When Will There Be Good News?: A Novel

by Kate Atkinson

Hardcover, 2008

Call number




Little, Brown and Company (2008), Edition: First Edition, 388 pages


Fiction. Mystery. Thriller. HTML: On a hot summer day, Joanna Mason's family slowly wanders home along a country lane. A moment later, Joanna's life is changed forever ... On a dark night thirty years later, ex-detective Jackson Brodie finds himself on a train that is both crowded and late. Lost in his thoughts, he suddenly hears a shocking sound ... At the end of a long day, sixteen-year-old Reggie is looking forward to watching a little TV. Then a terrifying noise shatters her peaceful evening. Luckily, Reggie makes it a point to be prepared for an emergency ... These three lives come together in unexpected and deeply thrilling ways in the latest novel from Kate Atkinson, the critically acclaimed author who Harlan Coben calls "an absolute must-read.".… (more)

Media reviews

Fact: Atkinson doesn’t write typical crime novels, but literary hybrids. ... Despite an arresting first chapter, what seems of most interest to Atkinson isn’t the solving of crimes, but the solving of the problem of being alive. ... the absence of sustained suspense begins to fray our
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connection to the characters. Sensing perhaps that she’s lollygagging, Atkinson sprints for the last 75 pages, delivering a rushed, overly neat ending that, while cleanly tying up the big threads, leaves many questions about the characters and their futures unanswered.
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2 more
A third appearance for former police investigator and private detective Jackson Brodie in this psychologically astute thriller from Atkinson (One Good Turn, 2006, etc.). ... Like the most riveting BBC mystery, in which understated, deadpan intelligence illuminates characters’ inner lives within a
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convoluted plot.
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User reviews

LibraryThing member lauralkeet
This is the third book in the Jackson Brodie mystery series, and the best so far.

Joanna Hunter seems to have it all: she's a successful doctor and mother of a darling baby boy. But thirty years ago Joanna's life was dramatically changed by tragedy: her mother, sister, and brother were all killed in
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a random act of violence. Joanna appears to have left those emotional scars behind, or at least covered them up really well. Reggie Chase works for Joanna as a mother's helper. She is sixteen and forced to leave school and live on her own after her mother's recent death. Reggie has seen some hard times, but has a keen wit and a love of learning that keep her going. She admires Joanna, and is also somewhat attached to her former teacher, Ms. MacDonald, who is tutoring Reggie for her A-levels. When Joanna disappears and her husband offers a weak explanation, Reggie is sure there's trouble afoot. She follows up on a chance encounter with Detective Chief Inspector Louise Monroe, and gets her involved in finding Joanna.

Meanwhile in a parallel story, Jackson Brodie is just going about his business, traveling from London to Edinburgh. A harrowing event brings him into contact with Reggie, and then with Louise, who it turns out is an old friend. The problem is, several people think Jackson is someone else, and the person they think he is may have stolen Jackson's identity as well. And all Jackson wants to do is make it home before his wife returns from a business trip and finds him missing. But first there's the matter of Joanna Hunter that now requires his attention, too.

There's so much about the story that I can't say, because every thread is so tightly wound with all the others and I don't want to ruin it with even the tiniest spoiler. But was with Case Histories and One Good Turn, Kate Atkinson has written a compelling mystery with some major surprises, and a delightful dose of humor expressed primarily through the thoughts and actions of her well-drawn characters. I enjoyed this book from start to finish.
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LibraryThing member brenzi
Does she ever miss a beat? Kate Atkinson that is. One book after another, unbelievably good writing. Crisp, clean, snappy dialogue. Intricate twisting, turning plot. Multiple threads that somehow, in the end all merge and you think (out loud, of course), "Oh my!"

This book may just be my favorite so
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far in the Jackson Brodie series. Until I read the next one anyway.

