4. When Will There Be Good News?

When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson
3rd Jackson Brodie mystery

Pages: 348
Finished: Jan. 6, 2009
First Published: Sept, 2008
Genre: mystery, psychological suspense
Rating: 5/5
Reason for Reading: received a Review Copy from Random House Canada.

First sentence:

The heat rising up from the tarmac seemed to get trapped between the thick hedges that towered above their heads like battlements.

Comments: This is the story of three women, one who survived a brutal family crime when she was a child, another who recently experienced the same and one who grieves from a particularly unsettling sudden family death. While all three characters are delved into; it is the grown woman who finds that her past is about to meet up with her present when the criminal's release date from prison (after thirty years) comes and goes. She is advised to get away for a while just to make sure she's safe and can keep her mind off it and then the next day she simply disappears without a word to anyone. The local DI believes her advice was taken, one person thinks she's been kidnapped and one person knows what really happened to her. This is a thrilling ride of psychological suspense.

I found the setting of Scotland to be very interesting and different as most of my crime reading takes place in either England or the US. The Scottish way of life certainly added a unique flavour to the story. The writing is skillful as the author slowly releases a plot that unravels page by page. The reader does not know where the story is going until each secret is revealed. Even though the story slowly unravels I still found this to be a page-turner as I couldn't help but need to know just where this story was going and where it would end up.

Each chapter is written from the point of view of several different characters. This is a little bit unsettling at first as each of the first few chapters seem unrelated but when connections are made a light goes off in your head and you realize just how intricately interwoven the lives and crimes of several people are intertwined. Simply brilliantly written. I will be going back to read the first two books in this series quite soon.


  1. I read One Good Turn (2nd in series?) and only thought it was okay. I believe my expectations were too high. Oh well. Glad to read that you loved this one. Maybe I'll give her another chance. :)

  2. I've heard such great things about Atkinson but haven't read anything by her. Glad to hear you liked this one so well!

  3. I read this just before Christmas and thought it was excellent.

    Joy, having read all three books, I think it is fair to say that this series just goes from strength to strength. I was somewhat underwhelmed by the first book, liked the second book, but loved this third one. I can't wait to see what happens next with Jackson Brodie.

  4. I liked it too, but I remember not really being clear on what happened at the end. That happens to me all the time in mysteries, because I start racing so fast to see what happens.

    I thought this was was clearer than One Good Turn, there were less characters to keep track of, and the connections were made quicker. I'd like to read the first one too.

    I agree about the Scottish setting, and Jackson is a great lead.

  5. Hmmm - I've read a couple of Atkinson's earlier books (Behind the Scenes at the Museum and Human Croquet) and was pretty underwhelmed with both. I've heard such good things about the Jackson Brodie series that I've decided not to give up on her yet. One of these days I'll get to Case Histories.

  6. Marg & Raidergirl3 ~ Thanks for the input. With all three of you loving it, I guess I'll give this one a shot.

  7. Wonderful review Nicola! I don't usually read crime fiction but this one does sound interesting.

    I posted a link to your review on the ARC Challenge post.


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