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Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Kate Atkinson - Started Early, Took My Dog

review by showhost 1st Jan 2013.
Another absorbing book by this author and where you meet up with an old friend from a previous novel 'Jackson Brodie' (I first met him in "When Will there be Good News").
As is usual with this author, the story has different threads of different people who eventually all effect each others lives.  The story fluctuates from 1975 to present day.
'1975, Bay City Rollers are No.1, Bill Gates founds what will become Microsoft & Peter Sutcliffe starts his killing spree'.  PC Tracey Waterhouse & colleague of the Yorkshire police are sent to a house - a neighbour has complained about a very bad smell eminating from it.  The police find a locked door and through the letterbox a they see a 4 year old boy.  Inside the house his mother has lain dead for 3 weeks.  The emaciated boy is removed and put into care.  He says his daddy killed his mommy, but nobody is really listening, the case becomes low profile & not a lot of investigative work is done.
Over 30 years later P.I. Jackson Brodie is asked to discover who a clients real parents are. His female client lives in New Zealand.
At the same time, ex-policewoman Tracey, now retired, sees a mother (a known prostitute), mistreating her child.  Tracey pays the mother for her child, she wants to give the child a better life than the mother is offering.  A couple of days later the mother is found dead.
Tracey is now on the run with the girl.  Jackson Brodie and another P.I. are looking for Tracey, they have questions to ask on behalf of their respective clients, Jackson is himself being pursued by some paid 'heavies'.
Running along through all this is Tillie', an aging actress on a tv 'soap'.  Tillie is in her 80's and has the start of dementia. Her storyline has real repercussions on the other characters at the end of the book but towards the last third of the book I found 'Tillie' too mundane and started skipping pages of her story and wondered how necessary her character really was?
I like this author, there is humour, intrigue and human element in a convoluted plot.

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