Started Early, Took My Dog (Jackson Brodie Series #4) by Kate Atkinson, Audiobook (CD) | Barnes & Noble
Started Early, Took My Dog (Jackson Brodie Series #4)

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

3.7 111
by Kate Atkinson, Graeme Malcolm
     
 

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Tracy Waterhouse leads a quiet, ordered life as a retired police detective-a life that takes a surprising turn when she encounters Kelly Cross, a habitual offender, dragging a young child through town. Both appear miserable and better off without each other-or so decides Tracy, in a snap decision that surprises herself as much as Kelly. Suddenly burdened with a

Overview

Tracy Waterhouse leads a quiet, ordered life as a retired police detective-a life that takes a surprising turn when she encounters Kelly Cross, a habitual offender, dragging a young child through town. Both appear miserable and better off without each other-or so decides Tracy, in a snap decision that surprises herself as much as Kelly. Suddenly burdened with a small child, Tracy soon learns her parental inexperience is actually the least of her problems, as much larger ones loom for her and her young charge.

Meanwhile, Jackson Brodie, the beloved detective of novels such as Case Histories, is embarking on a different sort of rescue-that of an abused dog. Dog in tow, Jackson is about to learn, along with Tracy, that no good deed goes unpunished.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Library Journal Audio
This is English author Atkinson's (www.kateatkinson.co.uk) fourth novel to feature semiretired investigator Jackson Brodie, following When Will There Be Good News? (2008), also available from Hachette Audio and AudioGO. Jackson is back on his old stomping grounds of Yorkshire trying to locate the birth parents of a client in New Zealand when he spontaneously rescues a dog from an abusive owner, an act that invites considerable complications. Atkinson excels at narratives told from multiple points of view and along different time lines; she populates her novels with realistic, sympathetic characters whose lives intersect at crucial moments, often to disastrous effect. This work is no different, and it unravels beautifully in the skilled hands of actor/narrator Graeme Malcolm, who delivers the characters in an understated yet effective manner. An essential listen for fans of Atkinson and this series; recommended for anyone who appreciates a good mystery. ["This book will not disappoint Atkinson and Jackson Brodie fans," read the review of the Reagan Arthur: Little, Brown hc, LJ 1/11.—Ed.]—Kristen L. Smith, Loras Coll. Lib., Dubuque, IA
Kevin Allman
…complicated, elegant and completely satisfying…Atkinson's dark wit and mastery at sketching connections—between people, places, times, things, emotions—are reminiscent of Ruth Rendell, and Atkinson shares that grand master's facility in balancing cynicism, compassion and pragmatism. The result is crime fiction that's also splendid modern literature.
—The Washington Post
Janet Maslin
…[Atkinson's] books cannot be simply read. They must also be wrestled with, and that's where much of the fun lies…Ms. Atkinson remains a wonderful stylist and Grade A schemer…
—The New York Times
Alison McCulloch
The Brodie novels are twisting, turning, tangled narratives that leap from decade to decade, character to character, with the secrets playing second fiddle to Atkinson's sad and funny studies in human nature.
—The New York Times Book Review
Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly Audio
When Tracy Waterhouse, a recently retired police detective, sees a repeat criminal offender, Kelly Cross, aggressively dragging a small child through town, she impulsively decides to buy Kelly's child. Meanwhile, Jackson Brodie, a private investigator, also finds himself forcibly taking custody of a vulnerable being—this time it's an abused dog. Both Waterhouse and Brodie find themselves pulled together into a complicated mix of mysteries as they discover more about their new companions. Graeme Malcolm enriches the narrative with his deep, raspy, English-accented voice. When delivering the story from female points of view, Malcolm lightens his growl and shifts tone well enough to be convincing. The one drawback is that sometimes his delivery around quick exchanges between characters or even within the narrative text can be hard to follow. A Little, Brown/Reagan Arthur hardcover. (Apr.)
Publishers Weekly
British author Atkinson's magnificently plotted fourth novel featuring Jackson Brodie (after When Will There Be Good News?) takes the "semi-retired" PI back to his Yorkshire hometown to trace the biological parents of Hope McMasters, a woman adopted by a couple in the 1970s at age two. Jackson is faced with more questions than answers when Hope's parents aren't in any database nor is her adoption on record. In the author's signature multilayered style, she shifts between past and present, interweaving the stories of Tracy Waterhouse, a recently retired detective superintendent now in charge of security at a Leeds mall, and aging actress Tilly Squires. On the same day that Jackson and Tilly are in the mall, Tracy makes a snap decision that will have lasting consequences for everyone. Atkinson injects wit even in the bleakest moments—such as Jackson's newfound appreciation for poetry, evoked in the Emily Dickinson–inspired title—yet never loses her razor-sharp edge. (Mar.)
Library Journal
Jackson Brodie returns in Atkinson's fourth novel (Case Histories; One Good Turn; When Will There Be Good News?) featuring the former policeman. Jackson (semiretired at 50) is doing some private detective work and trying to come to grips with his personal life, which includes a teenage daughter from his first marriage, a son with a former lover, and a second wife who stole his savings. Jackson adds a small dog to the mix by rescuing it from its abusive owner as he undertakes an "innocent" request from a woman in Australia: Could Jackson help her find her birth parents in England? In this literary mystery on the theme of missing children, nothing is innocent or simple. The intricate narrative, composed with deftness and humor, moves among scenes set alternately in 1975 and the present and contains a cast of well-drawn characters whose relationships unfold like the layers of a peeled onion. VERDICT This book will not disappoint Atkinson and Jackson Brodie fans, but it might be a stretch for some readers to keep up with the multifaceted plot, though it is well worth the effort. [Five-city author tour; see Prepub Alert, 12/13/10.]—Nancy Fontaine, Dartmouth Coll., Hanover, NH
Kirkus Reviews

