søndag den 28. juni 2009

Kate Atkinson, Case Histories (2004)


This crime novel is Scottish Kate Atkinson´s fourth novel, but the first one with the private detective Jackson Brodie.

It sets out with three stories of loss. First we meet the Land family; the brilliant mathematician Victor Land, his much younger wife Rosemary who does not seem to realize what hit her since she gave birth to the first of her unruly, troublesome girls. Something is certainly wrong in this dysfunctional home, with a father who pursues his career (i.e. spends his time behind his study door) and an ever pregnant mother. In the end of the introduction little Olivia, everybody´s pet, disappears in the middle of the night.

The second story is about the day when fat Theo Wyre persuades his dear daughter Laura to work in his office during the holidays – so much safer than travelling round the earth – before moving off to the university. A stranger forces his way into the office building, asking for Mr Wyre, but as he is away for the day, the man stabs a colleague, and also Laura, who happens to run into the room in the wrong moment.

In the third story we meet Michelle, landed with husband and baby daughter in an old farm house at a far too young age. Michelle is a perfectionist, but there are only so many hours in a day so she is never able to live up to her own sky-high expectations. Something must change!

Many years later relatives of these people who disappeared or died contact Jackson Brodie, private detective, divorced and with enough trouble of his own to contend with.

A marvelous story, especially the sections about the Land family, people who seem to live in a gothic horror environment without really being aware of it. So I have discovered another excellent author– someone who will be on top of my shopping list for our holiday in Scotland.


Kate Atkinson, Familiehistorier (2007)
Denne krimi er skotske Kate Atkinsons fjerde roman, men kun den anden som er oversat til dansk, og den første om detektiven Jackson Brodie.

Bogen begynder med tre historier om tab. Først møder vi familien Land; matematikeren Victor Land, og hans langt yngre kone Rosemary, som vist ikke helt har forstået, hvad der er overgået hende siden hun fødte den første af sine uregerlige, besværlige piger. Noget er helt sikkert galt i det kolde og mørke hus, med en far som har travlt med sin karriere (eller hvad han nu foretager sig bag sin lukkede dør), og en mor som er evindeligt gravid. Dette afsnit slutter med, at lille Olivia, hele familiens kæledægge, forsvinder midt om natten.

Den anden historie handler om den dag hvor overvægtige Theo Wyre overtaler sin kære datter Laura til at arbejde på hans kontor i sommerferien – meget sikrere end at rejse jorden rundt – før hun begynder på universitetet. En fremmed trænger sig ind på kontoret, spørger efter Mr Wyre, men eftersom han er væk fra kontoret netop denne dag, stikker manden en kollega ned, samt Laura, som tilfældigvis løber ind i rummet i det forkerte øjeblik.

I den tredje historie møder vi Michelle, som er havnet i en gammel landejendom med mand og barn i en alt for tidlig alder. Michelle er perfektionist, men der er kun et vist antal timer i døgnet, så hun klarer aldrig at leve op til sine egne skyhøje forventninger. Noget må ske!

Mange år senere kontakter pårørende til de savnede eller dræbte privatdetektiven Jackson Brodie, fraskilt og med masser af personlige problemer at slås med.

En fantastisk historie, især afsnittene om familien Land, som ser ud til at leve midt i et gotisk rædselskabinet uden egentlig at være klar over det selv. Så jeg har opdaget endnu en fremragende forfatter – en klar nummer et på min indkøbsseddel til vores ferie i Skotland.

9 kommentarer:

Beth F sagde ...

This does sound good. Nice review.

Maxine sagde ...

I really enjoyed this novel, especially the first two-thirds or so. It did not quite live up to its amazingly moving and involving start, for me, but even so it is an excellent read and your review really brings it back to me. I must read the next two in the "series" (I think it is quite a loose series), both of which are on my shelves, somewhere...
Very good review, I very much enjoyed reading it.

Dorte H sagde ...

Thank you, Beth. I enjoyed the book so much! Her characters really come alive, and though it is a story about a private detective, it might also be called a thriller.

Dorte H sagde ...

Maxine, I am so glad I found this one by accident. Everybody raves about "When will there be good news", but I have never heard about her before. It is true that the ending is not quite as fantastic as the beginning, but still a very good book.

cathryngrant sagde ...

This was my first Kate A. novel and I loved it. I've also read One Good Turn; Behind the Scenes at the Museum is in my reading stack.

She does such a good job of weaving threads together. Great review - you really captured it.

Cathy sagde ...

I enjoyed this book as well as One Good Turn. I have When Will There Be Good News on my TBR shelves. Her ability to weave together characters and plot lines is amazing!

Dorte H sagde ...

Cathy, good to hear you liked One Good Turn. I just bought it in an Oxfam shop today. When Will there be Good News can wait until it is a bit cheaper - when not in Edinburgh I have to consider the postage also.

Louise sagde ...

I didn't much like this one, but need to note that I read the Danish edition, not the original one. That might have been it:

http://louspages.blogspot.com/2008/10/case-stories-by-kate-atkinson.html

Dorte H sagde ...

Louise, I can see that the ending may be a bit disappointing, but yet I was fascinated by the story of little Olivia´s disappearance.