Case Histories by Kate Atkinson
I was really surprised by this book and loved it. The book begins with three cases, unsolved mysteries that haunt the people they effected well into present day. There’s the Land sisters whose youngest sister, Olivia, disappeared after a night spent in a backyard tent. A doting father’s favorite daughter is murdered. A woman goes to prison, separated from her baby, after killing her husband. Private detective Jackson enters into these stories of loss and shares in them. A somewhat sad, solitary man since his wife left him for another man, Jackson tries to connect with the daughter he loves while investigating these cases. The stories are deftly interwoven, the prose is impeccable and just so insightful into the characters, and while it goes to some dark places (murder, incest) I just felt buoyant after reading it. And I didn’t want it to end. I credit Stephen King for finally getting me to read it, even though everyone else I know said so too.
Stephen King in Entertainment Weekly:CASE HISTORIES, Kate Atkinson Not just the best novel I read this year (it actually made EW's ''official'' top 10 fiction list in 2004), but the best mystery of the decade. There are actually four mysteries, nesting like Russian dolls, and when they begin to fit together, I defy any reader not to feel a combination of delight and amazement. Case Histories is the literary equivalent of a triple axel. I read it once for pleasure and then again just to see how it was done. This is the kind of book you shove in people's faces, saying ''You gotta read this!''