A killer who has been in jail for the last thirty years is released, his debt to society paid. His crime was that he killed a mother and two of her three children. That surviving child is now a practicing physician with a child of her own. Should she be living in fear of this murderer who changed her life completely? And how will Jackson Brodie be dragged into this case because, even though it doesn't seem as though he will you know....Oh yeah, you know Atkinson will take you around the bend, and up the block, and under the hedge, and over the hill until finally, there he is, in the middle of it.

But don't take my word for it. Go ahead, dip into a little Atkinson yourself. You won't regret it.
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LibraryThing member indygo88
My 3rd Kate Atkinson, and the 3rd in this series. Still quirky, still enjoyable, yet there's something that keeps me at the "just okay" stage as opposed to the "really like" stage with her books. But still, I keep reading. I really like the character of Jackson Brodie, and I still find myself
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wanting to know more about him. This book, like the previous two, kept him as one of several main characters, whereas I think I'd like to see him in the spotlight a bit more. Alas, I will probably keep going with the series in order to continue to see his character develop.
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LibraryThing member FAR2MANYBOOKS
Action-packed, beautifully written, intelligent, suspenseful and witty as all get out
“A coincidence is just an explanation waiting to happen.” it’s unclear how story lines and major characters are going to intersect. It’s normal in mysteries to not know who the bad guy is, but to not even
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know why the novelist is focusing on the characters she is—well, that takes the “mystery” term to a whole different level… and that’s what Atkinson does, taking this genre to a new high.
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LibraryThing member heroineinabook
One of the reasons I adore Kate Atkinson so much is that her books are mysteries that you didn't know were mysteries until the very end. She has a writing style that I have found to be fairly unique. Her prose tends to border on stream of consciousness and twisted plot lines, but doesn't come off
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as being too presumptuous or even at times, wordy. Her gift is for creating characters that are not always what they seem and at the same time, are fully formed and believable.

Her latest book, When Will There Be Good News? imagines a world where Joanna Hunter (in the now) is re-visited by the horror of her past, her family (mother and siblings) brutally killed when she was six in front of her. Thirty years later, the killer is paroled and Joanna suddenly disappears. The question then becomes, is Joanna Hunter the innocent she has portrayed after all these years?

This is the third book by Atkinson that features Jackson Brodie, a character she created in Case Histories, who has re-appeared in her previous book, One Good Turn. Ex-solider, ex-policeman, Brodie is now a retired millionaire whose own faults seemingly are also his weaknesses. Brodie, who this time around plays a subtle minor character in the drama as it unfolds, seemingly is one step away from the realities that surround him. What he desires and wants, is what we all desire and want an yet for Brodie, everything is almost out of reach.

As with her other books, Atkinson has a gift for sly observation and reporting on and grasping the intricies of the human condition that so many of us either can't grasp or want to forget. When Will There Be Good News? is a taut novel but this is the first of her books I have found to be a little bit more messy in the wrapping up of the plot. Things happen, and to Joanna Hunter, Reggie Chase and Jackson Brodie, they seemingly happen for a reason. We root for them in ways we cannot think we would, and we excuse them of their flaws but it is in their flaws (Brodie's and Hunter's) that seemingly were a little too gapping to make believable.

But in Atkinson's own problems with the writing, it is also her greatest strengths. Atkinson's books are not "skimming" books, you really do have to pay attention as she will throw out a word or a line of dialog that suddenly makes some prior related instances, much more sense. Once she throws that word or line out, it will not be repeated or revisited. Miss that key, and the book will not be as good as you think it could be.

I adore her plot twists and devices as it makes her books wholly full filling. I love the fact that everytime I finish one of her books, I can revsit it at another date and find something new that I missed the first time. I adore the fact that she asks questions that may not always have the easiest answers and her answers (and questions) are not presumptious or overworked.

