When Will There Be Good News?

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 27 May 2019

Member Reviews

Thanks to Random House UK and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review. 

I liked but did not love the first two books in the Jackson Brodie series but this one completely turned things around for me.

The characterisation was fantastic with Reggie in particular standing out, I connected with her from the start and found myself completely invested in her story. I also really liked Louise in this one but was a bit meh about her in the previous book.

The plot strands all work together cleverly and I was kept guessing until the end. I don't usually expect to get so emotionally involved in a crime book but I actually felt like someone had carved my heart out at the end of this one.

I wasn't sure if I would continue with this series but am now fully committed to finding out what the future holds for Jackson et al.
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I didn't realise that this was the third book in the series, I will hold off reading it for now until I catch up from the beginning. I've read other reviews that state these books are best read in order. Thank you.
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Kate Atkinson is a writer that never disappoints, another well crafted and engrossing read, her books are always well written with brilliant characterisation. 
Would probably be helpful to read the Jackson Brodie books in order but they can easily be read as stand alone books without taking anything away from your enjoyment.
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5★
“Twenty years ago she too would have found his moodiness attractive. Now she just wanted to punch him. But then she seemed to want to punch everyone at the moment.”

There’s a lot to be angry about in this third of Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie series, and there were plenty of times I wanted to punch somebody too – or worse. In this instance, she is Detective Chief Inspector Louse Monroe, and he is a man suspected of fraud who’s just opened his front door and smiled sarcastically at her warrant card. I remember Louise from a past story, and there’s no way I would be looking sideways at her warrant card! 

Hers is one thread of a story with many remarkably inventive intersections. Jackson is the main character, of course, and finds himself in Edinburgh despite his intention to have a nice, peaceful life with his lovely new wife. No stress. 

But fortunately for us, Atkinson’s not going to let him off that easily. He’s a sucker for a damsel in distress, and it seems most of them are.

“‘You used to be a private detective. Right?’ she said.

‘Amongst other things.’ 

‘So you used to find people?’ 

‘Sometimes. I also lost people.’ 
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Such a brilliant book! 
Kate Atkinson is such a clever and innovative writer. I love her historical fiction and these Jackson Brodie murder/mystery/crime novels are equally enthralling. 
A young girl is found hidden amongst the wheat having fled from the decimation of her family. She grows up to become a doctor, with a family of her own; and then, the perpetrator of the crime against her family is released and everything descends into chaos. Jackson Brodie gets caught up in a train wreck and is soon inveigled into the disappearance of the doctor and her child. There is so much going on in this book, with so many leads, and it is enthralling! I could not put this book down!
Definitely recommend this!
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Thirty years ago Joanna Mason’s family wandered down a country lane & their lives changed for ever. In the present we meet Jackson Brodie in the middle of a train crash, a missing GP, drug dealers, a police officer who perhaps cares too much? Linking all of this together is 16 year old Reggie.

Reggie is a fantastic character. 16 years old & used to taking on the world. Bought up in a difficult part of Edinburgh with a dysfunctional brother, Billy and a high IQ. Life is not easy for Reggie but she is out to kick the world & fight for the people she cares about.

There are several great characters in this book. Louise is a police detective who cares too much about her job and not enough about her husband, Patrick, and his stuck up family. Jackson is not someone who sticks to the rules – he won’t even die on time! There are plenty of other interesting characters – quite an eccentric bunch.

When I read this book I wasn’t aware that it was the third in a series of book centering around Jackson Brodie. This had no bearing on my enjoyment of the book and it is quite easy to read as a stand alone book. Even now I wouldn’t say this book was about Jackson Brodie – more about Reggie as she is the glue that binds everyone together.

I really enjoyed this book. It is complex with a lot of threads. Some of these turn out to be immaterial but most of them do reach a conclusion at the end. The ones that don’t get neatly finished I suspect continue into the next Jackson Brodie book. However I am not too worried. I really enjoyed Reggie shouting at the world & getting things done.I also liked the fact that not everything worked out in a neat “Happily Ever After”. A great read which has reminded me that I must read more of Kate Atkinson’s books.

I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley
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It is some time since I read this book originally and some of my comments will now be coloured by the fact that I have now read its successor "Big Sky"

I personally enjoyed the various locations of the novel as i live in Devon but know Edinburgh quite well.

As usual Atkinson weaves together (adeptly) several plot strands. It starts with a shocking crime in Devon. Another strand is the disappearance of Dr Joanne Hunter and her baby with her spirited young babysitter Reggie worrying about this.

Reggie is an engaging character even with her troubled history so it was great to re-encounter her again in Big Sky, all "grown- up" with an interesting career choice.

