Customer Reviews for

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

Average Rating 3.5
( 104 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(34)

4 Star

(35)

3 Star

(18)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(10)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

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

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

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

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 2
  • Posted March 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    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 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

    10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Thanks, PBS.

    I didn't know Kate Atkinson until I watched "Case Histories" on our PBS station. Since then, I've read all of the Jackson Brodie series. This book, "Started Early, Took My Dog", was a little different from the first three.

    For one thing, Jackson Brodie is not always the main focus. I like the fact that other interesting characters, some repeating from the other books, are filled out in this book. Some are left hanging, as is his propective love interest. Maybe Louise which come out in future books.

    After watching the "Case Histories" pieces on PBS, which combined stories from the first three books, I was glad not knowing how the story would probably end. [You know how television writers like to change things.]

    I hope Ms. Atkinson continues with Jackson Brodie. He sounds like someone I would like to know better.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Atkinson captures personalities in a phrase--loved it

    Kate Atkinson outdoes herself in this new novel featuring Jackson Brodie, private detective. He's back in England, doing some desultory checking on the parentage of a woman living overseas who had been orphaned in the 1970s. The story is braided with several threads, i.e., an aging actress suffering from dementia, a young child heavy "as a small planet," and several other retired police. Atkinson handles it masterfully, bringing it all to a neat knot in a train station. This is bad news for Brodie, as he has a nasty history with trains. The trenchant sense of humor for which Atkinson is known is on display and she describes with clear-eyed compassion and humor our ridiculous, and sometimes hideous, human condition. Motives and choices, the bobs and weaves of persons doing wrong, all have the ring of truth, as do the intentions and interventions of well-meaning, over-worked coppers on the beat. Set in Leeds, the story gives one a distinct sense of cold, cruel, rough, and distrusting. One wonders how anyone gets out of there with their psyche intact. Perhaps they don't, the author seems to say.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 28, 2011

    Enagages your heart and brain!

    Started Early, Took My Dog continues the saga of the perennially unlucky Jackson Brodie. No longer a police officer, no longer really a private detective, Jackson nonetheless roams the countryside looking for lost women. When he lands a rare client she is one of these lost women - her birth certificate comes up a fake, her biological parents don't exist and her adoptive parents are both dead. Who is this woman and why has her history been erased? As Jackson stumbles through his investigation he unexpectedly picks up a dog, The Ambassador, and still loses women left and right. It seems all he has to do is contact a female for her to disappear. He'll have to get ahold of one of them if he hopes to find any answers, but how? Meanwhile Tracy Waterhouse, a retired police officer, has had all the disappearances she can take. Determined to save one child from its fated course she will literally stop at nothing.

    I absolutely love the Jackson Brodie series and each book is better than the last. Jackson is his usual fumbling, luckless, but well meaning and loveable self. He is still grappling with the long ago loss of his sister and seems fixated on finding lost women and children, even his fraudulent ex-wife. He manages to keep his dry and very funny sense of humor throughout his trials and I couldn't help but be entertained by the bad spots he gets himself into. As usual, what starts as a tangled ball of story lines neatly unravels to a single strand in the end. Kate Atkinson's writing is so sophisticated and sharp that these mysteries are elevated well above the norm. The characters are so realistic and human that you can't help but relate to them and love them despite their flaws. I only hope I get to read more about Tracy Waterhouse and Courtney in the next Jackson Brodie book. A true literary mystery, Started Early, Took My Dog is for anyone looking for a page turner that will engage your heart and your brain.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted April 28, 2011

    Yes, lots of characters...

    ... but that is what is fun about this book. You meet these interesting people who initially seem unrelated, and their stories gradually fuse into one in surprising ways. A lot of fun!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted November 10, 2012

    Great detective novel with literary allusions sprinkled deftly thoughout, with a good dog thrown in too

    Great dective novel with literary allusions sprinked deftly throughout.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 18, 2013

    Started Early, Took My Dog is the fourth book in the Jackson Bro

    Started Early, Took My Dog is the fourth book in the Jackson Brodie series by popular British author, Kate Atkinson. Set some two years after When Will There Be Good News, Jackson is wandering around England, looking for his fake wife, Tessa, and researching the real parents of a New Zealand adoptee, Hope McMaster. At the same time, ex-cop Tracy Waterhouse finds herself buying a toddler from a prostitute, while ageing actress Tilly Squires slowly sinks into dementia. As Jackson follows leads to dead ends, he finds a doppelganger is treading the same paths, and stumbles into a thirty-year-old crime. This instalment has a great cast of characters, including crooked cops, retired social workers, prostitutes, actors, children and a dog. Jackson manages to rescue a dog, be followed, beaten up, have his dog bugged, his car stolen and end up hogtied in a rubbish skip. As always, the dialogue is snappy and Atkinson’s strength is her characters’ inner monologues: “Jackson tried to remember why but the tiny people who resentfully ran his memory these days (fetching and carrying folders, checking the contents against index cards, filing them away in boxes that were then placed on endless rows of grey metal Dexion shelving never to be found again) had, in an all too frequent occurrence, mislaid that particular piece of information” and “Ravaged by acne, if you knew Braille you could probably have read his face” and “Schrodinger, whoever he was, and his cat, and anyone else that felt like it, had all climbed inside Pandora’s box and were dining on a can of worms”. There are lots of literary quotes, misquotes, bits of poetry and jokes. The plot, as always, is original and keeps twisting and turning to the very end. While it is not essential to have read the earlier books of this series, this book does contain spoilers for earlier books, so it doesn’t hurt to read them in order. Once again, Atkinson provides a brilliant read and one can only hope there will be more of Jackson Brodie. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 14, 2011

    Great detective series

    Jackson Brodie is now a private detective. He cares very deeply about the people he helps, but he is somewhat naive and easily waylaid by those very people I really enjoy the way Kate Atkinson writes. She has created a sympathetic character in Jackson, flawed though he is, you find yourself rooting for him to be successful not only in the cases he handles, but in his personal life as well...he does better on his cases. A smart, sometimes funny, somtimes sad , but always interesting character and the series about him is worth your time

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted May 29, 2014

    Love The Dog -- Love The Humans Too

    Kate Atkinson is such an original voice. I've read 4 of her mysteries and also Life After Life. Enjoyed them all. The stories meander along but are well tied up by the conclusion. For me, it's the words I enjoy and the characters' side comments. Keep the Jackson novels coming, Kate. I'll keep reading them.

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

    Posted January 27, 2013

    Excellent read

    One of my favorite Jackson Brodie books! Atkinson is a master at interweaving stories who on the surface have no connection. Great read.

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

    Posted August 21, 2012

    to snowleaf from StarClan

    Bluestar grabbs the two from her and gives them to goldenstar. She claws at her face "Dont hurt kits or apprentices!!" Sh yells

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted June 5, 2012

    Fhhgg

    Tjugh

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 10, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 2