Pick up any of Atkinson's works and you will not be disappointed -- she's not as well known in the States as she is in the U.K., but while this is not her strongest book, this will hopefully push her over the edge.
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LibraryThing member annbury
This is the third of the Brodie novels, in which he -- and Kate Atkinson -- are in great form. A quick scan of the reviews shows that this positive view is not universal. These books are certainly mysteries, and they certainly involve the police, but they are a long way from your standard police
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procedural. Like life, they depend on coincidence and convergence, and tell several stories at once. The characters are rich and fully developed; indeed, they take over the narrative at times. For me, this is one of the great charms of the series, and this novel has particularly strong and sympathetic characters (as well as some who are not so much). I am reading the series slowly, both to stretch it out, and because each novel is so rich.
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LibraryThing member waddleduck
This was a great book. I was a bit concerned at the beginning as the events described are quite shocking. I also found it a bit difficult to work out what was happening and to get the characters worked out. However once into it the book was gripping and the characters beatifully portrayed. Reggie
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came across as an endearing and sympathetic character whom I instantly empathised with.
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LibraryThing member DubaiReader
Not much good news.

This is a difficult book to review as in some respects it was quite a fun who-done-it but at the same time the endless catalogue of disasters was a bit much to digest. What really reduced the star rating for me, however, were the constant interjections and side comments that
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felt as if the author was constantly interrupting herself.

Joanna Hunter is a loving mother who employs Reggie Chase to look after her small baby while she works. Reggie adopts them as her family and is desperate to find them when they mysteriously disappear. Many twists and turns (and disasters) later, the multiple story lines come together, often in quite unexpected ways. Cleverly resolved, I found myself working back through all the twists when I'd finished.

Good: Plot lines and twists with several excellent characters.
Bad: Too many disasters and constant interruptions.
This is my third Kate Atkinson read and I'll probably read more by this author but I certainly didn't think it was the best of this season's Richard & Judy choices.

Your Tags: who-done-it
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LibraryThing member Tid
It is so hard to write a review of this book without betraying non-readers with "spoilers", so I will have to try it without giving much plot detail at all.

First, this is a crime story. The novel begins with an event so shocking, so apparently reminiscent of an equally shocking true-life English
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murder, that it stuns the reader with no warning. And yet, this event is - from the story's perspective - in "past time", and it is not the solving of it as a case that forms the basis of the novel, but its ramifications reverberating through the next generation. This, of course, is Atkinson's great strength, that she can take an established genre and yet make it entirely her own, succeeding on every level as she goes.

The book is full of characters, beautifully drawn and eccentrically real : Jackson Brodie, her private investigator (retired), with a history of failed relationships; orphan Reggie, a gifted child-woman ("I'm NOT twelve, I'm sixteen! Can I help it if I look young?") with a dysfunctional brother, a classical education, and a stubborn refusal to let 'sleeping dogs lie' - quite literally; Louise, a policewoman with an obsession involving cases where women have survived attempted murder; Joanna Hunter, a doctor who dotes on her baby and her dog, with a mysterious past, and a husband who seems to have a less than straight business.

These characters start the novel apparently all walking their separate paths, but it soon enough becomes clear that their lives are interwoven. It takes another shocking event to bring them all (sometimes unknowingly) together, an event that at first seems dramatically over-the-top, but which soon emerges as the novel's central plot device, around which the characters encounter each other, from which mistaken identities arise, and through which the events unfold which lead to the novel's dramatic conclusion.

This is a tour-de-force. It does not seek to turn the crime thriller genre on its head, yet in its own brilliance, it does so. Character and psychology displace methodology and dogged detective work; and as ever with Atkinson's work, the reverberation of events through time provide a vivid tapestry upon which the 'smaller warp and weft' of daily life, and the unfolding of personality, take place. As for the conventions of the genre, most loose ends are tied, leaving one or two open for exploration in (one hopes, passionately) the next novel in this series.

