Sunday, October 9, 2011
Rec. #192: When Will There Be Good News?
What: Kate Atkinson's third novel featuring (ex) detective Jackson Brodie is --- without a doubt --- my favorite (so far, at least). This is almost entirely due to the introduction of Reggie Chase, a sixteen-year-old with a criminal brother, a dead mother, a missing employer, and (luckily) a skill set that includes CPR.
Representative quote: "Mum used to say, 'Billy may be trouble, but he's our trouble. Blood's thicker than water.' It was a lot stickier, too. The day the puppy went flying through the window was the second-worst day of Reggie's life so far."
You might not like it if: You're hoping that the answer to the title is "Now! Here it is, right here, all good news, all the time." It's not.
How to get it: Widely available in many formats. I still haven't seen the series adaptation starring Jason Isaacs. If they've gotten Reggie wrong, then when I eventually do watch it, I will likely fly into the sort of rage that hasn't been seen since someone cast Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet.
Three caveats: 1) If you haven't read the preceding Jackson Brodie books (see below), you may get a bit muddled. 2) In my opinion, many reviews of When Will There Be Good News? give away too many pieces of the plot. Avoid them if you can stand to. 3) Lest you fear that this is 388 pages of doom and puppy-throwing, let me reassure you that the whole novel is permeated by a rich, dark, clever humor.
Connections to previous Wreckage: Kate Akinson first presented Jackson Brodie in Case Histories (Rec. #3), which was followed by One Good Turn (Rec. #69). Both are excellent, even though they don't have Reggie.