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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Common Thread...
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,...
Published on Jan. 20 2009 by Laurel-Rain Snow

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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written but just too implausible
Ms Atkinson's book reads quite well at times. However, the extreme contrivances grate against one's credibility much too much. When was the last time you heard about a woman and her children hacked to death by an unknown psychotic? The resolution assumed too much, in particular the outcome of Brodie's relationship with wife Tessa - it just didn't make sense. As also...
Published on Jan. 20 2009 by Jeffrey Chaplin


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Common Thread..., Jan. 20 2009
By 
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?, 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. Hunter is the former Joanna Mason, the child accidentally left alive by the murderer all those years ago - and to compound the case even further, the murderer, one Andrew Decker, has just been released from
prison.

With the alternating storylines and characters, careening toward the answers to so many questions, I kept turning these pages, almost breathless, anticipating the conclusions. And, of course, there are many surprises at the end, which makes this more than an ordinary mystery, or a simple love story, and certainly not a predictable drama.

This writer skillfully teases the reader, pushing and pulling the facts around, until they arrange themselves in such a clever way. I found myself going back to the beginning again, wondering what I might have missed - what clue I had overlooked - in order to have been so stunned by the ending.

I have another of Ms. Atkinson's books on my stack - One Good Turn: A Jolly Murder Mystery - which will receive my attention very soon.

Laurel-Rain Snow
Author of: An Accidental Life, etc.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rivetting Read!, Jan. 8 2009
By 
Nicola Mansfield (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
This is the story of three women, one who survived a brutal family crime when she was a child, another who recently experienced the same and one who grieves from a particularly unsettling sudden family death. While all three characters are delved into; it is the grown woman who finds that her past is about to meet up with her present when the criminal's release date from prison (after thirty years) comes and goes. She is advised to get away for a while just to make sure she's safe and can keep her mind off it and then the next day she simply disappears without a word to anyone. The local DI believes her advice was taken, one person thinks she's been kidnapped and one person knows what really happened to her. This is a thrilling ride of psychological suspense.

I found the setting of Scotland to be very interesting and different as most of my crime reading takes place in either England or the US. The Scottish way of life certainly added a unique flavour to the story. The writing is skillful as the author slowly releases a plot that unravels page by page. The reader does not know where the story is going until each secret is revealed. Even though the story slowly unravels I still found this to be a page-turner as I couldn't help but need to know just where this story was going and where it would end up.

Each chapter is written from the point of view of several different characters. This is a little bit unsettling at first as each of the first few chapters seem unrelated but when connections are made a light goes off in your head and you realize just how intricately interwoven the lives and crimes of several people are intertwined. Simply brilliantly written. I will be going back to read the first two books in this series quite soon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Atkinson keeps hitting the mark, Oct. 29 2008
I enjoyed the other two Jackson Brodie books enormously and this third book didn't disappoint. Literate, well developed and just verging on plausible - Kate Atkinson brings together intricate plots and likable characters in a satisfying feast.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Jackson Brodie at his Best, April 8 2011
By 
Heather Pearson "Heather" (Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
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This is Jackson Brodie at his finest. Well, actually it's not. He is in fact rather broken and definitely not 'fine'. It started out as a simple plan, take the train to the Yorkshire Dales, complete a small 'job' , and then take the train home before anyone noticed he was gone. It didn't turn out anything like he planned.

Dr. Joanne Hunter's day didn't turn out as she planned either. Thirty years earlier her mother, sister and baby brother had been murdered by a stranger, and today she learned that the murderer was now out of jail.

Reggie's goal for the day was to meet with her tutor, have a small dinner and get in lots of studying. She did get two of three items accomplished before her world was turned on the end.

It didn't take many pages before I found myself captivated by Reggie. She had so many stumbling blocks in her road of life, but she continued to pick herself up and and push forward. Please Ms. Atkinson, don't leave me hanging, I need to know more about Reggie and how she fares in the future with her life and her studies. Will she meet up with Detective Chief Inspector Louise Monroe again, or will it be with Jackson Brodie himself.

This third Jackson Brodie novel kept me on the edge of my seat reading. I couldn't put it down till I knew that Reggie would be safe. Oh yeah, I did have concern about Jackson and Louise, but they are adults and I had to give them credit that they would land on their feet, though perhaps I should worry a bit more about Jackson.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written but just too implausible, Jan. 20 2009
By 
Jeffrey Chaplin (Toronto, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ms Atkinson's book reads quite well at times. However, the extreme contrivances grate against one's credibility much too much. When was the last time you heard about a woman and her children hacked to death by an unknown psychotic? The resolution assumed too much, in particular the outcome of Brodie's relationship with wife Tessa - it just didn't make sense. As also the mysterious suicide in his flat did not. I won't use up any of my life-time reading any more of these I'm afraid.
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When Will There Be Good News?
When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson (Paperback - June 1 2011)
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