| As I was reading this book I realized I had “met” one of the characters before — Jackson Brodie. I saw “Case Histories” on “Masterpiece Theater” and thought it was good. It was fun to run across him again. Now I plan to track him down in all the books he’s in.Don’t you love that the British love mysteries? I’m so glad they respect them and seem to afford their authors as much respect as novelists and other writers. I’m an anglophile and a always attracted to a British mystery. My Netflix queue is full of them. My son is disgusted that every time he turns around we’re watching another one. Anyway, When Will There Be Good News was a good book. It starts with the story of a horrible, random murder of a mother and 2 of her children as they were walking home from the bus stop. The 3rd child, the middle daughter, runs away, hides in the tall wheat and survives. After telling that story it cuts to a man who seems to be stalking a little boy and possibly preparing to kidnap him. Then it starts a chapter named “The Life and Adventures of Reggie Chase, Containing a Faithful Account of the Fortunes, Misfortunes, Uprisings, Downfallings, and Complete Career of the Chase Family.” Reggie is a young woman working as a nanny for Dr. Hunter.Pretty soon all of this connects and you realize who is who. It may sound confusing but I promise you if I can understand it, anyone can. I don’t often work hard to retain a lot of details as I’m reading — or maybe I should say I am not able to retain a lot of details as I’m reading — and I got what was going on and the back stories with no problem. Probably most people would have understood it all sooner, but, whatever, it’s not an issue, in fact it’s just a fun book to read.I liked the characters. It was fun to be in Reggie’s head and hear what and how she thought. Jackson Brodie is a good character who’s interesting to get to know. He’s an ex-detective, by the way, who ends up being instrumental in solving the mystery. Louise, the actual detective, is also someone I liked getting acquainted with. Even the minor characters, even the ones who do bad things, are well written.
As far as the plot, Dr. Hunter and her baby disappear and Reggie is pretty much the only one who doesn’t believe Dr. Hunter’s husband’s story that she went to be with a sick aunt. There’s a big railroad crash that eventually connects Reggie with Jackson, and she also tries to get Louise to investigate the disappearance. At first Louise dismisses Reggie, but she comes around.
I pretty much devoured the book, just kept reading and turning the pages and loving being in it. I believe I’ll be starting a Kate Atkinson “jag” any day now.
- When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson
- Still by Lauren Winner
- Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
- Blue Nights by Joan Didion
- True Compass by Edward M. Kennedy
- Sadness and Hope
- Where our tastes differ
- Janette Kok: A word to the wise
- The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas
- How can stories change the world?