Customer Reviews for

Started Early, Took My Dog (Jackson Brodie Series #4)

Average Rating 3.5
( 102 )
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(33)

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(10)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

Started Early, Don't Want to End!

Kate Atkinson's new book will leave you wanting more, positively! She's a wordsmith with a story that insists that we make moral choices we'd rather ignore.

One of her primary protagonists, Tracy, an otherwise "hard-nosed" member of the police force ...handling sexua...
Kate Atkinson's new book will leave you wanting more, positively! She's a wordsmith with a story that insists that we make moral choices we'd rather ignore.

One of her primary protagonists, Tracy, an otherwise "hard-nosed" member of the police force ...handling sexual offences, vice, human trafficking, and just about anything nobody else wanted to... is retired and wondering what to do with her life! Shopping on an afternoon at the local shopping center, she watches as an old druggie she recognizes from her days on the force, Kelly, appears to be dragging a tiny little girl and screaming at her. Tracy is drawn into the fray by instinct and curiousity. She follows Kelly, continuing to observe as she kicks at the child, screams at her to stop singing, dragging her through the crowds and down the street.

Since Tracy knows Kelly's other children have already been taken away from her, and that she obviously isn't "clean," she wonders what the freakish woman is doing with this little girl! When all is said and done, Tracy offers Kelly a chunk of money to "buy" the child from her. Kelly's eyes are wide with greed. The transaction is made...the child's hand is transferred to Tracy's, and Kelly rides off into the sunset on the local bus. However, not before she mouths something like, "But she's not....." And Tracy is left wondering what she's done...helped or kidnapped a child! A child who instantly become one she can't bring herself to part with!

Thus, begins this novel from the pen of Kate Atkinson. With a menagerie of lush, loveable characters complete with their particular idiosyncracies that only serve to make them more endearing, she has us captured from the get-go. Not only does she give us the quintessential darling, little urchin, but she also includes a scrappy little dog that was rescued from a snarling, abusive hood! Attention given not just to description but also to the quirkiness of inner thoughts and dialog; as well as to bucolic surroundings makes for a great deal of this author's genius. Plus, I wonder how she could have made the tension knot up inside me over that scruffy mutt!

Ms Atkinson seasons her novel with wit, perfect timing and a humor that will catch you off-guard when you least expect it. I found myself laughing and smiling often as I read this book. While she is astute and serious about her main and parallel storylines, and there is much to learn here with regard to morality and choices, her subtle, silver-handed delivery with its tinge of the obsurd is unique to her style. It's no wonder that she has won awards for her previous work.

Jackson Brodie, the soul searching, former private detective of "Started Early, Took My Dog," is a character featured in others of her books. His odd relationship with his ex-wife throughout the story is so charming. It has the qualilty both to madden and sustain him, making it a sadistic little treasure for the reader to enjoy in and of itself! I need to read more about him, absolutely.

Kate Atkinson is a writer of exceptional quality. I highly recommend reading her newest book, "Started Early, Took My Dog." It's an enjoyable read that goes well with a glass of wine, some Respighi (Ancient Dances and Airs Suite 2..) on low, and a comfy chair...sophisticated and easy on the heart.

Highly recommended without reservation.

Deborah/TheBookishDame

posted by Humbee on March 8, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

A book that I COULD put down

Too many plot lines, too many characters, too much redundancy...by the middle of this novel I was completely frustrated by the lack of focus and every character's flashbacks. It felt like the author was throwing in every kind of writing style so people could think she...
Too many plot lines, too many characters, too much redundancy...by the middle of this novel I was completely frustrated by the lack of focus and every character's flashbacks. It felt like the author was throwing in every kind of writing style so people could think she was cutting edge. In any event, I found it messy and for the first time in a very long time, I stopped reading a book halfway through.

posted by goguins66 on March 31, 2011

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  • Posted March 31, 2011

    A book that I COULD put down

    Too many plot lines, too many characters, too much redundancy...by the middle of this novel I was completely frustrated by the lack of focus and every character's flashbacks. It felt like the author was throwing in every kind of writing style so people could think she was cutting edge. In any event, I found it messy and for the first time in a very long time, I stopped reading a book halfway through.

    5 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2011

    do n ot waste your time

    I thought it was horrible.

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Terrible Book

    This book so far is awful. So far I am on page 45 and I'm not sure if I can go any further. It just seems all over the place. Don't waste your money. If you must read wait until it comes out at your local library or better yet someone is giving it away at a yard sale. It's a painful read, not interesting at all.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 31, 2011

    Did not get to page 100....

    This book was awful, and for me....that is saying something. If you want to give it a try, good luck.

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted May 2, 2011

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    Posted April 4, 2011

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    Posted April 28, 2011

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    Posted May 15, 2011

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    Posted May 24, 2013

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    Posted October 24, 2011

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