(Footnote : for those who like a good "whodunnit", Agatha Christie-style, who prefer their genres more formulaic and less unpredictable, this novel MAY not be for you. It is first and foremost a literary novel, not a genre novel.)
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LibraryThing member cat-ballou
So you may recall that I was intensely disappointed by the immediate sequel to Kate Atkinson's brilliant Case Histories, One Good Turn. That disappointment was a big part of why I waited so long to pick this one up. I knew that eventually I would read it, because I enjoy Kate Atkinson & I adore her
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work, and because that's the way I roll, but why hasten what will be a certain frustration, right? WRONG!

This was a much stronger piece of work - in every way - than One Good Turn. Serves me right for prejudging the book. What seems to be Atkinson's now-signature mystery structure - i.e. expressing the narrative from different characters' points of view - works quite well throughout (almost) the entire book, and I couldn't see the twist coming.

The only tiny nit I would pick is that there were a lot of quotes. From Shakespeare, from poems, from nursery rhymes, from ancient philosophers. All the major characters quoted. A lot. If I were better-educated, or more erudite, I might appreciate it more, because I think Atkinson was going for a unifying characteristic. As it is, however, it comes across as a bit the wrong side of pretentious and could stand to be toned down. All in all, though, four-and-a-half stars.
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LibraryThing member bfister
A 4MA discussion book, and one that met with varied reactions. I loved it. I remember when reading her first Brodie book being amazed at the coincidences, then coming to terms with what it seems to me she's doing. She's not writing crime fiction, and she's not mocking it or transcending anything.
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She's reacting, though (I think) to what crime fiction does, which is take a group of people and a terrible thing (a murder, usually), explore how those people react to the terrible thing, the reason for which or the resolution of which is unknown, then pull it all together into a solution - both of the crime and of the sense that crimes or other terrible things (like sudden death or betrayal or deviant behavior or jealousy or greed) have the potential to challenge the ways we organize our belief (in God, in the police, in the basic goodness of most people in a crisis, in our own untested morality). That's one of the reasons mysteries are satisfying. They give us dramatic discord and they involve us in resolution, and they do it entertainingly, whether dark or light, take your pick. It seems to me that Atkinson (at least in the Brodie books) is taking all the incident and drama we expect in a mystery, but instead of logic and those social organizations that are there to protect us driving the story line and the weaving together of plot strands, coincidence is what makes things go forward. And it's not just randomness; Its as if randomness has a strange quality that charges all the particles in the book so they'll be drawn together. What she's doing is both giving us the ripping good story we crave, but giving a completely different reason for how the story will move along. Where in other mysteries there would be reasons for every connection that's made (even if the reasons were a strain, and not reasonable, really, there'd be reasons) here there are no reasons. Just loads of points of connection. As if to say: What if that connectedness and meaning we crave were there, but not as usual? What if they were connected in some other way, an almost opposite way to reason. I find these such joyful books - and I feel the same uplift as when a really good crime fiction writer is in a really generous mood and lets things click satisfyingly into place, though it might be more realistic or more modern to let them stay broken. These books wouldn't work at all if a) she were not as good a writer as she is - she's funny and touching and wise and just plain good - and b) she were smirking at her cleverness; look, I'm taking a genre and bending it and aren't I doing something amazing? She doesn't smirk at all, at the genre or the reader or the characters.

Okay, so she's messed with the rules of nature, but I like the way she's done it. Very much.
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LibraryThing member BellaFoxx
When Will There Be Good News? is one of those books that has three or four story lines that seem totally unrelated to each other but bit by bit they come together. This book is told from the perspective of Joanna Mason, who witnesses a crime when she is six, now it is 30 years later and the man
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convicted of the crime is released from prison. It is also told from the view of sixteen-year-old Reggie, who knows about bad things since 'bad things happen to me all the time'. The doctor she works for is missing and Reggie is convinced something has happened to her. We also are following a plot line with Detective Chief Inspector Louise Monroe, who has her own missing person to find and Jackson Brodie, who for a while is himself missing, who is a private detective and friend of the Chief Inspector. Oh and a train crashes. The various story lines may sound confusing here, but when reading the book they are clear, what is not clear is how they are all going to intersect, slowly it comes together, but not too slowly. The characters are all real, so much you can actually hear Reggie say, "Sweartogod" when you know she is lying.

