspectives. The cast is large, though I wouldn’t say unwieldy, but it does take a surprising amount of time before the connections between the characters become apparent. Persevere, it’s well worth the reward.Brodie’s role through most of the actual mystery is surprisingly low key, though he inadvertently becomes enmeshed on several fronts - through a missing teenager, his client - Crystal Holroyd, a suicidal Vincent Ives, an occasional employer, Stephen Mellors, and an old friend, DC Reggie Chase.“Finding Jackson Brodie at the heart of this melee seemed par for the course somehow. He was a friend to anarchy.”The ‘melee’, which takes time to coalesce, refers to a human trafficking and sex slavery ring that has been operating with impunity for decades and such a ‘business’ necessarily involves other crimes, notably money laundering, drugs, and violence. Atkinson skilfully weaves the threads together that unravel not only the cabal, but also a historic case involving a pedophile ring.I admire Atkinson’s style of writing which is so well grounded and flows with such ease. I enjoyed the dry, sardonic humour (particularly those witty inner thoughts shared in parentheses) which contributes to the humanity that Atkinson infuses in her characters thoughts and behaviour.A smart, entertaining, and absorbing novel, Big Sky is a terrific read, sure to satisfy fans who have been waiting eight years for this latest instalment, and hook new readers.
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  • Diana
    January 1, 1970
    ‘“You know what killed the cat, don't you?" Julia said. Yeah, Jackson thought, but it had eight more lives left, didn't it? Did he?His life had been a litany of disasters. What if he was already on his ninth life?'Jackson Brodie is an ex-military, ex-Cambridge Constabulary, not-incredibly-successful private investigator. He spends time with Nathan, his disaffected teenage son and his aging, faithful Labrador while tailing unfaithful men and investigating the occasional mystery. Life is generally ‘“You know what killed the cat, don't you?" Julia said. Yeah, Jackson thought, but it had eight more lives left, didn't it? Did he?His life had been a litany of disasters. What if he was already on his ninth life?'Jackson Brodie is an ex-military, ex-Cambridge Constabulary, not-incredibly-successful private investigator. He spends time with Nathan, his disaffected teenage son and his aging, faithful Labrador while tailing unfaithful men and investigating the occasional mystery. Life is generally peaceful and uneventful until he stumbles across a man standing at the precipice of a cliff. Then a beautiful woman hires him to discover why she is being followed around in her car, and the plot thickens as a corpse is discovered in the river and two detectives find a mysterious woman hiding in the woods. Big Sky is the fifth book in the Jackson Brodie mystery /thriller series, first introduced in 2004 with Case Histories, followed by One Good Turn (2006), When Will There Be Good News? (2008) and Started Early, Took My Dog (2010). I read Case Histories a lifetime ago, so long ago in fact that I didn't even realize this book was in the same series. There are some spoilers in Big Sky, references and allusions to Jackson's history that are presumably familiar to those who have read the entire series. I didn't find it impossible to read Big Sky on its own, but I suspect I would have found it immensely more satisfying to be able to tie events in this book to unfinished tales in previous ones.It is hard not to enjoy Kate Atkinson's very charming, lively storytelling, and that very wry, British humor keeps you engaged and intrigued even at times when you wonder where the plot is going. Jackson Brodie may be the anchor of this story but it surprised me by not insisting that he is the hero of the piece. Jackson is far from the all-knowing, all-capable alpha male so often seen in novels of this genre. Kate Atkinson's masterful portrayal of character comes to the fore here. It's refreshing to read a crime novel that eschews caricature and stereotype, drawing from the dark secrets and buried pasts of the characters to provide all the surprises. This book makes for a wonderful diversion if, like me, you happen to find yourself on a sandy beach getaway. Better yet, bring all the books in the series, the better to savor the fascinating slice of British life that comes to life in Kate Atkinson's inimitable way.
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  • Faith Hurst-Bilinski
    January 1, 1970
    I know I have read the rest of this series but I realized as soon as I started this one that I don't remember much about it. This starts off just dumping characters and backstory, sometimes oversold backstories, on the reader. I found I was being introduced to so many characters that I couldn't be bothered to care. Some you never did need to care about. I thought I remembered liking these stories and this character. It tool me a long time to remember why. There are too many coincidences, too man I know I have read the rest of this series but I realized as soon as I started this one that I don't remember much about it. This starts off just dumping characters and backstory, sometimes oversold backstories, on the reader. I found I was being introduced to so many characters that I couldn't be bothered to care. Some you never did need to care about. I thought I remembered liking these stories and this character. It tool me a long time to remember why. There are too many coincidences, too many things sitting neatly together when all is said and done. It's nice to wrap up most things, not all things, but it needs to not go from 1,000,000 stories to 10 quite so quickly. And, as one character points out, Jackson Brodie doesn't always do much. He is just there for most of it. I honestly can't remember if the other stories were like this too. I don't know if I care enough to reread.In the end, I went up to three stars for the awareness of a few of the characters and for the overall theme of the book. It almost went back down for the fact that most male characters only related to the female characters nd their plight as it related to them. "What if it were MY daughter?" kind of thing. How about, just for fun, think of them as humans who don't deserve to be abused and sold like property? I guess we aren't there yet.
