Present Tense Book Review – Case Histories

One of the quiet pleasures of moving in with Mrs. Monkeyshines was the appearance of a bunch of new books on the bookcase. I’m halfway through one of these now, Case Histories, by Kate Atkinson. According to the cover it’s an international bestseller, but I started it with no idea what it was about – sometimes I quite like plunging into a book and letting it take me somewhere unexpected.

There are three strands to the story, parallel so far, but I’m sure they’ll come together – hopefully in a surprising and pleasing manner. Three case histories from the recent(ish) past land in the lap of our laconic detective, Jackson Brodie, all around the theme of lost women of one sort or another. There’s quite a few characters and stories to keep track of, but fortunately they all have different names, so it’s not too bad – I’ve always thought that’s one of the great conveniences of fiction.

It’s certainly well written, but I hope some stuff is going to start to tie together soon, as my little brain is beginning to creak at the seams with the effort of keeping all the narrative balls in the air. As an aside, I like that it’s set in Cambridge, because I used to live there, and I haven’t yet tired of thinking, ‘ooh, I know where that is’ when the author is specific about location.

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