One Good Turn: A Novel

by Kate Atkinson

Paperback, 2007

Call number




Back Bay Books (2007), Edition: Reprint, 418 pages


Fiction. Mystery. Suspense. HTML:On a beautiful summer day, crowds lined up outside a theater witness a sudden act of extreme road rage: a tap on a fender triggers a nearly homicidal attack. Jackson Brodie, ex-cop, ex-private detective, new millionaire, is among the bystanders. The event thrusts Jackson into the orbit of the wife of an unscrupulous real estate tycoon, a washed-up comedian, a successful crime novelist, a mysterious Russian woman, and a female police detective. Each of them hiding a secret, each looking for love or money or redemption or escape, they all play a role in driving Jackson out of retirement and into the middle of several mysteries that intersect in one sinister scheme. Kate Atkinson "writes such fluid, sparkling prose that an ingenious plot almost seems too much to ask, but we get it anyway," writes Laura Miller for Salon. With a keen eye for the excesses of modern life, a warm understanding of the frailties of the human heart, and a genius for plots that turn and twist, Atkinson has written a novel that delights and surprises from the first page to the last.… (more)

Media reviews

Provocative, entertaining and beautifully written. It’s not quite the tour de force that her Case Histories (2004) was, but this latest affords the happy sight of seeing Atkinson stretch out into speculative territory again.

User reviews

LibraryThing member cameling
This is not a book you can read casually. This is a book that requires a bit of concentration because of the interlocking stories. However, it is these very interlocking stories which capture your attention. It is the complexities in the different relationships between couples, families and then
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strangers that keep you engaged throughout the book.

This reads like a superbly directed fast-moving movie, you see the scenes in your mind, you feel the thrill of the chase, the twists in the plots and you feel the confusion in Martin, an author of cosy detective stories, as he is unwittingly dragged into a web of intrigue and murder.

Police detectives, ex-policemen, a suspicious agency of cleaners, a self-centered actress, an intrepid writer, a comedian wearing an unfortunate accessory, henchmen,the Russian mob and a couple of dead bodies are all thrown into the swirling cauldron. It had all the potential for a murky mess, but instead this is a very well constructed and captivating read.
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LibraryThing member laytonwoman3rd
This woman could get to be an addiction with me. I love the way she manages multiple story lines without unnecessary confusion--you know it's all going to come together eventually and watching it happen is so much fun. In this one our man Jackson Brodie spends most of his time on the wrong side of
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things---the law, his girlfriend, his own psyche. He starts by finding, then losing, a dead body. Nobody believes any of it. And it doesn't get better for a long time. Then he meets Detective Inspector Louise Monroe, who can't figure him out but can't quite bring herself to handcuff him and throw him in the slammer, which she suspects is what she ought to do if she wants to save her career. There are raunchy teenage boys, ("essence of testosterone and feet"); Crazy Russian Girls who are terrific house cleaners but probably also prostitutes (Or assassins?); a man with baseball bat; a missing corporate slimeball; a black garbage bag full of money; many humorous touches....and a nifty surprise at the end. Oh, and Edinburgh--let's not forget how much of a character the city is in this novel. A romp, that's what I'd call One Good Turn. Pure escapist pleasure.
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LibraryThing member karieh
Just some quick back story...I did read "Case Histories" by Atkinson, which is the prelude to this book. I remember hearing RAVE reviews about that book, but I was disappointed by it. The story was interesting enough, but I just wasn't captured by any of the characters.

And this book...seemed to be
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the same way (except that I spent the first 124 pages trying to remember which characters were in "Case Histories" because I can't seem to find my copy)...until I hit page 125. And then - she got me. I was sucked in. At that point - I had to know what happened, had to know more about these very interested and extremely flawed characters. And? All the coincidences that were piling up were intriguing as well. Atkinson dances right up to the line of cheesiness with all of the coincidences...but doesn't cross it. Instead, she just got me turning the pages faster.

The magic of this book is that it is so well written that the reader doesn't feel guilty for devouring a page turning mystery. Descriptions like: "...the kind of books that Martin wrote, in the person of his alter ego, Alex Blake. They were old-fashioned, soft-boiled crime novels featuring a heroine named Nina Riley, a gung ho kind of girl who had inherited a detective agency from her uncle. The books were set in the forties, just after the war. It was an era in history that Martin felt particularly drawn to, the monochrome deprivation of it, the undertow of seedy disappointment in the wake of heroism. The Vienna of The Third Man, the Home Counties of Brief Encounter." So well written - I feel exactly what she is describing.

