Started Early, Took My Dog: Kate Atkinson
What a remarkable book. It’s always a little tricky to write about a mystery story without alerting the reader to spoilers but if you’ve read Kate Atkinson’s books before, you’ll know that you’re in for a treat.
If you haven’t, then what are you waiting for? It’s certainly time you discovered this author and her current series.
Kate Atkinson has always enthralled me with her writing and has never disappointed – this book is no exception.
It features one of my favourite Atkinson characters, the down-to-earth, rather grumpy but strangely appealing Jackson Brodie.
In Started Early, Took My Dog we first meet Tracy Waterhouse. She has recently retired from the Yorkshire police force and is enhancing her pension by working in the Merrion Centre – a shopping mall in Leeds.
Here she sees a young woman she is familiar with from her cop days – who is mistreating a little girl. Is it her daughter? Tracy isn’t sure but she decides to step in – in spades.
Witnessing this is Tilly. Tilly is an aging actress who is working on location in the area. The problem is that she is starting to show signs of early dementia and is very confused…
Meanwhile Jackson Brodie, once a cop, once millionaire,once a private detective is also in the area rescuing a maltreated dog from its cruel owner.
Jackson is in the Yorkshire area to find out about the origins of a New Zealand client – she was adopted in Yorkshire and can find no trace of her real origins.
Gradually these people and their stories converge and an even more sinister story is found underlying them.
The word I keep thinking about with this novel is ‘weave’. I mean the way that the author creates her characters and then weaves them together in a truly unforgettable situation. Seemingly unrelated characters and events come together to create a truly explosive story.
One of my favourite would-take-to-a-desert-island books is Kate Atkinson’s Behind the Scenes at the Museum. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have read this book.