Case Histories by Kate Atkinson
This year has been a bit of a fail reading-wise. I've been super busy at work, meaning by the time I hit the hay I am asleep in minutes - no joke. I can guarantee that most nights when I turn my bedside light off and put head to pillow I will be asleep in about 90 seconds! As a result, I've just not been reading as much as I'd like to. I started the year with Life After Life by Kate Atkinson and just couldn't get into it, shortly followed by Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami which again failed to entice me. I enjoyed Norwegian Wood, but just found nothing was really happening - I have a short attention span and need a meaty storyline! Apologies Murukami fans, I know there are many out there!
After having Case Histories on my bookshelf for years, I thought I had better give it a go. Case Histories tells the story of Jackson Brodie - an ex police inspector turned private investigator - and the various cases he's working on. One, the story of the Land sisters whose younger sister Olivia mysteriously disappeared when they were children. Two, solicitor Theo Wyre's determined hunt for his beloved daughter's killer. And finally, Michelle who killed her husband (with an axe, very Lizzie Borden) seemingly in a case of post-natal depression. The book seamlessly weaves between these stories and the various characters.
Despite taking a while to get into, I enjoyed it. The problem is I've been reading little and not-very-often, making it hard to remember characters and story lines. The joy of Atkinson's novels is the number of different characters in each novel - which for me have been hard to remember and absorb given I've been reading so little. These books are the sort of thing you want to read on a sunlounger in Greece in a couple of days; gripping, fast paced and packed with intricately described characters. Saying that, once I got to the last quarter of the book I was flying through, totally gripped with each individual (and interlinked) story. I've heard similar reviews of Life After Life - maybe I'll give it another go over the summer when I have more time to read.