Friday, February 04, 2005

I was home sick yesterday, so I read Case Histories by Kate Atkinson. It got some great reviews, so I was looking forward to it and luckily it did not disappoint. The book begins by describing three unsolved crimes: in the first a three year old girl goes missing from her backyard, the second is the brutal and apparently random murder of a teenager on her first day working in her father's office, and the third is that of a wife who snaps and murders her husband with an axe. All three stories intersect in the present day when various family members all contact the same private investigator to solve the their cases. Atkinson does a wonderful job of making all her characters (including the victims) feel real and shows how the violent losses each experienced changed his or her life. While each case is resolved in one fashion or another, there are no easy answers given and justice isn't always served. I liked how the book was structured, moving back and forth in time between the present day and the different cases, and how the truth was slowly revealed. Certain aspects of the ending were a bit too neat and I guessed a few of the twists, but overall I really enjoyed it.

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