Brodie is counterbalanced by DCI Louise Monroe and the dynamic between the pair is always intriguing.

Jackson Brodie is his usual hapless, sardonic and sensitive self. Who can resist him?

Atkinson herself is also sardonic in her wit and offers up some great one liners that make you laugh whilst juxtaposing this wit with dark content. 

A very entertaining read with some important underlying messages
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I've recently read this whole series in one glorious gulp. This is my actual favourite so far, great plot, wonderful characters, literally perfect.
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Intelligent, tautly plotted murder mystery featuring the familiar characters of the brooding, enigmatic investigator, Jackson Brodie and his counterpart in the Scottish Police Force, DI Louise Monroe. At the heart of this riveting mystery is the brutal murder thirty years previously of a young family and the sudden disappearance in the present day of a doctor which coincides with the release of the murderer on parole. Sixteen-year-old Reggie Chase is one of life’s survivors, refusing to be beaten by tragedy. Her tenacity and intelligence leaps of the page and chimes perfectly with all the other female characters in the novel who have refused to be defined by their individual tragedies. This for me was the most stirring  aspect throughout the narrative. As you might expect from Kate Atkinson, all the characters are made credible through their flaws and it is her masterful ability to evoke all the foibles, idiosyncrasies and frailties  of the human psyche which makes this (and all her other stories) so compelling. I was kept guessing right until the final page and was immersed in the various narrative strands and how they might be connected.
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Kate Atkinson goes from strength to strength with the Jackson Brodie detective novels. The pacing on this was fabulous, slowly building from a meander to a gallop. Some of the characters are returnees, like Louise the police officer and some are new, like Reggie, and the amazing Dr Joanna Hunter, but I hope to see more of them in the next instalment. Or other new characters, I'm not really fussed I just want to know what happens next.

I got a copy of this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I don't really know why they were offering this book, since it was originally published in 2008, but I was happy to receive it, since I'm loving this series.
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Although this is the third in the Jackson Brodie series by the always wonderful Kate Atkinson, potential readers should not be deterred if they have not read the earlier books , this works perfectly well as a stand alone story. 
The book opens with a woman and her young children walking in the countryside, but this idyll does not last long, instead in a gut wrenching turn of events that leaves only one survivor , they are brutally attacked by a stranger. 
The book then flashes forward almost 30 years and the reader is reunited with the survivor, Joanna, now a doctor working in Edinburgh with a young baby of her own. The news that the man who attacked her family is due to be released as his prison sentence is complete is sure to disrupt her attempts at a normal life. 
Meanwhile we meet Reggie, a bright young girl from a difficult background who is now employed as a "mother's help" by Joanna , and who has come to care for her young charge and his mother deeply, an attachment that is due in no small part to the tragic loss of her own mother. 
Former soldier, cop and P. I. Jackson Brodie is on a train,it is crowded and running late , and unfortunately for him , not headed where he thinks it is, but his day is about to get a whole lot worse. When the train derails , Reggie is the unlikely heroine who comes to his aid and keeps him alive until help arrives and when her beloved Joanna goes missing under suspicious circumstances she turns to him for help.
This book is a masterclass in mystery and misdirection. It is a testament to the consummate skill of the author that I found myself surprised again and again as events unfolded  As is to be expected all the characters are well developed but I have to admit that my heart belongs to Reggie, she is smart, feisty,courageous and loyal. 
The plot ducks and weaves its way into a satisfying conclusion, but it does require patience of the reader, this is a book that will reward careful reading , not just in terms of the complex plot but also with exquisite turns of phrase and unexpectedly witty and sharp observations. 
I read and reviewed an ARC courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher,all opinions are my own .
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In anticipation of Atkinson’s new release, Big Sky, due out this week, I thought I would reacquaint myself with Jackson Brodie by re-reading the third in the Brodie series, When Will There Be Good News?

In When Will There Be Good News? the reader is shocked from the outset by the brutal murder of a Devon family – a mother and two of her three children, who are murdered in broad daylight. There is one survivor, the woman’s six year old daughter Joanna, found unharmed.

Andrew Decker, a stranger to the family, was convicted of the heinous crime. Joanna went on to live her life and become a General Practitioner in Edinburgh. She is now married to entrepreneur, Neil and has a young son. 16 year old Reggie Chase is her mother’s helper.  Reggie lost her mother in a drowning accident. Her brother is hanging round with the criminal fraternity and Joanna is a mother substitute and role model for Reggie.

Now, 30 years later, Decker is to be released having served his sentence.

