From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In Atkinson's stellar third novel to feature ex-cop turned PI Jackson Brodie (after One Good Turn
), unrelated characters and plot lines collide with momentous results. On a country road, six-year-old Joanna Mason is the only survivor of a knife attack that leaves her mother and two siblings dead. Thirty years later, after boarding the wrong train in Yorkshire, Brodie is almost killed when the train crashes. He's saved by 16-year-old Regina Reggie Chase, the nanny of Dr. Joanna Hunter, née Mason. In the chaos following the crash, Brodie ends up with the wallet of Andrew Decker, the recently released man convicted of murdering the Mason family. Enter DCI Louise Monroe, Brodie's former love interest, who's tracking Decker because of a recent case involving a similar family and crime. When Dr. Hunter disappears, Reggie is convinced she's been kidnapped and enlists the reluctant Brodie to track her down. A lesser author would buckle under so many story lines, but Atkinson juggles them brilliantly, simultaneously tying up loose ends from Turn
and opening new doors for further Brodie misadventures. (Sept.)
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Critics greeted the return of Jackson Brodie enthusiastically, and many stated that When Will There Be Good News?
is the best installment of the three-book series. Atkinson’s mysteries develop naturally from her charmingly flawed characters and display her keen insight into human nature. Her control of the plot is absolute: it ratchets up the tension while the narrative accelerates to breakneck speeds. Atkinson’s razor-sharp humor and literary games add to the fun without distracting from the story. A few critics lamented the heavy use of coincidences and mistaken identities, but the Guardian
perceived an added layer of meaning to such plot contrivances. Readers are forewarned: they may not be able to put down this riveting, entertaining, and clever novel until they’ve turned the final page.
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