Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Case Histories Book Reviewed

Cold Case Mystery

Today, I want to review an older mystery book for you Case Histories by Kate Atkinson. It was first published in 2004 but is still considered in the top 20 of best mysteries in 2019. One of the reasons I decided to read it was because Stephen King was quoted that he thought it was the best mystery of the decade. Okay, I don't care who you are...for Mr. King to give it that kind of accolade, it has to be pretty danged good. Am I right?

case histories
Looking for clues in cold cases
image courtesy of pixabay.com
The recommendation by King was actually secondary as to why I decided to begin reading this book. I'm beginning a new Cozy Mystery Series that will introduce Babbs Bennett, a senior amateur sleuth who in the first book will be trying to solve a cold case from her past. The Mystery Book Club that Babbs just joined needs to meet in this first story. So, I began a search to find a book that the club could discuss that would also be about a cold case. (Hint, the book gives them the idea to look into the unsolved case of their youth). That is probably more information than you wanted but it is why I even looked at the book in the first place. Anyway, what started as a resource for my own book has turned out to be a real enjoyable reading experience! Mr. King isn't wrong in his estimation.


Case Histories Isn't A Cozy Mystery


Jackson Brodie is the Private Detective who is looking into three cold cases that span about thirty years. The cases he has been hired to look into seem totally unrelated until Brodie begins to discover connections in the crimes. Jackson Brodie works with determined resolve on the cases that he honestly would have rather not taken. His findings lead him to reassess his own painful history as an ex-cop, ex-husband, and a father on weekends only.  

First of all, kudos to Kate Atkinson for her writing style! Oh my goodness, she describes the dysfunction in families so accurately. The families are different but similar if that makes sense. I found myself relating to the children but also to the mothers in the families. I think we all have felt at least a little of their pain. 

Case Histories doesn't fall in the Cozy sub-genre of mystery books. I say that because it is slightly more graphic in the crimes but not so graphic that you will find it disturbing. At least, I didn't. It is more accurately placed in Private Investigators or Detective stories. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I will probably have to read the other Jackson Brodie mysteries in the near future. Oh, another sign that the novel is worth reading is that it along with the other books in the series was made into a television series by the BBC. A pretty big vote of confidence, I'd say. 

This is a great book for anyone who loves to read detective type mysteries. I think both men and women will enjoy the plot and the way Atkinson tells it. For me it started out as something I could refer to in my own book and ended up grabbing my attention in an unexpected way.



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6 comments:

  1. This sounds like an awesome detective series, Bev! We have several family members who enjoy detective stories and don't mind the graphic details. I'm sure they will love this book. It truly is quite the endorsement for Stephen King to say that it is the best mystery of the decade. Very impressive!

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  2. I really enjoy mysteries, particularly detective-type stories, so appreciate the introduction through your review. Interesting that you found this book by searching for a reference for your own writing.

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  3. I do like mystery and detective type stories, so I will add this to my list of books to read. There is something about a book that keeps me interested in turning pages. I have done this with the books you have written and I probably with do the same with this one. Thanks Bev Owens for pointing me in this direction.

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  4. That impressive endorsement by Stephen King, along with yours, makes me want to read this! I’m not comfortable with graphic violence, but I may recommend this to my husband, who doesn’t get nightmares as easily as I do and is a good judge of my tolerance level for such things. He can tell me whether I would be able to enjoy this. Thanks for your review!

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  5. Just about any author would die for a Stephen King recommendation. This really sounds like a book I would enjoy. I'm glad your research brought this highly regarded book and series to our attention. We look forward to your next publication.

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  6. Sounds like another excellent choice for my mother. And yes, a Stephen King recommendation makes it especially interesting to want to read. I appreciate your book reviews because often times you select topics I know my mom would like and choosing books for her can be tricky.

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