We recently started a lunch-time mystery book discussion at the Perryville Branch Library and one of the books I was most eager to share with the group was Case Histories by Kate Atkinson. I had read the book about four years ago at the urging of several of my fellow librarians who share my taste in books (a little dark I must admit) and loved it, but would I still feel the same? Sometimes I think we go through phases where a certain type of book appeals to us and I was concerned that it might not appeal to me in the same way; I needn't have worried, I still love it.
The story begins with three unrelated "case histories," unsolved crimes from the past; a beloved missing child, a young wife and mother who inexplicably murders her husband and a father whose daughter is the victim of a knife-wielding maniac. Enter Jackson Brodie, private investigator, a complicated character with a sorrowful past. Over the course of the book, Jackson is brought in to investigate each one of these cold crimes and the author seamlessly brings all of the stories together. The story is told from alternating points of view and sometimes moves from the present to the past so you have to pay attention to the details. There is no "happily ever after" for all of the characters, but for most of the characters the ending brings resolution and hope. Look for Jackson Brodie and more endearingly flawed characters in the next three books in the series. I look forward to reacquainting myself with them as well.
Recommended by Nancy Strakna