Jackson Brodie is working as a private security consultant. Now re-married, his wife Tessa is a museum curator who has gone to New York for a conference.  By chance, Brodie boards the wrong train – he meant to go to London but ends up on a train to Edinburgh.  There is a bad train crash and Brodie is left seriously injured and it is Reggie who finds him. Also on the train is Detective Chief Inspector Louise Monroe, a previous romantic entanglement of Brodie’s. Louise too has recently married a surgeon and her encounter with Brodie throws up a host of emotions that draw the pair inexorably together. Louise is trying to help Alison Needler, a victim of a violent crime whose nerves are in ribbons and whose husband and attacker is still on the loose, as well as worrying about Decker’s release and investigating a case of arson.

Joanna Hunter goes missing and Reggie is determined to get the police to treat her disappearance seriously. Tenacious, honest, engaging, Reggie is a shining beacon of loyalty in the midst of a host of betrayals around her. It is only Reggie’s insistence that something must have happened to Joanna that finally makes Brodie and Louise take notice.

Atkinson weaves together several plot lines; not all of which end up in a satisfactory resolution. Her main plots though are handled with a sure hand; deftly layered, well tied together and resolved with aplomb.

Atkinson introduces apparently unconnected characters and then cleverly reveals their stories showing how each links to the other through their personal stories. Her characters are brilliantly drawn and so engaging.  

She is an emotional storyteller, yet dazzles with her literary references and poetic quotations and this book is both funny and very sharp.  She sets out to deliberately obfuscate through a mixture of time changes and sudden interjections of seriously violent events, so that the denouement when it comes is bloody, surprising and quite shocking.

Verdict: Through a myriad of coincidences, this is a book about hope and resilience and the indomitable spirit of those who seek justice; even if they have to break every rule in the book to get it.
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I must admit that I have thoroughly enjoyed all the books featuring Jackson Brodie, and my one complaint is that there are not more! When Will There Be Good News? follows three different stories that will intersect, making for a thrilling story. 
Six-year-old Joanna Mason is the sole survivor, after a family walk towards home. Yet, thirty years later, the person convicted of the crime against her family is released. Meanwhile, 16-year-old Reggie Chase, worried about the disappearance of the GP whose daughter she cares for as a nanny. It is only Reggie’s persistence, that brings PI Jackson Brodie back, together with Chief Inspector Louise Monroe.
I am always captivated about how all the seemingly separate lives, are tenuously linked together. Kate Atkinson manages to weave such a fascinating series of events together, so seamlessly. Whilst the character of Reggie, is pivotal, drawing together all these stories, it is Jackson Brodie, whose character has always fascinated me. His ability to lose himself in his work, makes it easier to lose oneself in the storyline.
I am looking forward to the new book by Atkinson, due out this month. It has been too long between books in this series. I received an advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest review.
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My thanks to Random House U.K. Transworld/Black Swan for a digital edition of the reissued ‘When Will There Be Good News’ by Kate Atkinson in exchange for an honest review. It was originally published in 2008. I love the new animal-themed cover art for the series. 

Although this was the third in the Jackson Brody series it was the one that brought the series to a wider public when it won the 2009 Best Read of the Year in the UK's Richard and Judy Book Club. 

Still, although background is given about Jackson's prior escapades I was glad to have read the series in order (in 2016) as it was a pleasure to see how the character of Jackson Brodie develops.

Atkinson is an author whose work always delights me. Here she confidently weaves together multiple plot threads with strong storytelling and characterisation. It is clear that her novels are shelved as literary fiction as well as crime fiction.

As with the first two I loved the novel and was gripped by its interesting structure and the number of twists that underlined the ironic nature of its reality. I cannot fault this excellent series and would expect that the long-awaited release of the fifth in the series will bring new readers to her work as well as delight existing fans.
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The book starts with an horrific murder of an innocent family out for an afternoon’s walk in the countryside. From there, the story leaps forward thirty or so years and we are introduced to a series of seemingly unconnected individuals, 3 or 4 individual tales and their relationships (or lack thereof). 

The young character Reggie is a survivor; intelligent, independent, strong, resourceful, never self-pitying but inside, desperately wanting to find someone to call ‘family’. Jackson Brodie is in a sort of ‘limbo’, not a policeman and not even an investigator at the moment.  A colleague from his past, a new wife, Reggie’s’ employers – a GP and her husband, Reggie's informal tutor and her brutal estranged brother all play a part in the story at the time of the imminent release of the historic murderer and the aftermath of a train crash. 

