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The Crack Magazine


Big Sky

Kate Atkinson, Doubleday

Jackson Brodie fans! Rejoice! Yep, Kate Atkinson’s world-weary private detective is back for his fifth adventure. This time he’s hitting the mean streets of Bridlington, Scarborough and Whitby and embroiled in all manner of criminal activity, which he has to balance out with the needs of his surly teenage son and an aging Labrador. As ever, Atkinson has great fun with her lively cast of ne’er-do-wells which this time includes a throwback comedian of the old school, businessmen with fingers in several dodgy pies, a Geordie drag queen, and a couple of intrepid coppers going by the names Ronnie and Reggie (they’re women, of course). Atkinson has a Victoria Wood-like command of the peculiar absurdities of the everyday and she’s also a master at bringing disparate plot strands together into a supremely satisfying whole. I won’t reveal any of them here; the less you know when you dive in the more you’ll enjoy the ride.