Kate Atkinson kind of backed into mystery writing. She’s an English writer who was better known for her literary novels. Then she kshe wrote Case Histories. I loved that book with a passion, even though it had a few flaws. One of the last conversations I had with mystery author Barbara Seranella before she died was an intense pro-con discussion on the book. Barbara thought it had too much going on and too many coincidences. Maybe. I still loved it.
And now I’ve got When Will There Be Good News. I read the first few pages sitting waiting for my husband’s car to have the winter tires put on. In just a half hour she made me shiver (literally – I got goose bumps sitting on a hard plastic chair trying to ignore the football game on TV) and then laugh out loud a few pages later.
The shiver: (POV 6 year old girl)
“But the man had a knife, and he kept raising it in the air, so that it shone like silver in the hot afternoon sun. Her mother started to scream. There was blood on her face, on her hands, on her strong legs, on her strawberry dress. Then Joanna realized that her mother wasn’t screaming at the man, she was screaming at her.”
The laugh: (POV 16 year old girl)
Ms. McDonald could probably have got these things herself, as she was still using her car, a blue Saxo that she drove the way that an excitable and nearsighted chimpanzee might have done, accelerating when she should be braking, braking when she should be accelerating, going slow in the fast lane, fast in the slow lane, like someone on an amusement-arcade simulator rather than a real road.”
If you like crime fiction, get this book! If you like character-driven fiction, get this book! Heck, just get it!