By Jennifer Reese
October 06, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

One Good Turn

B

In One Good Turn, the sequel to her sensational genre bender Case Histories, Kate Atkinson continues the saga of investigator Jackson Brodie, now retired, but like so many literary ex-cops, unable to stay out of trouble. Accompanying his actress girlfriend to a Scottish theater festival, Brodie finds a corpse floating in the sea. As in Histories, Atkinson braids Jackson’s tale with several apparently unrelated thriller plots: A timid writer unaccountably intervenes in a street fight, while a dumpy housewife copes with the lurid death (in bed with a hooker) of her crooked developer husband. Atkinson’s tart prose still sparkles, but while all the plot pieces connect, they never quite click.

One Good Turn

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