Started Early, Took My Dog

I love everything about Started Early, Took My Dog: A Novel (published by Random House)… the title (it’s fantastic!), the cover (it’s beautiful), the deckle edge of the paper, and especially the writing. Kate Atkinson is a favourite author of mine. When I heard she had a new book out there I couldn’t wait to get it. But I didn’t want to read it right away because I wanted to savour the fact that it was sitting waiting to be read (weird yes, but I’ve discovered lots of avid readers do this). I finally decided that the time was right (it could have had something to do with mid-winter doldrums). Inspector Jackson Brodie is back again – and he’s the one with the dog. He stole the dog. That’s all I’ll say about the dog. Add to this, Tracy Waterhouse (recently retired from the police force), currently security chief at the Merrion Centre in Leeds. She buys a child with a wad of cash she just took out of the bank that was destined for the contractor who’s redoing her kitchen. So Brodie steels a dog and Tracey buys a child. Both witness terrible acts of brutality against their new found “possessions”. Their consciences wouldn’t allow them to bypass the events without doing something, something very unconventional I’ll say for 2 former police officers. Anyway, this sets the tone for the story that unfolds – Brodie is on a trail, with his new pooch, trying to track down the birth parents of a client he has who currently lives in Australia. And Tracy’s life changes on a dime the minute she takes Courtney’s little hand and leads her away from a nasty piece of business who Tracy didn’t think was fit to be anywhere near a child. Tracy is on the lam, and Brodie in on the hunt. It sounds weird, but it’s not. It’s exceptionally creative. Atkinson is such a great writer, her stories are always amazingly well crafted. And her exceptionally dry British wit shines through so often in this book – I actually laughed out loud at times.  All I can say is … read this book! And then read her others that star Jackson Brodie. They’re all fantastic.

Comments (1) »

  1. andrea Said,

    April 7, 2011 @ 8:40 am

    Finally got to this one and you are right, a very entertaining read. Kate Atkinson does such a great job with her characters, particularly Tilly.

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