I bought this book on a Saturday in the city, started reading it on the way home and finished it on Monday. The back cover says, "Unputdownable." I don't think that is a real word, and I did put it down, I do have to at least look like I am working when I am at my job. Strong character development, intriguing story line, even the back and forth relating of events, the same events from one point of view than another was not confusing and served to capture my interest. The book is labeled Crime Fiction but it is not a mystery in the true sense of the word, it is more about how crime effects us, the decisions we make and the people we become when we grow up.

I recommend this book.
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LibraryThing member cbl_tn
This is my favorite book yet in the Jackson Brodie series. Once again, coincidences spiral, connecting Brodie with people who need his help. This time, it's 16-year-old Reggie Chase, who is worried when her employer, Dr. Hunter, disappears with her baby. When she can't convince the police that Dr.
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Hunter is in danger, she turns to Brodie for help. He owes her.

Reggie's character is what set the book apart for me. Reggie is a survivor. She's streetwise, bright, and ambitious, and she finds ways to make herself indispensable to the few people she cares about. I loved Reggie's interaction with Brodie. She's several years older than Brodie's daughter, and the dynamic of their relationship suggests what Jackson's relationship with his daughter could become down the road. One feature of this series is the reappearance of characters from earlier novels. I hope Reggie is one of the characters who will show up again.
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LibraryThing member Greatrakes
I ripped through this book, and enjoyed it. The book starts with a multiple murder we are then cast adrift in the present. Numerous characters appear, some familiar from the earlier books.

These threads move in channels, each character has information that the others don't, including Brodie who had
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information that he didn't know he had due to memory loss. Of course, if Poirot had had all the clues that Atkinson scatters around her characters, the various crimes would have been solved in half a book.

As it is, we are left urging them all just to talk to each other, to the extent that two thirds of the way through the book, I found myself thinking that nothing was happening because the none of the clues were were understood, and then realised that actually there had been a kidnapping, a train crash, a dead old lady, an arson attack and murdered policeman just in the last few chapters.

Three more people die, the kidnapped woman and baby escape, Jackson Brodie regains his memory and the last wife, which we think may be an illusion, turns out to be a real fake person who steals all his money, until some more money turns up from France, and he may have a baby by Julia whose sister Amelia is ruthlessly killed off. Phew, and that's only a fraction of it.

I love the fact that this works as crime fiction, is laugh out loud funny, and that all the characters are tied to each other in the most improbable series of co-incidences.

I have just started "Left Early Took My Dog".
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LibraryThing member readingwithtea
Summary: Joanna is the only survivor of an appalling crime as a small child. Thirty years later, the perpetrator is out of prison and she disappears. Motherless prodigy Reggie is her nanny and seems to be the only one concerned that she has vanished.

This is absolutely harrowing in the
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relentlessness of bad news (the title turns out to be very appropriate) but exquisitely written. The mix of characters is almost unbelievable, and yet they slot together into the machinery of the novel's plot seamlessly. Reggie and Joanna are beautifully written - both pretty disturbed, but trying to make the best of a bad world.

I loved the portrayal of Edinburgh, with its dark streets and contrast between its affluent and impoverished areas. The extraneous components scattered into the plot (for example, the Bangladeshi corner shop owner and his family) add depth and weight to the scene-setting.
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LibraryThing member BONS
Aah, a British mystery, add a lil' Scottish accent, toss in a good dog, my how I have taken to Kate Atkinson.

I typed the above as I was starting this one. How did it take me so long to find Kate Atkinson? Her character development is just outstanding without boring me, even down to the description
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of clothes as it relates in this case to Reggie a very unusual 16 year old.