Also - there are little asides that each character has that are both insightful and humorous. "Gloria didn't believe in heaven, although she did occasionally worry that it was a place that existed only if you did believe in it. She wondered if people would be so keen on the idea of the next life if it was, say, underground. Or full of people like Pam. And relentlessly, tediously boring, like an everlasting Baptist service but without the occasional excitement of a full immersion." What seems like a serious musing has that twist of British humor that gets me every time.

Another example of that is this (also from Gloria): "She imagined the little factory of cells that was her body taking in the chocolate and fat and flour (and probably carcinogenic additives) and sending them off on conveyer belts to different processing rooms. This industry, dedicated to the greater good that was Gloria, was run on cooperative, profit sharing lines. In this model Gloria factory, the cells were a cheerful, happy workforce who sang along to Worker's Playtime from a Tannoy radio. They were unionized and benefited from subsidized housing and health care..."

In a mystery? I love it!

The characters of Gloria and Jackson were the most compelling to me. I kept finding myself wanting to steer them in different direction because I was worried about them. They were the most optimistic, sometimes absurdly so...and I wanted their hopes to prove true, even when pitted against certain doom.

Though I am nothing like an Anglophile, I always enjoy the feeling of tea, chintz, dark woods and musty drawing rooms that seem to accompany many books set in the United Kingdom. This book has that feel as many mentions of biscuits and takeaway. Which I am a sucker for.

Like I said, when I started this book, I was reminded of my disappointment with the first book. When I finished One Good Turn, however, I was filled with delight that there is another book coming in the series.

And the end? THE END? I sooooo didn't see that coming - but I loved it!!!!!
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LibraryThing member Eyejaybee
Kate Atkinson seems to go from strength to strength, as does her regular protagonist, Jackson Brodie. There is no point burying the lead - I loved this book the first time I read it, and enjoyed it even more re-reading it now. In some ways it was like shooting fish in a barrel for me, featuring a
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host of aspects that might have been designed specifically to appeal to me: Edinburgh, the festival, a complex but very plausible plot, along with a very humorous parody of crime fiction itself.

The story opens with a vicous episode of road rage on the streets of Edinburgh which ends with one driver being beaten senseless by the man whose car had shunted into him. The crowds queuing to enter one of the venues for a show on the Fringe look on aghast, but all are frozen into inactivity and are incapable of intervening ... with one exception. Martin Canning is an unassuming and physically unimpressive man, but as he watches, horrified, while the beating continues, something in his mind snaps and he hurls his rucksack at the attacker. This breaks his flow and the interruption causes the attacker to withdraw. Martin Canning then accompanies the victim to hospital and stays with him for the rest of the day.

We gradually learn more about Martin Canning who, as Alex Blake, has been a very successful writer of crime novels in the 'cosy' mode. Little does he realise that he is about to be sucked into a plot that dwarfs the ones from his novels in its complexity and capacity to terrify.

Meanwhile Jackson Brodie, who also witnessed the attack, is in Edinburgh with his partner Julia Land, an aspiring (though not particularly talented) actress who has landed a part in a play being staged at one of the Fringe venues. Brodie has an interesting past - former soldier, former police inspector, and former private detective, he is now more or les retired after having inherited a huge fortune from one of his clients. He is, however, restless and struggles with his luxurious life.

While preparations for her play take up all of Julia's time he takes to exploring Edinburgh and, after some aimless wandering, ends up at Cramond, one of Edinburgh's affluent commuter overspill towns. He wanders across a causeway to an island in the Forth where he discovers the corpse of a beautiful woman. However, before he can summon help, or even secure the body, the turning tide sweeps in and pulls the corpse away, almost drowning Brodie into the bargain.

These are just two of the more prominent plot-lines, though there are several more, all of which are deftly handled, and resolved with a masterful denouement. Brodie is a brilliantly drawn character - far from flawless but overwhelmingly sympathetic. In fact, all of the characters are equally credible and engaging.

AND, there's even a cat!
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LibraryThing member brenzi
I guess I'm just a complete sucker for Kate Atkinson's dark humor. I mean, how else to explain guffawing my way through over 400 pages of her crackerjack banter. I can't tell you how much I appreciate the suspense that builds and builds as random, seemingly unconnected events and characters are
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developed in that unique Atkinson way that had me lapping up page after page of this well crafted crime novel. And it doesn't hurt that the inimitable Jackson Brodie is, once again, in rare form, demonstrating his woeful attempts at romance with a familiar face.

