One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson is a light read. It can be fun for someone willing to suspend disbelief, someone who likes the writing on a typical TV crime show, such as Bones or the old Columbo series. (I like both of those, so that comment isn't meant to be disparaging.) Martin, a character in the novel who is a mild mannered crime writer, longs to write something serious and I wonder if that might be a comment Atkinson is making about her own desires.
The character relationships in One Good Turn are interesting. Jackson Brodie is a wealthy, ex-cop whose acquaintances include the aforementioned crime writer, a crazed thug, a dominatrix, a single mom/police woman, and the self-centered actress he's dating. Their dialogue is well written and consistently shows the personalities of the characters in unique ways. The plot has enough edgy moments to keep it moving forward, but it also has countless moments that I had trouble believing even in the fictitious world Atkinson created. There are so many chance events that at times the book seems to be a parody of its genre. Weapons appear out of nowhere, people are connected in unexpected ways, and in one case Brodie escapes a predicament with a sudden death that is so unrealistic Atkinson must have intended it to be funny. (If so, she didn't succeed.)
I would recommend this to someone looking for a light book to pass the time in places where it is difficult to concentrate, such as at an airport or on a train.
Steve Lindahl – author of Motherless Soul and White Horse Regressions
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