Big Sky by Kate Atkinson Review

Blurb: Jackson Brodie has relocated to a quiet seaside village in North Yorkshire, in the occasional company of his recalcitrant teenage son Nathan and ageing Labrador Dido, both at the discretion of his former partner Julia. It’s a picturesque setting, but there’s something darker lurking behind the scenes. Jackson’s current job, gathering proof of an unfaithful husband for his suspicious wife, seems straightforward, but a chance encounter with a desperate man on a crumbling cliff leads him into a sinister network-and back into the path of someone from his past. Old secrets and new lies intersect in this breathtaking new novel, both sharply funny and achingly sad, by one of the most dazzling and surprising writers at work today.

It’s a slow burn to start with but I don’t mind that, I like getting to know the characters and starting to see where the connections are but I was always aware that something bigger was coming.

“It was funny how so many men were defined by their downfall. Women hardly ever. They didn’t fall down. They stood up.”

One of Kate Atkinson’s strengths is her characters and making them feel real, no matter how often they appear, every character is detailed and has life in them.

“His life had been a litany of disasters. What if he was already on his ninth life? The last go round. Perhaps he should be more cautious.”

Jackson’s sarcasm and pessimistic view of the world is the main reason I connect so well to his character. I also really connected with Reggie and Ronnie the two detectives that were assigned to investigate potential leads in an old case. They’re witty and determined and some of their quotes just spoke to me.

“Reggie sometimes wondered if a day would ever go by when she wasn’t disappointed in people.” – such a mood

Everything is cleverly wound together and as usual Jackson finds himself in the middle trying to put all the pieces together. I enjoyed all the references to the older books in the series but you don’t have to have read them to get into this book.

“Reggie was twenty-six, but she didn’t think that she had ever been the right age.”

I really enjoyed this book, I love a good mystery and trying to work things out for myself! I will always love everything that Kate Atkinson writes, she is brilliant no matter what the genre.

Top Five Tuesday – A-Z Favourite Characters

It’s Top Five Tuesday which is hosted by Meeghan Reads, every week we’re given a book related topic and we choose our top five! This month it’s another A-Z this time our favourite characters, this week it’s F-J.

F – Fleetwood Shuttleworth

What a name! I recently read The Familiars and Fleetwood was such a strong and fierce character, she never gave up and risked everything to save her friend from being executed for being a witch. Fleetwood herself thought she was going to die but she never gave in, she fought to save herself, her baby and her friend Alice.

F – Frieda Klein

My favourite fictional psychotherapist! Frieda is very clever, she’s creative and protective ober those she loves. She’s naturally an introvert but attracts people who are in trouble to her life. Frieda’s friends would also do anything for her.

G – Granny Weatherwax

Granny is a witch in the Discworld novels, she is so funny. I love her because of how stand-offish she is and her friendship with Nanny Ogg her fellow witch is hilarious.

H – Harry Potter

I still can’t get over how Harry grew up to be kind and accepting having lived with the Dursley’s for his whole life. He has his off moments, but he tries his best and stands up for his friends and himself and what he believes in, I learnt a lot from him.

J – Jackson Brodie

Jackson seems to always find trouble wherever he goes. He’s an ex policeman turned private investigator but his life is a bit of a mess! What I like about Jackson is that he’s a nice person but not in an annoying way, he tries to do what’s best for those around him and help his clients.

Top Five Tuesday – Male Characters

A new Top Five Tuesday, the prompts are created by Bionic Book Worm. I usually relate way more with female characters and are drawn to them much more but I did manage to find five of my favourite male characters, just about!

1. Harry Potter

Harry Potter

There’s no need to call me “sir” Professor.”

This adorable human had to be on the list. I still can’t get over how lovely and giving Harry is despite his upbringing. Who taught him to be a good person? Harry goes through so much in his teenage years, he has all the pressure of saving the world on his shoulders and yet he’s not arrogant *cough* like his father *cough* he fights to the very end and sacrifices himself for the greater good even though the man he trusted most essentially set him up to die, Harry does it anyway. Obviously Harry isn’t perfect, but he certainly tries!

2. Tyrion Lannister

Tyrion Lannister

“A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.”

This man! Tyrion is so witty, I love his chapters, most of the time you get to laugh. He’s also incredibly intelligent and resilient, he’s had to be. It breaks my heart how horribly he is treated by his father and sister and by most of Westeros actually. But he still carries on, I just want to give him a hug most of the time because everyone else is so mean.

It all goes back and back. To our mothers and fathers and theirs before them. We are puppets dancing on the strings of those who came before us, and one day our own children will take up our strings and dance on in our steads.”

3. Peeta Mellark

Peeta Mellark

“Our lives are not measured in years, but are measured in the lives of people we touch around us.”

Peeta is such a lovely person, he cares so much about others. He’s charming, kind, determined. I really admire his inner strength, especially when he volunteered to go back into the games so Katniss wouldn’t be alone. They were both traumatised by their first games and their fight with the capital. He was tortured for months, made to hate the person he loves the most but still that love shone through and he was able to break free from that dark place in his mind. I’m just so proud of him.

4. Jaime Lannister

Jaime Lannister

Oh Jaime…he’s definitely the problematic favourite of this group. At the start of ASOIAF, Jaime’s moral compass is non-existent. He’s spent most of his adult life scorned and hated for betraying his vows and killing the Mad King, the King who was about to burn 250,000 people alive in the city of Kings Landing. Thanks to Ned Stark (not a fan) no one found out about the Kings promise to ‘burn them all’ instead everyone sees Jaime as corrupt. However Jaime goes on quite the journey, he looses his sword hand and as he sees it, his worth. But he saves his companion from being slaughtered by a bear, a woman he had scorned from the moment he met her. He’s a complex anti-hero and I love reading his POV chapters.

“And me, that boy I was … when did he die, I wonder? When I donned the white cloak? When I opened Aerys’s throat? That boy had wanted to be Ser Arthur Dayne, but someplace along the way he had become the Smiling Knight instead.”

5. Jackson Brodie

Jackson Brodie

“A coincidence is just an explanation waiting to happen.”

Jackson is a private investigator, he likes his job, it pays well and he mainly just has to follow people around whose spouses think they’re being unfaithful. But he does care about his clients, especially when he has to deal with old missing persons cases or unsolved murders. He’s quite a broody character, he has a daughter who he doesn’t see enough and he’s desperate to go and live in rural France for his retirement. I recently started re-reading his series and I forgot how much I loved them, the fifth book in the series is out this year which I’m very excited for!

There they are, my five favourite male characters! Who are some of yours?