Exciting and intriguing; how Kate Atkinson weaves a story never fails to amaze me - and this is one of her best. Written with her unmistakable (often black) humour, with outstandingly interesting characters that you don’t want to leave at the end of the story (and some you definitely do) this was pure pleasure to read.
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Another great book from Katie Atkinson. Great story line and strong characters 
Thank you to both NetGalley and Random House for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest unbiased review
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Such a clever writer. This book had me immediately. All the characters are so engaging.. I absolutely loved 16 year old (‘I swear to god’) Reggie, and the adult characters in the book. All of them written with depth and sympathy. The plot is pacy, perfectly timed and  so clever.  I was laughing then crying. 
I know Kate Atkinson is a fantastic writer, but I think this might be my favourite book of hers so far. I am going to read book four now, and then the new book (number five) as soon as it comes out. 
Absolutely no hesitation in giving this FIVE stars.
#WhenWillThereBeGoodNews? #KateAtkinson thank you @NetGalley and the publishers .
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When Will There Be Good News? is a thriller from the wonderful Kate Atkinson that is full of suspense, surprises and a fair splattering of coincidence. This is the third book in the Jackson Brodie series and can be read as a standalone.

The opening scene shocked me! Kate Atkinson writes with a wonderful scope and mixes a fascinating plot with great characters and teases us with humour while masking the opportunity of dropping cruel murderous bombshells on us. The plot is a mix of multiple threads that start weaving in and out of each other and what I liked is that it happens throughout the novel rather than all coming at once. The plot is cloaked in misdirection and flawed assumptions.

Thirty years after serving a prison sentence for the murder of the Mason family, where only 6-year-old Joanne was left alive, Andrew Decker, the killer, has gone underground and Dr Joanne Hunter (nee Mason) has gone missing with her infant baby. Reggie Chase, Dr Hunter’s baby-minder and friend, finds herself in the middle of a complex web of events. Thrown into the web of murder and deceit, along with the gutsy Reggie, are Chief Inspector Louise Monroe and ex-soldier, ex-cop, current PI, Jackson Brodie. Each character is developed with great depth and capacity but I loved the character of Reggie, she is 16 years of age, feisty, resilient and clever. A young girl that hasn’t had much luck in life, in fact, when has there ever been good news.
“Just because something bad happened to her once doesn’t mean it’s happened again,’ Louise said to Reggie. ‘No,’ Reggie said. ‘You’re wrong. Just because something bad happened to her once doesn’t mean it won’t happen again. Believe me, bad things happen to me all the time.’ ‘Me too,’ Jackson said.”
An implicit reference to the title.

The personal relationships with spouses, friends and colleagues, felt very real, with wonderful subtleties that were just masterstrokes. The love interest was engaging and tantalising – why is it that we often want what we shouldn’t have. Marriages, in particular, are put under tremendous strain throughout the book and often the thing most valued, isn’t the person sharing the home.

Kate Atkinson provides amazing detail and observations, often with a bit of humour.
“A few supermarket lorries thundered along and a speeding motorcyclist hurtled past, eager to donate an organ in time for someone’s Christmas.”
If I had one criticism it would be that sometimes the detail feels like she has veered off-track and delivered content that didn’t really mean much.

I would highly recommend this book and I’d like to thank Random House UK, Transworld Publishers and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC copy in return for an honest review.
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The third book in the Jackson Brodie series and I have to say the entire series so far has been a pleasure to read.  30 years ago, a mother and two of her three children are murdered in the street in broad daylight by a random stranger.  A third child, 6 year old Joanna runs and is later found by searchers unharmed.  Fast forward 30 years and Joanna is a GP, happily married with a one year old son.  However, her family's killer is due for release having served his full sentence, a fact that will cause alarm for Jo.  Subsequently Jo and the baby go missing and her home help, 16 year old Reggie believes there is something more sinister going on.  it DI Louise Monroe has moved on since the last book, as has Jackson himself.  However, they are propelled back towards each other in various situations, as if an invisible gravitational force is in play - which we all know means they are meant to be together! 

I loved this book and it is a joy to return to Jackson's weird and wonderful world where anything can happen and generally does!  The characters are such that they are like people I know, they are written so well that they are like regular people I might know.  Jackson in particular, I must admit, brings out the maternal side of me, and makes me feel like he needs someone to look after him and mind him, as if something is going to happen, it'll happen to Jackson.  Very much looking forward to reading Book 4 (Started Early, Took My Dog) and really hope that there is a fifth book in the works! 5/5*
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SPOIlER ALERT Apart from some very implausible plot lines, the tenuous connection between Decker and Brodie  (why would he kill himself in Brodie's flat) and just how did he get the gun....? I found this Brodie Jackson novel an improvement upon the previous "One Good Turn".  The character of Reggie is refreshing and the others just flawed enough to make them liked/disliked.
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