The immediate capture of your attention starts at least on page two. You are back a few decades reliving a crime that will come back into play in present time while encircling so many other characters. Know the mystery that you intently read and POP there's that pop of humor you didn't expect that has you laughing out loud and then oh quickly back to the details and the story? Know that book that leaves you visualing each character, that if you passed them on the walk you'd certainly recognize them? Oh and that male character that's rough shod, smart and ever so desirable? Yes, each of these is how I "live in" When Will There Be Good News. Yes, yes, I'll admit I do find myself missing the most desirable Jackson Brodie, isn't he reason enough to try the Kate Atkinson series? = ) Indeed! 4*
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LibraryThing member cathyskye
First Line: The heat rising up from the tarmac seemed to get trapped between the thick hedges that towered above their heads like battlements.

When Joanna Mason was six, she obeyed her mother and lived while all the rest of them died. Thirty years later, Jackson Brodie is on a crowded train that's
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running late when he hears a horrible sound. Sixteen-year-old Reggie is looking forward to watching a little television at the end of a long day, but her peaceful evening is shattered. Luckily Reggie makes it a point to be prepared for emergencies.

Once again Kate Atkinson has created three living, breathing characters with absolutely nothing in common and then brought them together in such a way that you can't take your eyes off the page. From the very first Jackson Brodie book (Case Histories), I learned that Atkinson is a master plot weaver and a master at creating characters that you come to know better than you know yourself.

Jackson Brodie is in one of his usual muddles and finds himself in Scotland where Joanna Mason now lives as an adult with her husband and infant son. Detective Chief Inspector Louise Monroe is a law unto herself and wouldn't be able to stay out of this book if her life depended on it. You see, she cares for Brodie even though she won't admit it.

To the mix of Brodie, Mason and Monroe add a sixteen-year-old who's an "unstoppable force of nature" and more than fierce enough to resemble a "Jack Russell fending off a pack of Dobermans." Young Reggie is the catalyst in this book, and she's a treasure. She single-handedly gets all the adults moving because she refuses to turn her back when she knows something is wrong. No one's ever been able to make Reggie understand that kids can't get results when they put their minds to it. (I'd love to see her as an adult!)

Each character takes a turn at telling us their side of the story, and it's the stream-of-consciousness story telling that allows us to get so far into each character's mind. Getting to know these wonderful characters almost makes the intricately woven plot surplus to requirements... almost. For, without the plot, Brodie and Louise and Joanna and Reggie wouldn't be able to meet and try to get everything put to rights again.

Reading one of Kate Atkinson's Jackson Brodie books is an experience to be savored. Her various plot threads and characters that slowly move together may not be everyone's cup of tea, but if it's yours, please don't miss the pleasure of reading these excellent books.
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LibraryThing member CasualFriday
As is apparently my pattern, I picked up this mystery/suspense book unaware that it was the third in a series, which may partially account for the fact that I was moderately confused during the first third of the story. The other source of the confusion is the three separate plotlines, but the
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author adroitly weaves them together around page 100 or so.

Most of the main characters have experienced tragedy in their lives: ex-cop Jackson Brodie's sister died by murder and his brother by suicide; teen-aged Reggie lost her mother in a bizarre drowning; Johanna Hunter survived the massacre of her mother and two siblings (survivor guilt runs rampant in this novel). Police detective Louise Monroe, trapped in a lackluster marriage and in her own sour defensiveness, is obsessed with a woman who escaped murder at the hands of her husband, and also wants to warn Johanna that the murderer of her family is scheduled to be released from prison. All these stories come together after a devasting train wreck.

