Monday, February 12, 2007

"Case Histories"



I lazily did nothing but read this book yesterday. The novel is "Case Histories: A Novel" by Kate Atkinson. I slept horribly after reading it because I was so disturbed by some of the events that took place in the book. In the beginning, the author introduces three cases of lost girls seemingly unrelated to each other. I use the term "lost" loosely because the girls are lost as in disappeared or lost as in murdered, but in either case, their crimes are unsolved, which is where Jackson Brodie, the private investigator, enters the picture. I don't want to give too much away in case you plan to read the novel. But, as the plot thickens, it turns out there's more to each case than expected, however, if you have a great deal of exposure to mysteries, the ending is not shocking, although little strange. I thought it was rather weak. It doesn't help I am no longer surprised by mystery books and crime movies.

Atkinson is an excellent artist, as the novel was very well written. Atkinson did a great job weaving the characters together in a believable way. The novel is worth your time because it makes you realize you are not safe. This does not so much pertain to men but women. I realized "safety" is sometimes a matter of biology. Women are just not as strong as men when it comes to physical strength vs. physical strength. We are not safe because there will always be scary sick men out there who have their own reality we will never be able to understand. And sometimes, we know these men, which makes it even scarier. Yes, women do commit crimes as well, but no where near the scale on which men do.

Even though the author offered resolution at the end, I was still unsettled because all I could think of was my friend Gabe. His sister was murdered in 2003. It's the closest I've come to a situation like the ones I read about or watch on TV. I'll never forget attending the funeral or the look on the family's face when the casket was lowered into the ground. It broke my heart.

I recommend reading "Case Histories: A novel" if you like to read about crime and mysteries. I did not love the book because it was too real and too humbling in the sense that it makes you realize how mortal you really are. I was unsettled and do not recommend reading the book alone or at night, but that is only if you are a little bit of a scaredy cat like I can be.

(It probably didn't help that I woke up to someone yelling "I'm going to rip your throat out" on Friday night, but that is a whole other story.)

No comments: