Started Early, Took My Dog

Publisher: Anchor Canada
With Dickensian brilliance, Kate Atkinson creates plots peopled with unlikely heroes and villains.

It's a day like any other for security chief Tracy Waterhouse, until she makes a purchase she hadn't bargained for. One moment of madness is all it takes for Tracy's humdrum world to be turned upside down, the tedium of everyday life replaced by fear and danger at every turn.

Witness to Tracy's Faustian exchange in the Merrion Centre in Leeds are Tilly, an elderly actress teetering on the brink of her own disaster, and Jackson Brodie, who has returned to his home county in search of someone else's roots. All three characters learn that the past is never history and that no good deed goes unpunished.


1975: 9 April
Leeds: ‘Motorway City of the Seventies’. A proud slogan. No irony intended. Gaslight still flickering on some streets. Life in a northern town.
The Bay City Rollers at number one. IRA bombs all over the country. Margaret Thatcher is the new leader...
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“Just as Case Histories, Atkinson reveals characters’ inner lives with ease and deftly weaves together a warren of mysteries which spark other mysteries.”
The Independent (UK)

 “Started Early, Took my Dog—with a wonderful title from Emily Dickinson, summoning a poet that is as artfully enshrouded as this novel—is . . . jampacked with echoes, parallels, doppelgangers, sneaky omissions, and authorial attempts to mislead. . . . Ms. Atkinson remains a wonderful stylist and Grade A schemer. . . . But she was never confined to the crime genre, has written in assorted other modes and excels at them all. Whatever she goes on to write, she leaves Jackson Brodie at a suspenseful and pivotal moment. Future installments are well worth waiting for.”
The New York Times

“Atkinson skillfully weaves . . . story lines together, creating an almost melancholy tale about the passage of time and the ripple effect of consequences of past acts. You don’t need to have read the earlier Brodie books to keep up, and while this book is firmly rooted in the mystery genre, Atkinson’s prose is so lovely, with startlingly keen observations and wit, even those uninterested in the solving of various whodunits will be spellbound.”
Entertainment Weekly

"Crime has given Atkinson the freedom to write an ambitious, panoramic work, full of excitement, colour and compassion."
— The Sunday Times (UK)

"An irrepressible exuberance shines throughout. . . . Folds past and present together with Atkinson's customary flair. . . . Extraordinary combination of wit, plain-speaking, tenderness and control."
—  The Guardian (UK)

"In Atkinson's latest, Started Early, Took My Dog, the plot is as pleasingly intricate as ever and just as heavily populated with beautifully summed up characters. . . . The novel is all about the unraveling of [an] old case and its relation to present occurrences. Atkinson tells us what's going on with an imagination that keeps our minds reeling and our jaws dropping."
Toronto Star

"Kate Atkinson has done it again: created an extremely readable mystery filled with innuendo, all kinds of literary references and lovable characters. . . . She takes the reader right inside her characters' brains. . . . [Started Early, Took My Dog] is filled with wit, humour, surprising coincidences and twists and turns. Atkinson fans will love it, and it's sure to earn her new devotees."
— Vancouver Sun