Excellent read and that leaves one more to go to be ready for the BBC screen production of the first three Brodie novels on PBS in October. That should be fabulous because I think Atkinson's work should translate easily to the, er, small screen. Very highly recommended.
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LibraryThing member SamSattler
That "One Good Turn" does not always lead to another is a harsh fact of life that several of Kate Atkinson’s characters learn the hard way in this, her second Jackson Brodie novel. Their experience is, in fact, more one of no good deed going unpunished.

None of the festival crowd trying to
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negotiate the streets of crowded Edinburgh is quite prepared for the case of road rage unfolding in front of it over what is, after all, only a very minor traffic incident. One driver, though, emerges with baseball bat in hand and seems anxious to start swinging it. As the violence escalates, some members of the crowd, including Jackson Brodie, ex-policeman and retired private detective, are moved to do the right thing, choices that do not go unnoticed by the maniac with the baseball bat.

Upon the arrival of the authorities, the crowd quickly breaks up and all the witnesses go their own way with the exception of Martin Canning, a rather effeminate writer of throwback mysteries, who accompanies the road rage victim on an ambulance ride to the hospital. A Kate Atkinson novel is never simple, though, and when the psychopathic driver decides to hunt down the witnesses to his road rage, Atkinson begins to juggle half a dozen plotlines that seem, at first, to have little to do with one another. Atkinson develops each plotline on its own, fully developing her characters along the way and, as she did in "Case Histories," gradually overlaps the characters to tell a story bigger than the sum of its parts.

Atkinson peoples "One Good Turn" with a colorful assortment of characters, all of whom will have their lives changed forever because of a random traffic accident that has nothing to do with any of them. Jackson Brodie, feeling a bit emasculated by all the money he inherited from a former client, is in the city because Julia, also from "Case Histories," is there to perform in a festival play. Gloria, wife of sleazy homebuilder and thug Graham Hatter, witnesses the accident while on an outing with a flighty friend of hers. Newly promoted police detective Louise Monroe learns that her 14-year-old son and his friend were thrilled by the violence they witnessed. Throw a few illegal alien Russian women, a circus, a mistaken-identity murder, a dumb-as-a-post psychopath, and a disappearing drowning victim into the mix and things tend to get a bit wild.

Be advised that, as usual in a Kate Atkinson novel, the reader must pay strict attention to all the characters and their goings-on in order to appreciate the intricate plot that Atkinson weaves. No snoozing allowed.

I thoroughly enjoyed "One Good Turn" but Atkinson does stretch “coincidence” to its breaking point often enough that I have to limit its rating to four stars.

Rated at: 4.0
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LibraryThing member lit_chick
One Good Turn is set in summer in the midst of Edinburgh Festival. The novel takes place over four days and is written in the same form of various character strands as was Case Histories. Jackson Brodie, of course, is at the center of the cast of characters, all of whom are somehow involved in the
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novel’s pivotal mystery. The relationship between the characters unravels throughout the story, and all of the strands are brought together at its conclusion. Truthfully, this style is not a favourite of mine; I find it lends itself too easily to feeling contrived. And I have to say I would have liked more Jackson Brodie in One Good Turn and less of some of the other characters. That said, Atkinson continues to absolutely delight with intelligent, witty humour. An Edinburgh driver, attempting to navigate streets mad with Festival goers, is interrupted by a wayward pedestrian:

“It was a type he loathed – a young, dark-haired guy with thick, black-framed spectacles, two days of stubble, and a fag hanging out of his mouth, there hundreds of them in London, all trying to look like French existentialists from the sixties. He’d bet that not one of them had ever opened a book on philosophy.” (Ch 1)
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LibraryThing member ShellyS
It is now clear to me that these Jackson Bodie books are not traditional mysteries. They're suspenseful novels with a group of characters and Brodie gets sucked into interacting with most if not all of them on some level, and things that look unconnected will likely connect or be revealed as being
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connected by book's end.

Which is fine, because I really like Brodie, even when he's acting like an idiot, because he's so human about it, and because Atkinson is a fine writer, good with words and character development. She can also thread together seemingly disparate plot points as well as anyone.

