Title: Big Sky
Series: Jackson Brodie #5
Author: Kate Atkinson
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group UK
Jackson Brodie, ex-military police, ex-Cambridge Constabulary, currently working as a private investigator, makes a highly anticipated return, nine years after the last Brodie, Started Early, Took My Dog.
Jackson Brodie has relocated to a quiet seaside village, in the occasional company of his recalcitrant teenage son and an aging Labrador, both at the discretion of his ex-partner Julia. It’s picturesque, but there’s something darker lurking behind the scenes.
Jackson’s current job, gathering proof of an unfaithful husband for his suspicious wife, is fairly standard-issue, but a chance encounter with a desperate man on a crumbling cliff leads him into a sinister network—and back across the path of his old friend Reggie. Old secrets and new lies intersect in this breathtaking novel by one of the most dazzling and surprising writers at work today.
Big Sky is a novel I (and many others, no doubt) had waited for for a loong time – the return of a well-loved character, Jackson Brodie, in the fifth novel in the series! Although I’d hugely enjoyed Kate Atkinson’s newer releases which don’t fall into this series, I have to say that I have a real soft spot for this brilliant series. And it did not disappoint!
Big Sky is like returning to an old friend – although it’s set nine years after book four, we see the return of other characters rather than just Jackson Brodie. The plot is of a really high standard, as expected of Kate Atkinson, and not too action-packed ; it sets just the right pace with ‘things happening’ but also lots of further character development and some of those little everyday details which perhaps don’t move the plot along much, but that really add to the atmosphere of the novel. And there’s some details which we might think aren’t important, but perhaps they are!
Time is definitely fluid in this novel. As the reader we find ourselves reading a section from one perspective, then going slightly back in time to see it from a different perspective. At other points, we simply skip past some passages of time. It sounds confusing but of course Kate manages to pull it all together beautifully, and makes for a great reading experience. There’s some lovely, poignant lines woven into the plot which all add to the beauty of this fantastic novel.