BOOK REVIEW: ONE GOOD TURN
Readers of Atkinson's prior novel CASE HISTORIES will recognize two of the characters in Atkinson's latest. Former cop Jackson Brodie has inherited an impressive amount of cash from the estate of an eccentric client, retired from his private investigator business, bought an estate in France, and is involved in a continuing relationship with one of the sisters who hired him in the earlier novel. Brodie has accompanied his actress girl friend to Edinburgh Scotland, where she has a small role with a theater group performing at an arts festival.
The action book begins on an Edinburgh street with a minor traffic accident and a startling display of road rage. Several witnesses to the incident will find their lives intertwined as events unfold. An unethical real estate developer and his vindictive wife, a mysterious stranger with an assumed name, a mid-list novelist hiding a tragic secret, a housecleaning agency with an odd collection of employees, a world weary cop seeking confidence as she raises her son on her own, and a violent man with an angry Rottweiler are all part of the story, and all the action and small coincidences are part of a larger and more intriguing situation which gradually draws Brodie unwillingly into the thick of the events.
References to the sets of nesting dolls known as "matryoshka" and sold as sovenirs in tourist shops worldwide appear again and again in the story and soon the reader comes to understand that all the various plot threads will fit together, but how exactly?
As in her previous book, Atkinson's tone includes wry humor and there is a lot to smile about even as the sinister violence spreads from person to person and house to house.
REVIEWED BY WOODSTOCK
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