Thursday, 12 December 2013

2013 Top Ten Best Reads - Number 7

Number 7 - Kate Atkinson
I first became aware of Kate Atkinson when the missus and I watched a UK mystery series based on her first Jackson Brodie book, Case Histories. It starred the talented Jason Isaacs as Scottish detective, Jackson Brodie. Even though the TV series relocated the first three books in the Case Histories series from Cambridge to Scotland, it didn't really matter. It was a fascinating series, well - developed stories, with interesting plots that suddenly and satisfyingly fit together. Jason Isaacs was excellent as Jackson Brodie and the other characters were all well-developed and acted. I particularly liked the regular characters, Jackson's daughter, Marlee, his long-suffering secretary, Deborah and my favourite character, DC Louise Munroe, played by Amanda Abbington. I enjoyed the series so very much that I searched to find out if it was based on a written series. To my joy, I discovered that there were, in fact, books and they were written by Kate Atkinson.

That started my search for books from the series. Kate Atkinson is an English writer who was born in York in 1951. Her first book was Behind the Scenes at the Museum, which was published in 1995 and won her the Whitbread Book of the Year.  Case Histories, the first of the series, was published in 2004. She has since written three other books in the series. I finally read the first, Case Histories, in February of this year. It took no time at all to read, the book was just as good as the TV series. This is the review I wrote on my Goodreads' bookshelf (some slight editing), "Such an excellent book. I had seen the BBC TV series starring Jason Isaacs as Jackson Brodie, which I'd enjoyed immensely. So I approached this with both trepidation and excitement. I did find it somewhat odd that the book is set in Cambridge, whereas the TV series was set in Scotland, but once I'd accepted the difference, I enjoyed the book so very much. Kate Atkinson draws you in immediately, introducing the various Case Histories, then Jackson Brodie, then meanders through each, tying them together when felt necessary. Every character is interesting and well-presented, Jackson Brodie is super, witty but with his own issues. The story isn't really tense, even though there are awful crimes involved, but it's more of a character study. The writing is subtle, intelligent, funny at times. Loved it so very much. I look forward to reading more of Kate Atkinson's work. Thanks to the BBC to introducing me to her and making me search out her books."

I still have two of the remaining books in the series on my bookshelf to read and I'm sure I'll get to them in 2014. I highly recommend both the TV series and the book. You'll love it.

Number 6 tomorrow!.. :0)

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