Despite the complicated structure, this is a suspenseful page-turner, with interesting and believable characters.
I especially liked Reggie, an endearing, annoying Harriet the Spy type whose grief over her mother and affection for Joanna colors everything she does. She is relentless and focused when the adults around her are wallowing in their own stuff.
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LibraryThing member msf59
Like anyone, who has read the previous Jackson Brodie novels can tell you, Atkinson has a twisty, serpentine style of story-telling, which she handles quite deftly. She introduces several disparate characters and then gradually brings them together in clever sometimes shocking ways. You will find
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crimes and mysteries, humor and violence, all anchored by her sharp delightful prose. Brodie remains a minor figure in the story until the second half but the author does present another winning character in Reggie Chase, a smart spunky sixteen year old, a recent orphan who loves books. I choose not to elaborate anymore than that, no spoilers here and for a much better summation check out Wookiebender’s terrific review. This is another perfect gem from Atkinson, the third book in this series and I highly recommend it!
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LibraryThing member Tatoosh
When, indeed! It’s a grim world that Atkinson creates for readers, a world in which almost everyone is damaged and, to some extent, alienated. There is Joanne who survived the massacre of her mother, older sister, and younger brother at age 6 and, as an acclaimed athlete and physician, married a
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man possibly involved in criminal activity and plotting her murder. There is Louise, a police detective who married a successful, attentive, caring man and can’t stand him. There Jackson who married a woman because he could never bring himself to express his feelings to the woman he actually loved.

Atkinson seems particularly averse to depicting men in an unreservedly positive manner, but in fairness most of the women don’t fare particularly well either. Parenthetic observation: In an interview with Nancy Pearl Atkinson said she doesn’t understand men so she wrote Jackson as a woman. Yet Jackson’s actions and motivations are completely consistent with those of most men I know. Men and women are just not that different in many important respects.

Thank goodness for Reggie, the 16-year-old girl whose mother died, leaving her alone in the world with a delinquent older brother. Not only is she seemingly the only healthy person in Atkinson’s universe, she is genuinely likeable, competent, and resourceful.

This is the third Atkinson novel including Jackson Brodie. I can’t say it “features” him as he receives much less attention than some of the other characters. As in the earlier novels in this series, the emphasis is on character development and it is there that Atkinson excels. Page after page reveals additional quirks, attitudes, experiences, and thoughts of the characters with very little attention given to plot. Some of the characters like Reggie are genuinely appealing while Atkinson’s treatment of others like Brodie-who gets lost because he forgot to take his map, can’t get around a sheep in the road, then gets on a train going the wrong direction-is irritating. “Why was he always in the wrong place at the wrong time?” succinctly states Atkinson’s view of Brodie.

A plot does begin to appear about page 60 in “When …,” but there is certainly no hurry to give it form and substance. The story kicks into high gear when Brodie, Louise, Jackson, and Reggie wind up in the same car. Louise and Jackson play the part of the quarreling children with Reggie as the adult. Genuinely funny! Yet like so many books I have read recently, Atkinson feels a need to tie up all the secondary and tertiary plot lines after the climax.

“When …” is interesting throughout and captivatingly “can’t put down” when Louise, Jackson and Reggie join forces. She crafts a genuinely surprising resolution to the case of the missing woman, and Brodie is in for a major surprise himself.
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LibraryThing member schmadeke
Shana's Review:

When Will There Be Good News? is nothing short of a delightful read. Atkinson gives us a sumptuous combination of wonderful well-developed characters, an engaging plot line, and the prose that I am quickly coming to expect of her - clean, subtle, and smart.

The novel is narrated
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alternately and in the third person by Jackson Brodie, Reggie Chase, and Louise Monroe. I quickly fell in love with all three. Incidentally, I have not read Atkinson's previous two novels featuring Jackson Brodie and did not feel this hindered my enjoyment of the story in any way.

Atkinson's skill as a writer shows in the adept way in which she ties disparate characters and story lines together. In the beginning, I couldn't fathom how this would happen, but when it did, I was amazed at how right it felt.