In this, an incident of road rage in a Scots town in the midst of a fair, sets things in motion. Brodie, there with his lover Julia, from the earlier Case Histories, who is performing in a play there, ends up a witness to the incident. He also finds and loses the body of a young woman who might've drowned, meets a tough-minded woman detective who has a teen son who might or might not be in legal trouble, and finds himself the target of the attacker in the road rage incident. Throw in a murder (in a case of mistaken identity) and a housing/real estate scandal, and you end up with a complex tale well told. Just don't expect Brodie, supposedly the main character, to be the focus. He is, at times, but he has to share the spotlight.
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LibraryThing member AriadneAranea
Out of the three 'Jackson Brodie' novels, I think this - the middle one, but I read it last - is my favourite, probably because it felt less like a genre crime novel. (Ironically, perhaps, one of the main characters is a successful but rather dull genre crime novelist, and Atkinson manages to write
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about him without sounding quite as self-conscious as most writers do when they write about writing.) It's kind of crazy and, as usual, everything connects somehow, although sometimes in surprising ways.

Having read all three books on the bounce, I did come to a point where I lost the threads of the plot and had to take a break from this one - but once I picked it up again a few days later I finished it with renewed gusto. I think it was Atkinson-overload - this writer certainly needs you to keep your brain switched on!
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LibraryThing member Jenners26
Book Description

This plot was hard to sum up for someone as wordy as me so I’m borrowing the one I saw on Amazon. HOWEVER, if you haven’t read Case Histories yet (the first book in the series), skip this description as it contains some spoilers for the first book.

Two years after the events of
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Case Histories left him a retired millionaire, Jackson Brodie has followed Julia, his occasional girlfriend and former client, to Edinburgh for its famous summer arts festival. But when he witnesses a man being brutally attacked in a traffic jam—the apparent victim of an extreme case of road rage—a chain of events is set in motion that will pull the wife of an unscrupulous real estate tycoon, a timid but successful crime novelist, and a hardheaded female police detective into Jackson’s orbit. Suddenly out of retirement, Jackson is once again in the midst of several mysteries that intersect in one giant and sinister scheme.

My Thoughts

The first thing you need to know about Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie series is that it really isn’t about the mystery (which in this book was rather convoluted … but in a good way). The real attraction of these books is the writing—the way Atkinson inhabits the various characters and gives each of them a unique, believable and (oftentimes) amusing voice. I almost think of these books more as comic novels rather than mysteries. However, Atkinson does weave in murder, mistaken identities, fraud and some rather inappropriate police behavior. In addition, there are moments of real emotional heft that unexpectedly tug your heart-strings when you aren’t expecting it.

Like in the first Jackson Brodie book, Case Histories, Atkinson weaves together multiple story lines. Although each story seems unrelated at first, Atkinson manages to tie them all together neatly. Yet in both books, I found myself unable to remember exactly what the mystery was and how it was resolved after finishing the book. Isn’t that weird? Yet this didn’t really bother me. (Honestly.) It isn’t that the plot doesn’t make sense, but that it was almost beside the point. Atkinson has this effortless, witty way of writing that is a delight to read, and I’ll continue on with this series until it finishes up—loving every step of the way.

Recommended For

Readers who enjoy character-driven mysteries with labyrinthine plots that are heavy on the humor but still manage to pack an emotional punch.
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LibraryThing member smallwonder56
It's the characters. Atkinson is a master of interesting, quirky characters and I can't get enough. Yes, "Case Histories" was better, I think, but this was very satisfying. The author weaves together many seemingly unrelated threads into an amazing plot. Don't get discouraged by the fact that you
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don't see the full picture until almost the end--you know what the characters know, as they know it. The book is extremely well-written, witty and engaging, but you have to love characters to love the book.
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LibraryThing member msf59
Another terrific read by this talented writer. This one plays like a screwball black comedy, populated with indelible characters. Fun and unpredictable! I love the hapless Martin Canning !
LibraryThing member annbury
How glad I am that I have discovered Kate Atkinson's Brodie thrillers! They are surprising, engrossing, fast moving, funny, and very well written. It can be a bit confusing keeping track, but it's well worth the effort. I look forward to the rest of the series, and expect to space them out.
LibraryThing member FAR2MANYBOOKS
Although, as most mystery lovers know, the main character becomes so beloved that inevitably you become addicted and must read the series! Here I go! Thank you Kate Atkinson, for bringing PI Jackson Brodie into my life, just when I really needed it.
“A coincidence is just an explanation waiting to
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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 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 mairangiwoman
It is summer, 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.
Despite the
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gory events in parts of this story I enjoyed it for the mild tension, great character development and storytelling skills, humour and setting. All the main characters are men and there is a certain satisfaction for a woman to read about previously capable but flawed blokes getting into trouble!
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LibraryThing member dsc73277
'A coincidence is an explanation waiting to happen' according to one of the characters in this book, which is certainly not short of coincidences. From the outset we are introduced to a large cast of characters, whose paths all end up crossing in an almost farcical conclusion. The plot is absurd,
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but it is meant to be, and in any case it is cleverly weaved. If you like crime novels because they tend to end with most of the loose ends tied up, then you should like this one. You might also the appreciate the symmetry created by it's returning at the end to the character with which it opened, and the very final twist which reveals what - or rather who - set all that happens here in motion.

