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“One Good Turn”

Over the weekend, I finished “One Good Turn” by Kate Atkinson. Enjoyed it immensely–a novel of several braided lives, woven around an initial road rage incident.  Contemporary. Set in Edinburgh. The second book about Jackson Brodie.

What I loved about it at first was that the action begins immediately–the road rage incident. I wasn’t quite so excited when the next half-dozen or so people were introduced into the action, slowing things down. But it picked up again. I love this kind of fiction, love feeling in the hands of someone who’s crafted a series of events that will eventually make sense.

I appreciated the various characters–a man who writes cozy mysteries and is hiding a hideous secret of his own, a hitman who seems to get very little attention, the wife of a crooked financier, a Russian woman who keeps turning up at unlikely times, Jackson Brodie the former policeman, and many more.

I realize that when I read a “braided lives” novel, I usually prefer one or two of the story lines over others. In this case, I especially liked Jackson Brodie, a good sign since Atkinson is crafting a series around him. As the story progressed, a few times I realized that I should have paid better attention earlier on, as someone who was introduced and then fell to the background was brought back to the spotlight.

All in all, a well-written and well-crafted mystery.

I found it by looking back at past “New York Times best of the year” lists, in this case, the list from 2006.  These lists of 100 titles have enough to include a wide variety of potential books.  I’ve found some of my favorite books by fishing through those lists–I recommend that you take a look for your own next read.

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