I think someone recommended this and so when it was on sale I bought it and on impulse started reading it. I found it very compelling and kept reading later than I should, so that says something for it. It begins with 3 case histories, crimes that took place 10 and more years before the book is set which is when it was published, 2004. A small child disappears in the night when allowed to sleep in a tent in the backyard. (Who lets a 3 year old sleep in the back yard? But nevermind.) A young woman is stabbed in an office. Another woman murders her husband with an ax. The stories follow the victims’ families until we reach the present day when coincidentally a member of each family consults Jackson Brodie, ex-cop, ex-husband, father, private detective. All of these people are oddballs, misfits, eccentrics. Most of them are sympathetic while being a bit annoying. Her writing is a slick, easy to read, somewhat repetitive, sometimes funny.
She was a catwoman, the mad old-bat variety that kept an open door for every feline slacker in Cambridge.
Brodie’s first client the cat lady is a neighbor of the family where the little girl disappears. This has nothing to do with how he gets the job. We don’t know how the surviving sisters, Janet and Amelia, decide on him. Janet at the funeral is described
Her mad hair looked as if it had been groomed by a troupe of circus dogs.
The book is entertaining and the crimes are quite realistic, unlike the ending of the book which I think might be why I have massive reservations about recommending this. It is shallow. Most mysteries are. Just a puzzle designed to keep you entertained for a few hours and yet maybe it’s because it seemed to be trying to be deeper and say something about violence against women, but somehow doesn’t except pointing out there’s a lot of it. I am somehow unsatisfied, but I’m probably alone in this. I also think the cover is lame. Best mystery of the decade — rubbish, I’m pretty sure, but I guess I’ll need to consider all the mysteries from the oughts that I’ve read, or should it be 1994-2004? Delight and amazement? Challenge accepted. Amusement. Interest. Some charm and some sadness. But delight? No. Amazement? No.
I guess this is RIP 3. There are mysteries, which are solved by a detective. So, yeah. RIP 3