This is the second of two novels Atkinson has penned that feature the now ex-detective, Jackson Brodie. In this outing she has taken the character to Edinburgh, a brave move considering the extent to which Rankin's Rebus has cornered the market in describing the criminal underlife of the Scottish capital, but one that worked, at least in the view of this reader.
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LibraryThing member atheist_goat
Things you should know about reading Kate Atkinson:

1. She uses commas where one would expect semi-colons, probably because if she didn't there would be a semi-colon in every other sentence. It's a very weird effect at first, but I got used to it.

2. She writes sentences about people wondering things
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which make you think the character is just thinking that, and then the other character responds to it and you realize Character A was actually speaking out loud. I found this irritating.

3. If a dog is mentioned, you know it is not going to end well. I think someone once told me that there are always dogs in Kate Atkinson books and they always die. Indeed, this book featured a (vicious) dog dying, mention of a dog being horribly killed in one character's past, and a very sad cat death. And the included excerpt of the next book in the series came flying out of the gate with a dog being killed while trying to defend its family. This sort of thing is Not Easy on me. I have a distinct memory of cheering as my mother choked her way through Beth March's death (even as a child I had no patience with characters being aggressively perfect at me), but to this day if you want to make me burst into tears in public you just have to whisper "Where the Red Fern Grows," in my ear. I am actually crying a little bit just from typing it.

And yet I ordered the three other Jackson Brodie books the second I put this one down. Atkinson's writing is that good. Brisk, clean, and so funny. Maybe lovingly mocking Scotland isn't as funny to someone not of Scottish origin, but when she described the Scottish religion as "alcohol, football, [and] feeling badly done by," I knew this woman had me locked in.

This book, and the others in the series, are classified as mysteries. I would not have called this one that: it is very reminiscent of Ruth Rendell's books, in which Bad Things happen and there is usually one character involved with the law and investigating, but the point of the book is the character development and the way that the banalities of life intersect to create small individual tragedies. In Rendell the characters are all deeply disturbed and the tragedies are horrifying; Atkinson handled the same sort of layout very differently. I felt that she truly cared for each of her characters, and there was always the sense in this book that good is possible, that where there's life there's hope. This is made explicit at the end, in a lovely "yes, my life has just fallen apart, but that creates possibilities, and I'm still alive, and I'm driving north listening to country music," passage that was utterly what I needed to read right now.

I don't want to describe the plot, really, because it's very complicated and full of surprises and I don't think I could do it justice without spoilers. (It's not a spoiler that the cat dies: the minute you meet that cat you know it's not going to see the final page.) I just want to say that I kind of loved this book, and look forward to reading the others.
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LibraryThing member glade1
I enjoyed this one very much, although maybe not quite as much as Case Histories. The story was a bit more "enclosed" than the first in the series: it took place in a shorter time period and the events happened in closer proximity. I did find this volume to be more predictable than the other one
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(there was more of an obvious connection among most of the characters). But, as with Case Histories, Atkinson's skill at character development shines.

It's a well-plotted and thoughtful story with enough humor and danger to keep us interested. I already have When Will There Be Good News (the next in the series) and I look forward to reading it.
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LibraryThing member bookworm12
Fringe fest shows, Russian maids, an unpublished manuscript, and a shady real estate deal, the Jackson Brodie series is never short on interesting twists. Set during the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland, Brodie is traveling with his girlfriend Julia and taking a break from his work. Unfortunately,
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trouble seems to find him no matter where he goes.

