The prime of Jackson Brodie: He’s back in ‘Big Sky’ country

Lifestyle

The prime of Jackson Brodie: He’s back in ‘Big Sky’ country

After a run of literary hits, Kate Atkinson returns to her detective series with ‘Big Sky’. The result is a triumph

Jake Kerridge

After a series of highly praised literary novels in the 1990s, Kate Atkinson devoted most of the first decade of this century to writing four books about Jackson Brodie, a private detective, sexy-grumpy in the Morse mode, who has been deeply hurt by life and is determined to prevent as many people as possible from suffering as badly as he has.

All of these novels at first seem to tootle along the standard crime fiction route, but before long they slip the surly bonds of formula and ride madly off in all directions.

Readers sucked in by the gravitational pull of the whodunnit soon find themselves abandoned by the storyline with no solid ground under their feet, an experience exhilarating to some, unpleasantly stomach-churning to others...

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