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When Will There Be Good News?: A Novel Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 24, 2008

4.1 out of 5 stars 318 customer reviews
Book 3 of 4 in the Jackson Brodie Series

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, September 24, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

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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From Bookmarks Magazine

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.
Copyright 2008 Bookmarks Publishing LLC

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 388 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; Book Club edition (September 24, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316154857
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316154857
  • ASIN: B00342VG5Y
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (318 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,272,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kate Atkinson's first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, won the Whitbread (now Costa) Book of the Year Award. She has been a critically acclaimed, bestselling author ever since, with over one million copies of her books in print in the United States.

She is the author of a collection of short stories, Not the End of the World, and of the novels Human Croquet, Emotionally Weird, Case Histories, One Good Turn, When Will There Be Good News?, and Started Early, Took My Dog. Case Histories, which introduced her readers to Jackson Brodie, former police inspector turned private investigator, was made into a television series starring Jason Isaacs.

Kate Atkinson lives in Edinburgh.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Kate Atkinson's most recent novels have seemed, on the surface of things, like a radical departure for a Whitbread Award-winning novelist whose previous works were noted for their use of magical realism and their unusual family dynamics. With CASE HISTORIES, however, the first book featuring detective Jackson Brodie, Atkinson took her well-established skill at exploring characters and relationships, and applied it to an entirely new genre --- the mystery. Since then, with ONE GOOD TURN and now with WHEN WILL THERE BE GOOD NEWS?, Atkinson continues to push the boundaries of the mystery genre, writing intricate, suspenseful character studies that are bound to appeal even to literary purists who would swear they had never read a mystery novel in their lives.

These three books are loosely interconnected, focusing at least in part on Brodie and Edinburgh police inspector Louise Monroe. In ONE GOOD TURN, the sexual tension that defined Jackson and Louise's interactions never came to fruition; in WHEN WILL THERE BE GOOD NEWS?, readers will be intrigued to discover that both main characters, in the intervening months, have made very similar choices in their personal lives, choices that will continue to complicate their personal and professional relationships.

But, as with the previous titles in this series, the private detective and the police inspector are, unusually, hardly the most important characters in the novel. Instead, Atkinson introduces a good dozen characters, each of whom carries his or her own tale of love, loss and betrayal, and whose stories come together in remarkable and, at times, surprising ways.

Central to the story is Joanna Hunter, now a successful physician and new mother living in Edinburgh.
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Format: Hardcover
A woman and three children are living in the country; a husband is off writing his novels and having affairs - in the city - and against this backdrop, the unexpected happens. On an otherwise blissful day, an intruder stalks into all of their lives, murdering the woman and two of her children, while another child cowers in the field nearby, unharmed.

Except, of course, for that nasty post-traumatic stress disorder that clings to her - forever.

This is the past, to which the reader is introduced in When Will There Be Good News?: A Novel, followed by an influx of seemingly unrelated characters - Reggie, who is Dr. Hunter's nanny; Louise, an unhappily-married police officer, fondly recalling a love she almost had, a long time ago; Jackson, married twice and cuckolded by a lover, whose infant child may inadvertently belong to him; and Ms. MacDonald, a former teacher, now retired. Somehow, all of these disparate individuals are connected by at least one common thread.

A train wreck...Indeed, as one character hurtles along on a train headed toward London, or so Jackson believes, it is actually headed toward Edinburgh. When it lurches and turns on its side, its passengers tossed about, everything becomes tangled - literally. When Jackson ends up in hospital, miraculously kept alive by CPR administered by one Reggie Chase, he has the wrong ID on him. This fact sets the tale in a completely different direction.

Unbeknownst to these two characters - Reggie, the nanny, and Jackson, a former police detective - Dr. Hunter and her baby have gone missing. Ah, yes - Dr.
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Format: Hardcover
This is no cute little detective story where we kind of know what's going to happen in advance. This is a gritty, tough, realistic, sometimes funny and very touching story that spans thirty years. Here are some of my observations and reasons I think this is one of the best books of the year:

1. There are really four main characters, Jackson, our old friend from her past books, a 16 year old orphan and amazingly resourceful girl, a loving and devoted female MD who has gone through hell and survived and a somewhat crusty and yet excellent female detective who is trying hard to have a normal and proper life, yet can't quite get there. All of these characters have had difficult lives and backgrounds, death and suffering behind them, and yet each gets out there every day to do good things. We love each of them even though they are flawed, lie, hide things, have made bad marriage decisions, etc. At the same time, we have no idea if any of them will survive and make it whole through this grim set of circumstances.

2. We view the world and what's happening through the eyes of each of these characters from chapter to chapter. Along the way, we pick up information from each that starts to answer questions about the others and what may really be going on in the world. There is no speed reading here. There are little clues and hilarious and sometimes scary comments in the minds of each of the characters that will play out in the future. Along the way, there are many little old nursery rhymes and sometimes quotes from the bible or from other writers that play in each of their minds in a very clever way. Sometimes these little quotes foretell the future or put us into a gloomy mood that death has happened or is just around the corner.

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