I would categorize When Will There Be Good News? as literary suspense. There were several questions that were not answered until the end. What is most amazing about Atkinson is that she gives us an intricately woven story but it doesn't feel complicated. Everything seems very ordinary, yet lovely, and brilliant, and even comic. I love that Atkinson's books are sprinkled with words that are unique to 'British English,' but not overly so.

Very rarely do I read a book that makes me want to buy up all an author's previous novels and devour them as soon as possible, but Kate Atkinson is quickly becoming this author to me. First, I was wowed by Behind the Scenes at the Museum, and now When Will There Be Good News? has completely captivated me and taken my adoration of this author up yet another notch.
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LibraryThing member bearette24
This book was a bloodbath, but an intelligently written one. At times I lost track of whom various people had killed. However, the main characters are well-drawn and memorable. I will definitely read the next book in the series - the ending was left wide open, implying that there will be one.
LibraryThing member Cherylk
When Joanna Mason was six years old she witnesses an act so horrendous that no little girl should ever have to see. Joanna was the sole survivor of her family. Her mother, sister and brother were all murdered. Now thirty years later, the man who took Joanna’s family from her has been released
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from prison.

Reggie is the nanny for Dr. Hunter. Reggie and Dr. Hunter have a really good relationship, so when one day Dr. Hunter disappears, Reggie worries but it seems that Reggie is the only one that is concerned about Dr. Hunter.

Then there is Detective Chief Inspector Louise Monroe, she is on a mission to locate a missing person. Louise Monroe did not expect to see Jackson Brodie, a longtime friend. It seems Jackson Brodie has a mission of his own to accomplish. Before he can complete it, Brodie has a fatal accident.

There was a good connection with the characters, which helped me to stay interested in this book till the end. When Will There Be Good News? is the third book in this series to feature Jackson Brodie. I have to admit that When Will There Be Good News? is the first book Jackson Brodie book I have read. I thought it was a well-written novel. This story can also be read as a stand alone book. Kate Atkinson added some nice twists in the story line at just the right times. This story had a lot of depth in it. The lesson learned was that you may have made many mistakes in your life but when you are handed a second chance in live it is about how you make the most of it that really counts. For anyone who is looking for a change of pace in their everyday typical reading should give Kate Atkinson a try.
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LibraryThing member malpower
This book knocked me out -- there are such tragic spots in it, starting on the first pages, and I simply worried about characters as I read on -- very hard for me to put this book down, I HAD to know how it ended, for better or worse. There are a number of stories going on at once, as usual, and
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the continuation of the lives of a couple of the characters first seen in Case Histories. It is written as all of her books are with great humor in spite of the tragic situations, much understanding of her well-drawn characters, and always just enough happiness tossed in at some point to lighten the dark spots. I like Atkinson's books so much that I snatched this one up the minute I saw it had come out without having read any reviews. I am never disappointed with her books.
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LibraryThing member frisbeesage
Joanna Hunter, witness to a horrendous crime when she was six, is living a quiet, well-ordered life, until a killer is released from jail. "When Will There Be Good News" revolves around this central story, but if you think this is an ordinary crime novel, think again! This is the third book in the
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Jackson Brodie series and when Jackson is around things never go as expected. He is an ex-cop turned private investigator who never really means to do the right thing, but can't seem to stop himself. And doing the right thing, for Jackson, somehow always lands him in hot water.

I was pleased to see that Louise, a detective with a heart of gold and emotions of steel, is back. She always gives Jackson a run for his money! I was absolutely charmed by Reggie, mother's helper to Joanna, Sadie, Joanna's loyal (and huge) dog, and by Joanna herself. I can't wait to see if any of them are back in the next book!

I listened to the audio version of "When Will There Be Good News" and Ellen Archer's (2007 Audie Award winner) lovely accent and beautiful characterizations add even more depth to this already fantastic book.

A fast paced, intelligent, complex plot, deliciously flawed characters, and truly evil villains make this book a must read!
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0316154857 / 9780316154857
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