Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson. With a title taken from the Emily Dickson poem, this is the fourth book to feature Jackson Brodie, the ‘retired’ private investigator. It opens with his searching for his lost wife, and adoptee Hope McMaster’s real parents. The journey takes him on a quest around Yorkshire where simultaneously Tracy Waterhouse, also a retired policewoman embarks on a crazy quest to rescue a child. An aging actress busy searching for her ‘lost mind’ as she stumbles through the early stages of Alzheimer’s completes the triangle.
All three scenarios are cleverly weaved together. The consensus is Atkinson is clearly skilled and witty writer, although some of her social commentary on Great Britain today maybe lost to Australian readers.
Whilst not quite a crime novel, Atkinson highlights through her characters the differences in England’s social structure between the old, and a new more egalitarian society. With an ending raising more questions than answers, it nonetheless employs a very entertaining, almost Dickenson view of characters, with their subsequent often fatal misadventures.
The dog however has a starring part.
Written by Tracy