British private detective Jackson Brodie, star of three previous Atkinson novels (When Will There Be Good News, 2008, etc.), finds himself embroiled in a case which shows that defining crime is sometimes as difficult as solving it.

Tracy Waterhouse, who is middle-aged, overweight and lonely, heads security for a mall in Leeds. Retired from the local police force, she remains haunted by one of her earliest cases, when she and her partner found a little boy abandoned in the apartment where his mother had been murdered days earlier. Although the murderer was supposedly found (but died before being brought to trial), Tracy never learned what happened to the child with whom she'd formed a quick bond. When Tracy sees a known prostitute/lowlife mistreating her child at the mall, she impulsively offers to buy the child, and the woman takes the money and runs. Tracy knows she has technically broken the law and even suspects the woman might not be the real mother, but her protective instinct and growing love for the little girl named Courtney overrides common sense; she begins arrangements to flee Leeds and start a new life with the child. Meanwhile, Jackson has come to Leeds on his own case. Raised and living in Australia, adoptee Hope McMaster wants information about her birth parents, who supposedly died in a car crash in Leeds 30 years ago. As he pursues the case, Jackson considers his relationships with his own kids—a troublesome teenage daughter from his first marriage and a young son whom DNA tests have recently proved he fathered with a former lover. Jackson's search and Tracy's quest intertwine as Jackson's questions make the Leeds police force increasingly nervous. It becomes clear that the 1975 murder case Tracy worked on is far from solved and has had lasting repercussions.

The sleuthing is less important than Atkinson's fascinating take on the philosophic and emotional dimensions of her characters' lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781609416485
Publisher:
AudioGO
Publication date:
03/01/2011
Series:
Jackson Brodie Series, #4
Edition description:
Unabridged
Product dimensions:
7.10(w) x 6.30(h) x 1.60(d)

Meet the Author

Kate Atkinson lives in Edinburgh. Her first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, was named Whitbread Book of the Year in the U.K. in 1995, and was followed by Human Croquet, Emotionally Weird, Not the End of the World, Case Histories, One Good Turn, and When Will There Be Good News?.

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Started Early, Took My Dog 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 108 reviews.
Humbee More than 1 year ago
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
fred5962 More than 1 year ago
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.
TheReadingWriter More than 1 year ago
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.
Frisbeesage More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Kate Atkinson's books because they mirror real life in such wonderful fashion: the weird, the fantastical, the tragic, the whimsical, all rolled into a beautiful literary package. Started Early, Took My Dog is no exception, and I was immediately captivated by Tracy Waterhouse and her story. Atkinson has such a wonderful eye for the tiniest of details--a child making "starfish hands" as she sings, the annoyed sigh of a very patient dog in a rucksack--that mesh with plot lines that collide in the most improbable (and frequently quite satisfying ways). Definitely an enjoyable read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great dective novel with literary allusions sprinked deftly throughout.
Sandra Scofield More than 1 year ago
I dont know why anyone wd think this series is slow. I find myself reading hurriedly because so much is in question. The author is British so u have to get her wit. I think she is great.
Leslie Spooner More than 1 year ago
... 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!
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
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. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm reading my third novel by Kate Atkinson. She has a unique style,keeping the reader guessing as she ties together the seemingly totally unrelated pieces.
Wanda Broadhead More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've loved all the books in the Jackson Brody series so far but this was unfortunately not as exciting as the first 3. It took awhile to get interested in what was going on and at that point I enjoyed the story but then it ended and it seemed like some questions weren't answered, dont want to spoil for anyone but it had to do with Tracy's storyline. Maybe that was the point, let us decide for ourselves, but in this case I'd have rather known than make it up in my mind.
marie murray More than 1 year ago
Another fun intriguing read from the mistress of interlocking stories. Loved it
Zipcat More than 1 year ago
A good read--contains lots of subtle humor. I've never seen a dog frown before, either.
BlairsMum More than 1 year ago
Kate Atkinson is my favourite author. I am on a journey of reading all her books! This book was a bit convoluted, but if one stays with it, she unwinds all the mystery and makes the connections that tie it all together. Her characters are always interesting and I especially like the use of recurring characters who become very familiar and a delight to read about again...almost like old friends! I read all her books at least twice as they are so interesting and so very well written. I highly recommend it!!!!
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Take off your clothes he orders
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is another Jackson Brodie mystery. This mystery is filled with missing persons, flashbacks to the 1970s in England, and Jackson always thinking about his dead older sister and his ex-wives and his childen. You are still guessing almost to the end how all the mysteries are solved. Reading the last couple of pages won't help.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
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