When Will There be Good News, Kate Atkinson 2008

The title is a reasonable question as this book careens along from disaster to disaster. Atkinson does her usually fine job of taking stories and characters that appear to have nothing to do with one another and tying them into a neat bow in the concluding pages.  In this case we have Reggie, a 16 year old whose mother has died when her hair got sucked into the outlet in a swimming pool (gives you some idea of the tenor of this book!), Johanna whose mother and two siblings were murdered by a crazed teen ager, Jackson who was taking a train in the wrong direction when it crashed and he briefly died…..and, well you get the picture.  The whole package would seem too absurd but for the fine writing and clever plot twists.  This book while not as good as the last Atkinson I read was quite fine entertainment nonetheless.  Jackson Brodie, who plays a star role in solving this book’s various mysteries, is evidently a repeating character in Atkinson’s work.  It will be fun to meet him again, but I hope he brings Reggie who was my favorite character  in the whole book.