REVIEW: Case Histories, Kate Atkinson

Monday, 13 May 2019

Cambridge is sweltering, during an unusually hot summer. To Jackson Brodie, former police inspector turned private investigator, the world consists of one accounting sheet - Lost on the left, Found on the right - and the two never seem to balance. Surrounded by death, intrigue and misfortune, his own life haunted by a family tragedy, Jackson attempts to unravel three disparate case histories and begins to realise that in spite of apparent diversity, everything is connected...

Do you know how all of guys that Ryan Murphy casts in American Horror Story all look the same? And, there’s just so many of them that everyone is like, ‘okay, i know that one is evan peters because he’s blonde but i have absolutely no bloody clue about the rest of you’?? That is legitimately what it feels like to read this book.
Normally, a mystery/thriller has one murder to solve. Maybe two, if the case are linked. Kate Atkinson’s Case Histories had three. And, that number only includes the big ones - to be more accurate, the plot kept splitting, again and again, into barely-tangential cases and subplots; so much so that, by barely even halfway, my mind was being crushed under the weight of all of the information I was being fed, the people I was being introduced to, the voices I was being forced to listen to.
There were just so many characters - so many two-dimension characters that were built on the same tired stereotypes and tropes - that by the end of each and every page, I had to go back and remind myself who everyone was again.
Every page.
For 428 pages.
It was tedious, frustrating and overall, just so bloody boring. And, if this is what to be expected from Kate Atkinson (who can apparently write? Although, let’s be honest, there’s no trace of that here), the copy of Life After Life that is currently sitting on my shelves, may just end up in the bin.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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