We meet a slew of characters: Paul Bradley a mysterious man who gets rear-ended, meek Martin, an author with little to no personal life and an in ability to say no, a cop named Louise and her son Archie who is hanging out with the wrong crowd. Then there's Gloria, a 59-year-old woman, trapped in a loveless marriage with a cruel man. Each person adds a new layer to the mystery.

BOTTOM LINE: It was good, but I didn't love it as much as Case Histories. Jackson Brodie is a fantastic character, and Atkinson is a master of drawing completely different plot lines together in a believable way by the end of the novel. This plot felt a bit too forced, but I’m looking forward to trying the next one in the series.

“A coincidence is just an explanation waiting to happen.”
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LibraryThing member John
This is very light entertainment to be savoured on an airplane or some such locale where concentration is more difficult, and you don’t mind using up a few hours that you might have spent reading more challenging tomes. It’s like a good puff pastry: pleasant on the palate but not something that
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is going to stay with you past the meal. Atkinson writes well (I liked her Case Histories), she has an eye for place and for a gamut of characters, not all of which are stock as some do have internal dialogues and lives to make them marginally more interesting. This is a novel long on plot and activity; it is a complex plot involving a number of unconnected persons. This may put some off in the beginning, keeping track of who is whom, but it is worth the perseverance (with the caveats mentioned in the opening sentence) to see how Atkinson brings everyone together, in a scene reminiscent of Hercule Poirot bringing all the suspects together for a final accounting and unmasking of the murderer. And still Atkinson has an extra little surprise to end the novel.
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LibraryThing member porchsitter55
What seemed to start out as a random scattering of unrelated characters, this book eventually began to mesh as I realized the author was slowly and methodically bringing all the characters together into an intertwined story of how "one good turn" can involve and affect so many people. Each
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character's involvement in the story was more defined as the book progressed....and I as the reader became more drawn in as each page turned.

A nicely done, refreshing and intriguing book that kept my interest throughout. I have put this author's other books on my to-be-read list!
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LibraryThing member John_Warner
This novel begins on a sunny Tuesday with a fender-bender precipitating a road rage incident with aggravated assault. The victim is saved from a possible deadly result when a bystander, who is a famed thriller/suspense writers throws his briefcase at the attacker. The incident is witnessed by our
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protagonist and series regular, Jackson Brodie. The entire action of this novel occurs within a four-day time span with each of the participant's stories told in alternative chapters.

I found the individual thread entertaining, especially Jackson Brodie's story and another plot thread which initially appeared to be unrelated to the road rage incident. It was gratifying to learn how the assumed loose thread was tucked back neatly into the story and the story ended with a satisfying conclusion. I look forward to reading other in this series.
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LibraryThing member audryh
Jackson Brodie with Julia (from Case Histories) is witness to an incident where a mystery novelist saves the driver from an enraged motorist. He finds the body of a drowned Russian girl, which is washed away. He is attacked by the driver. Events seem unrelated but are tied up at the finale. Humor,
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good characters. Good!!
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LibraryThing member idiotgirl
Audiobook. So now I've read all three of the Kate Atkinson "detective novels" with Jackson Brody. In many ways, this one was my favorite. This is very close to a force. How many turns, coincidences, plot turns will a reader allow. This one tests the reader--and the characters. I really did love
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this one. Brings characters from the first book--Jackson's daughter, ex-wife, and Julia, one of the sisters in the story from Case Histories. In this story, he meets Louise, who also turns up in the third book. This is just bizarre good fun--and it takes place in Edinburgh, a city I love. Who could ask for more. Very good writing. A pleasant find I will now recommend consistently to friends--Jackson Brodie and Kate Atkinson.
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LibraryThing member samfsmith
This is a “sequel” to Case Histories, although both novels are fine by themselves. It’s a sequel in the sense of the next in a series of mysteries that have the same detective as a protagonist.

Case Histories is a great book. One Good Turn is a good book. This book is about coincidences. As
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the protagonist says, “A coincidence is just an explanation waiting to happen.” There are plenty to characters all linked by coincidences, with what I’m beginning to recognize as Atkinson’s trademark style of tying everything together in unexpected ways.

It’s a good read - not as great as Case Histories, but still well worth it.
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Dublin Literary Award (Longlist — 2008)
The Morning News Tournament of Books (Quarterfinalist — 2007)
Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book Awards (Shortlist — Fiction — 2007)




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