Monday, 9 June 2014

When Will There Be Good News? (Kate Atkinson)

Title: When Will There Be Good News?
Author: Kate Atkinson
Published: 2008
Publisher: Doubleday
Pages: 352
Source: Found it
Genres: Mystery / Crime
Goodreads  |

The most interesting thing about this book is how I came to have it. You see I collected this book from my local dump transfer station. Now before you start to judge me and think I go trifling through rubbish tips looking for books that's not quite how this story goes.

You see what happened was, I was at my local transfer station doing some recycling of old moving boxes like one does and I noticed a woman pitch over the side of the paper container a pile of books. Of course I was a little dumbfounded by this; there are plenty of charity shops and second hand stores that love to get a hold of books so I sidled over to take a look expecting them all to be ripped or disfigured in some way. To my surprise they were neither. In fact many of them were in pristine condition and many of them were titles released in the past few years.

Another woman as surprised as I was to see so many books just carelessly discarded asked the book dumper why she hadn't donated them. The response? "I didn't have time, I just need to get rid of them". Well my new transfer station pal and I decided the books still deserved a second chance and thankfully the transfer station attendants see this often enough that they have a policy of rescuing items like this wherever possible and donating them to a local charity shop. The three of us fished all the books back out of the container ready for a new home.

The attendant also gave us first pick and I had read many of them I did manage to grab this book I am reviewing today.

I have never read a Kate Atkinson book so didn't know what to expect. I'm also not a huge fan of the murder mystery / detective novel type genre but I like the odd one now and then. Considering this one starts off with a young girl witnessing the murder of her entire family I thought I might be in for a bit of a rough ride.

Thankfully it tames down a little after that and isn't quite as graphic. There are a number of subplots that all merge together and there are a lot of characters which meant it was a little hard to keep track of who was who, as the writing jumps around in the various chapters. I found myself reading for longer periods then I normally would just so I wouldn't lose track.

I did like the character of Reggie - a tough 16 year old orphan girl who looks like a child and who has a bit of a nasty brother. She was a pretty tough and resourceful kid and I liked reading her sections.

Overall it was an okay light read but certainly not a star of this genre due to excessive characters and distracting subplots but hey still worth rescuing from a dumpster!