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Case Histories

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Kate Atkinson


 
ISBN 978-0316033480
Format Paperback
Publisher Little Brown and Company
Published September 2008


Called the best mystery of the decade by Stephen King, this novel from award-winner Atkinson is a breathtaking story of families divided, love lost and found, and the mysteries of fate.

Case one: A little girl goes missing in the night. 

Case two: A beautiful young office worker falls victim to a maniac's apparently random attack. 

Case three: A new mother finds herself trapped in a hell of her own making - with a very needy baby and a very demanding husband - until a fit of rage creates a grisly, bloody escape.

Thirty years after the first incident, as private investigator Jackson Brodie begins investigating all three cases, startling connections and discoveries emerge . . . of the World.

 

Kate Atkinson lives in Edinburgh. Her first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, was named Whitbread Book of the Year in the U.K. in 1995, and was followed by Human Croquet, Emotionally Weird, Not the End of the World, Case Histories and One Good Turn.

 

 

 

Book Club Discussion questions

 

1. The three cases that open Case Histories are at first quite separate, and leave you wondering how Atkinson is going to pull it all together into one story. You might discuss whether she is successful at doing that—and how.
2. Case Histories has three unsolved crimes and has a private eye as hero. Kate Atkinson is known as a 'literary writer' and won the Whitbread Prize for her first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum. How is Case Histories different from a traditional detectvie novel—or is it?
3. Jackson believes "that his job was to help people be good rather than punish them for being bad." Another discussion point would be whether you think he is a moral character, and how you feel the revelation of the tragedy in his own past illuminates his actions in the novel.
4. To Jackson, it seems as if everyone he encounters has lost someone or something. One of Kate Atkinson's recurrent themes is that of lost children. In spite of her wicked sense of humour, she creates an overwhelming sense of tension in this novel. Is it that this theme speaks directly to the lost child deep inside every one of us?
5. "Novels gave you a completely false idea about life, they told lies and the implied there were endings when in reality there were no endings, everything just went on and on and on." Is Kate Atkinson being mischievous here, or is this statement true of this novel?

These questions are provided by Transworld Publisher.

 

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