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  • Kathy
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the Kindle ARC of Big Sky by Kate Atkinson. WOW - what can I say? This is Kate Atkinson at her very best. Another book with Jackson Brodie, former policeman and now private detective, balancing his personal life, while juggling several leads in a murder. The story also follows a human trafficking ring, in which young women are lured from other European countries to England, with promises of jobs, only to be held as sex slaves. Connections will eventua Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the Kindle ARC of Big Sky by Kate Atkinson. WOW - what can I say? This is Kate Atkinson at her very best. Another book with Jackson Brodie, former policeman and now private detective, balancing his personal life, while juggling several leads in a murder. The story also follows a human trafficking ring, in which young women are lured from other European countries to England, with promises of jobs, only to be held as sex slaves. Connections will eventually lead Jackson to the source. Jackson's personal life, including his relationship with his teenaged son and his ex-partner, Julie, are also part of the story. Jackson is one of the most real, well-rounded characters written in a series of books. Case Histories by Atkinson was my favorite book of hers and Big Sky is a close second. Atkinson's understanding of real life father/son relationships, ex-lovers and the world or real crime is superb.
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  • Jan Mazzulla
    January 1, 1970
    Kate AtkinsonBig SkyKate Atkinson is a brilliant writer. There is nothing of hers that I haven't absolutely loved and "Big Sky" is no exception.Jackson Brodie, father of two, former police office, millionaire, softie and all around decent person is back with another complex, heartbreaking and laugh out loud mystery. Magda and Katja, like many women in the world are looking to improve their lot by finding jobs in England. They have connected with a placement agency and are on their way to a bette Kate AtkinsonBig SkyKate Atkinson is a brilliant writer. There is nothing of hers that I haven't absolutely loved and "Big Sky" is no exception.Jackson Brodie, father of two, former police office, millionaire, softie and all around decent person is back with another complex, heartbreaking and laugh out loud mystery. Magda and Katja, like many women in the world are looking to improve their lot by finding jobs in England. They have connected with a placement agency and are on their way to a better life than the one they can hope for in their own country.Jackson Brodie is spending time with his teenage son Nathan while Nathan is on school holidays. Nathan, in typical adolescent fashion careens from being an absolute pain in the backside to being a decent, polite young man. Brodie is working very, very hard not to throttle the boy when he descends into teenage petulance, and succeeding, sometime despite himself.In the "Me Too" era, Atkinson reminds her readers that still, not all women are safe and that there are men, frequently powerful and well off, who continue to see women as little more than property to be bought, sold and traded. She tackles this incredibly difficult topic with sensitivity but doesn't shy away from the horror that is modern day slavery and sex trafficking.As with all of Kate Atkinson's books there are so many threads which all weave in and out of one another, sometimes not recognising their true shape. This book is a meditation about pulling oneself up by the bootstraps and recreating yourself and of the how a single, seemingly inconsequential decision can alter a life's trajectory. Atkinson also looks at how how the desire to better yourself has become an absolute horror for some women.Reading Kate Atkinson's books is like sitting at the bottom of a whirlpool. At the beginning there is a wide circling mass with all kinds of material spread out and spinning slowly. As the book progresses, the whirlpool's circumference get smaller and smaller and materials start to bump up against one another, sometimes cleaving together and at others merely bumping and moving off in different directions. As the whirlpool reaches its apex though, all the material finds it self closer and closer together and the likelihood of not coming in contact with your opposite and analogue material becomes impossible. I love the ride, the dizzying spin and collisions and near misses. There are times you want to yell, "Look over there, there she is, you just need to look and you'll see her!" That is the magic of Kate Atkinson's work. Atkinson's ability to undermine your prejudices is another hallmark of her work and I love being surprised by the brilliance and bravery of her characters just when you believe that they are vapid and weak.I so greatly enjoyed this book and am grateful for the surprise of having it turn up in my mail from the publisher. I was under no obligation to write a review and everything I've written has been my honest and unbiased opinion.
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