Customer Review

151 of 162 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "For the want of a nail..." - Atkinson is always a wonderful read, September 8, 2010
This review is from: Started Early, Took My Dog: (Jackson Brodie) (Kindle Edition)
First Sentence: Leeds: `Motorway City of the Seventies'.

Spur of the moment decisions lead to life-altering consequences. A child and a dog link characters in an expected way that leads to injury and death.

Atkinson has created several mysteries within one story in this latest outing, and although Jackson is the continuing thread between the books, he is certainly not the only significant character.

One element I so enjoy about Atkinson's books is that her characters are somewhat abnormal for being no realistically normal. Brodie is an ex-cop, ex-PI with a number of failed or failing relationships. It is nice to learn much more about him and his background here. Tracy is a long way from being the attractive, sexy, young cop so common now. Tilly is an elderly actress with early dementia.

I find it almost impossible to describe this book. The writing is clever but without feeling contrived. Her voice and humor are delightful. There are coincidences, but they are deliberate and play upon the theme. The theme, which comes from the traditional poem "For want of a nail..." is brilliantly played out.

I did not find this the easiest book to read due to time and POV changes. It was a bit slow getting into, but it was never boring. I am always fascinated by Atkinson's writing and I love her titles. All I can say is that this is a book which can stand on its own and is very well worth reading.

STARTED EARLY, TOOK MY DOG (PI-Jackson Brodie-England-Cont) - VG
Atkinson, Kate - 4th in series
Doubleday, ©2010, UK Hardcover - ISBN: 9780385608022
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Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 11-16 of 16 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2011 2:30:28 PM PDT
I don't know who she is either. She's not Michael's sister. Michael's sister is Hope. I just finished this book but I feel like I have to go back and look for the possible "hints" given at the end (birthmark shaped like Africa, etc) but that could be a false lead as well. Maybe she doesn't want us to know who Courtney is and she is "just" another missing child.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 1, 2011 4:45:53 PM PDT
We don't know Courtney's parentage, I think the author intended her to represent every kid out there who needs to be saved. But we do know that Michael's sister is Hope McMaster who was called Nicola Braithwaite as an infant.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 1, 2011 4:48:36 PM PDT
Thank you, Doreen. It's wonderful to have an answer for those of us who just couldn't quite get there. I appreciate it and it makes perfect sense as it's such an Atkinson thing to do.

In reply to an earlier post on May 6, 2011 8:50:50 AM PDT
Rhia says:
I agree; she is another of several children who had similar things happen to them. A parallel to Hope.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2012 1:28:00 AM PST
Lynda says:
Micheal's missing sister is Hope McMaster.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2014 10:23:03 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 15, 2014 10:26:32 PM PDT
Katy34 says:
the reader is left unsatisfied by Courtney's mysterious identity. Who
is she, really, how does she know to buckle herself into a car seat?
Why don't we get any resolution in this novel? Will it have a sequel to
answer unanswered questions? Very frustrating read, but fascinating.
Jackson Brodie ends the novel thinking of the Africa shaped birthmark found on Courtney's arm or thigh. It is an identifier and should be
resolved. Will there be a fifth J. Brodie novel to explain the fourth one?
Karen L, Scott, Canadian reader.
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