When Will There Be Good News?
When Will There Be Good News? is the brilliant new novel from the acclaimed author of Case Histories and One Good Turn, once again featuring private investigator Jackson Brodie.
Thirty years ago, six-year-old Joanna witnessed the brutal murders of her mother, brother and sister, before escaping into a field, and running for her life. Now, the man convicted of the crime is being released from prison, meaning Dr. Joanna Hunter has one more reason to dwell on the pain of that day, especially with her own infant son to protect.
Sixteen-year-old Reggie, recently orphaned and wise beyond her years, works as a nanny for Joanna Hunter, but has no idea of the woman’s horrific past. All Reggie knows is that Dr. Hunter cares more about her baby than life itself, and that the two of them make up just the sort of family Reggie wished she had: that unbreakable bond, that safe port in the storm. When Dr. Hunter goes missing, Reggie seems to be the only person who is worried, despite the decidedly shifty business interests of Joanna’s husband, Neil, and the unknown whereabouts of the newly freed murderer, Andrew Decker.
Across town, Detective Chief Inspector Louise Monroe is looking for a missing person of her own, murderer David Needler, whose family lives in terror that he will return to finish the job he started. So it’s not surprising that she listens to Reggie’s outrageous thoughts on Dr. Hunter’s disappearance with only mild attention. But when ex-police officer and Private Investigator, Jackson Brodie arrives on the scene, with connections to Reggie and Joanna Hunter of his own, the details begin to snap into place. And, as Louise knows, once Jackson is involved there’s no telling how many criminal threads he will be able to pull together — or how many could potentially end up wrapped around his own neck.
In an extraordinary virtuoso display, Kate Atkinson has produced one of the most engrossing, masterful, and piercingly insightful novels of this or any year. It is also as hilarious as it is heartbreaking, as Atkinson weaves in and out of the lives of her eccentric, grief-plagued, and often all-too-human cast. Yet out of the excesses of her characters and extreme events that shake their worlds comes a relatively simple message, about being good, loyal, and true. When Will There Be Good News? shows us what it means to survive the past and the present, and to have the strength to just keep on keeping on.
From the Hardcover edition.
READ AN EXCERPT
In the Past
The heat rising up from the tarmac seemed to get trapped between the thick hedges that towered above their heads like battlements.
‘Oppressive,’ their mother said. They felt trapped too. ‘Like the maze at Hampton Court,’ their mother said...
1. “Love wasn’t sweet and light, it was visceral and overpowering. Love wasn’t patient, love wasn’t kind. Love was ferocious, love knew how to play dirty.” This thought runs through Jackson’s mind as he fingers the lock of Nathan’s hair in his pocket. How is this take on love...
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“READER, SUSPEND DISBELIEF. Find something high-flown, and attach with care, then send your critical faculties hurtling. Kate Atkinson’s latest (darkest? bloodiest? most free-wheeling?) slice of make-belief has attitude and altitude in abundance. It pushes its luck in taking coincidence and outlandishness to levels of sheer unadulterated chutzpah, and by its stomach-curdling ending, it’s so accelerated that you’re waiting for the wheels to come off. They don’t.”
“It doesn’t really matter in which genre Atkinson chooses to write. Her subject is always the irrecoverable loss of love and how best to continue living once you have glumly recognised that that was what the world was like, things improved but they didn’t get better. Her gift is presenting this unnerving and subversive philosophy as a dazzling form of entertainment.”
—The Sunday Times
“Kate Atkinson is an absolute must-read. I love everything she writes.”
“Atkinson has turned the corner from writing wonderfully rich literary novels with mysteries at their core to writing mysteries with rich literary style.”
—Los Angeles Times
“Atkinson’s novel is like something her detective might drink in the wee hours after knocking around the docks, something straight up with a twist.”
—The Globe and Mail
“The most fun I’ve had with a novel this year.”
“Clever, wry and highly readable. . . . Almost every coincidence is delicious and not a little comic.”
“An absolute joy to read.”
—The Guardian (UK)
“A remarkable feat of storytelling bravado.”
“An engrossing, enjoyable, complex novel packed with intriguing characters, vividly imagined scenes and a compelling plot.”
—Times Literary Supplement (UK)
“Compelling from the start”
“Atkinson unravels the plot with dexterity and insightful aplomb”
“Atkinson’s writing is charming, and her style and wit always a delight”
“...a brilliantly observed drama on the nature of fate, love and memory”
“The opening chapter of Kate Atkinson’s latest book is one of the finest pieces of suspense literature you will read this year”
—The London Lite
“Superb writing and accomplished plots”
“Unconventional and thrilling crime fiction at its best”
“An exhilarating jigsaw of a novel”
—Woman and Home
“…she stitches the seeming discordant plots into one big harmonious patchwork, where every stitch is a careful stitch and every patch operates both on its own merits and as part of the whole”
—Scotland on Sunday
“…it’s the kind of wonderful novel that simultaneously grips and transports you”
“The novel grips, excites, moves, amuses and will have you racing through the pages”
—Waterstone’s Books Quarterly
“This is a perceptive glimpse into the legacy of the real victims – those left behind when their loved ones are taken from them”
“The third, the best, and hopefully not the last Atkinson novel featuring private eye Jackson Brodie.”
— Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly
“Brilliant…. Atkinson’s detective novels are masterworks of character-driven plots and leisurely observation. But they are primarily triumphs … of tone: sardonic, faithless, and dark as the inside of a cow. As a reader, you might come for the mystery, but you’ll return for the prose.”
— Andrew Pyper, The Globe and Mail
“Deliciously underhanded…. It is very much to be hoped that she keeps this gratifying series going.”
— The New York Times
From the Hardcover edition.