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One Good Turn [Abridged, Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Kate Atkinson , Jason Isaacs
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 42.50 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

May 25 2010 Jackson Brodie (Book 2)
Case Histories, once again featuring ex-cop turned private investigator Jackson Brodie.

It is summer, it is the Edinburgh Festival. People queuing for a lunchtime show witness a road-rage incident – an incident which changes the lives of everyone involved. Jackson Brodie, ex-army, ex-police, ex-private detective, is also an innocent bystander – until he becomes a suspect.

With Case Histories, Kate Atkinson showed how brilliantly she could explore the crime genre and make it her own. In One Good Turn she takes her masterful plotting one step further. Like a set of Russian dolls each thread of the narrative reveals itself to be related to the last. Her Dickensian cast of characters are all looking for love or money and find it in surprising places. As ever with Atkinson what each one actually discovers is their true self.

Unputdownable and triumphant, One Good Turn is a sharply intelligent read that is also percipient, funny, and totally satisfying.


From the Hardcover edition.

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From Publishers Weekly

Having won a wide following for her first crime novel (and fifth book), Case Histories (2004), Atkinson sends Det. Jackson Brodie to Edinburgh while girlfriend Julia performs in a Fringe Festival play. When incognito thug "Paul Bradley" is rear-ended by a Honda driver who gets out and bashes Bradley unconscious with a baseball bat, the now-retired Jackson is a reluctant witness. Other bystanders include crime novelist Martin Canning, a valiant milquetoast who saves Bradley's life, and tart-tongued Gloria Hatter, who's plotting to end her 39-year marriage to a shady real estate developer. Jackson walks away from the incident, but keeps running into trouble, including a corpse, the Honda man and sexy, tight-lipped inspector Louise Monroe. Everyone's burdened by a secret—infidelity, unprofessional behavior, murder—adding depth and many diversions. After Martin misses a visit from the Honda man (Martin's wonderfully annoying houseguest isn't so lucky), he enlists Jackson as a bodyguard, pulling the characters into closer orbit before they collide on Gloria Hatter's lawn. Along the way, pieces of plot fall through the cracks between repeatedly shifting points of view, and the final cataclysm feels forced. But crackling one-liners, spot-on set pieces and full-blooded cameos help make this another absorbing character study from the versatile, effervescent Atkinson. (Oct. 11)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

The literary novelist who caused a stir with her crossover into the mystery genre, Case Histories (2004), here offers an intricately plotted and quite amusing sequel. Jackson Brodie, a PI who inherited $1 million from a former client, is two years into retirement in the French countryside. Traveling to Edinburgh, Scotland, for an arts festival with his actress girlfriend, Julia, also a former client, Jackson is feeling somewhat "unmanned" by his formless days, which he spends filling up his iPod with sad country songs and feeding apples to French donkeys. Then he happens on a case of road rage. As the witnesses, including a timid mystery author, are subsequently menaced by various and sundry thugs, Jackson traces the incidents back to the unsavory business dealings of a real-estate developer. Atkinson has a lot of fun playing against type, portraying writers and actors as leading small, unimaginative lives while revealing the hidden depths in an unassuming, longtime housewife. Although it's not as wonderful as its predecessor, this still makes for delightfully witty reading. Joanne Wilkinson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Suspense Filled Novel April 18 2009
By Toni Osborne TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Book 2 in the Jackson Brodie series

This multi layered plot full of intriguing twists, graphic violence and a bit of sexual tension kept me fascinated and maintained my interested till the last page. In the past I found it hard adapting to her style, has she mellowed or have I? This author is growing on me. Ms Atkinson's writing is gripping, full of satire and wickedly funny. Her strength is in her development of strong characters and masterfully orchestrated sagas.

The story opens with a car accident on a busy street in Edinburgh, triggering a case of road rage followed by strange events. When witnesses turn out to be connected to each other and more and more weird incidents come to light, we... the readers are slowly drawn into a multitude of exciting and complicated dramas.

This multi faceted story is told by the characters, recounting their experiences, the narration alternates between them as the story progresses back and forth in time. Ms Atkinson has masterfully tied all this information into a suspense filled novel.

Returning to the front scenes are: Jackson Brodie, the intrepid ex-private detective and Julia, the actress. We are also endowed with a rich cast of fascinating secondary characters. I am looking forward to reading the sequel.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ABSORBING STORY - STELLAR NARRATION Nov. 5 2006
By Gail Cooke TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Voice performer Robin Atkin Downes is a more than proficient actor - he's equipped to narrate in some 40 dialects. Television aficionados recognize him for his appearances on Nash Bridges, Beverly Hills 90210, Buffy the Vampire slayer and others. His London stage performances include starring in Dracula, Taming of the Shrew, Much Ado About Nothing, and more. He delivers a stellar reading of "One Good Turn," by Whitbread First Novel Award winner Kate Atkinson.

What does a Good Samaritan get for his trouble? In the case of 50-year-old Martin Canning, a second tier crime novelist who spends much time in wishful thinking, maybe a star in his crown but only a wealth of woes on this earth.

Set in Edinburgh, Scotland, our story opens with a crowd of people witnessing what appears to be a minor bumper bash but quickly turns ugly. The driver of one of the vehicles jumps from his car and brutally attacks the other driver with a baseball bat. Just as a perhaps fatal blow is about to be delivered, someone in the crowd tosses a laptop case which deflects the attacker's aim. The tosser is Martin.

For his life saving act, surely the most untoward thing he has ever done, Martin is robbed and worse.

The crowd is quick to disperse, leaving listeners to believe that is the end of them. Not at all. Atkinson's magic pen brings them back, weaves them throughout her narrative in surprising ways. While we never know what life may hold in store, this author leads us on a fascinating journey of what it might.

- Gail Cooke
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great book June 5 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Really enjoyed this. It was my first Kate Atkinson and I'll definitely read her again. Jackson Brodie is a terrific protagonist. Characters are well drawn and it was funny and exciting. I'd recommend it to anybody who likes well written crime novels.
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