It is the Edinburgh Festival. People queuing for a lunchtime show witness a road-rage incident - an incident which changes the lives of everyone involved. Jackson Brodie, ex-army, ex-police, ex-private detective, is also an innocent bystander - until he becomes a suspect.
With Case Histories, Kate Atkinson showed how brilliantly she could explore the crime genre and make it her own. In One Good Turn she takes her masterful plotting one step further. Like a set of Russian dolls each thread of the narrative reveals itself to be related to the last. Her Dickensian cast of characters are all looking for love or money and find it in surprising places. As ever with Atkinson what each one actually discovers is their true self.
Unputdownable and triumphant, One Good Turn is a sharply intelligent read that is also percipient, funny, and totally satisfying.
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An absolute joy to read...the pleasure of OneGoodTurn lies in the ride, in Atkinson's wry, unvanquished characters, her swooping, savvy, sarcastic prose and authorial joie de vivre. - Guardian
Atkinson is frequently very funny...while the tone stays light, the plot continues to darken....manages to be that rarest of things - a good literary novel and a cracking holiday read. - Observer
Thrillingly addictive...In One Good Turn Atkinson proves quite unique in her ability to fuse emotional drama and thriller...Imagine a Richard Curtis film scripted by Raymond Chandler, both a little enlivened by the collaboration...The mix is embodied by Brodie. Like all good detectives, he is a hero for men and women alike. - The Times
Delivers everything a good book should have. It's a fantastic detective story and a wonderful piece of writing...has taken the crime genre to another level. - Daily Express
One story nests within another, like the set of Russian dolls that Martin owns...Kate Atkinson has that priceless Ancient Mariner ability that keeps the reader turning the pages. - Spectator
Whatever she does is done to the highest of literary standards. She has produced an engrossing, enjoyable, complex novel packed with intriguing characters, vividly imagined scenes and a compelling plot. - Times Literary Supplement
An extraordinary tapestry that is both hilarious, poignant and unexpected...Atkinson at her peak: full of wit, surprises and humanity. Not to be missed. - Sunday Express
Kate Atkinson'sOne Good Turn was the second novel after Case Histories to feature the former private detective Jackson Brodie. He made a welcome return in When Will There Be Good News? (voted Richard & Judy Best Read of the Year) and in Started Early, Took My Dog. The first three Brodie novels were adapted into a successful BBC TV series starring Jason Isaacs. Kate won the Whitbread (now Costa) Book of the Year prize for her first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, and has been a critically acclaimed author ever since. She was appointed MBE in the 2011 Queen's Birthday Honours list.