Big Sky by Kate Atkinson
‘It was a good day when you saved someone’s life. Even better when you didn’t die saving them.’ Lately, that’s the kind of day happening quite often in the life of private investigator Jackson Brodie. In fact, a bit more frequently than he would care for.
Having recently relocated to the East Coast of England, Brodie is busy trailing unfaithful spouses to earn his keep, in the company of his aging labrador Dido (after the Queen of Carthage, not the singer), and the help of his reluctant teenage son Nathan, who’d rather be Instagramming pictures of his breakfast cereal than memorising suspect licence plate numbers. When his investigation crosses paths with detective constables Ronnie and Reggie, who are investigating a new lead in an historical case, the sinister buried past of this family-holiday coastal town threatens to emerge, and upset the easy-going lives of some respectable members of the community.
This novel is not typical of the crime genre. It is a complex literary detective story that weaves together the fates of vulnerable adventurers searching for the promise of a better life, spirited survivors determined to change their fortunes, and a world of garden parties, modern AGA kitchens, golf clubs and the pursuit of a comfortable retirement under the sun with a piña colada at any cost. Told with witty humor and touching humanity, Kate Atkinson shines a light into the cracks of a decaying society trapped by its hidden demons.
Kate Atkinson won the Whitbread Book of the Year award for her first novel Behind the Scenes at the Museum, and has been a regular dweller on the Readings bookshelves ever since. Big Sky is her fifth novel featuring detective Brodie. If you are a newcomer to the series, enter and read on, for this novel will appeal to new acquaintances of Brodie, as much as to old friends.