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When Will There Be Good News? (Jackson Brodie Series #3)

When Will There Be Good News? - Kate Atkinson As always, it starts out with a confusing cast of disparate characters in their separate chapters and a dark sense of foreboding. Awful things are going to happen. And they do, and then more awful things happen, because as one of the characters Louise I think, the Chief Inspector, says, "just because awful things have happened to you doesn't mean more awful things won't happen as well."Brodie: "He supposed that this as what they meant by survivor guilt. He had survived lots of things before and not felt guilty, or at least not in a way he was conscious of. What he had felt for most of his life that he was living on in the aftermath of a disaster, in the endless postscript of time that was his life following the murder of his sister and the suicide of his brother. He had drawn those terrible feelings inside himself, nourished them in solitary confinement until they formed the hard, black nugget of coal at the heart of his soul, but now the disaster was external, the wreckage was tangible, it was outside the room he was sleeping in." p.311 Reggie, 16 year old girl, mother dead, brother a petty criminal, works for Dr. Joanna Hunter watching Dr. Hunter's baby, takes Latin lessons from Mrs. MacDonald, a believer in the rapture.Dr. Joanna Hunter, survivor of an attack on her family when she was 6. She ran from the scene as Andrew Decker, unknown to the family, attacked and killed her mother, her older sister and her baby brother as they were out walking. Andrew Decker goes away for 30 years and is getting out of prison as the beginning of the book. Jo is now married to Neil Hunter, a kind of dicey character, has a baby, and is a doctor. Louise, chief inspector, unhappily married to Patrick, a decent Irishman, but she just doesn't want to be happy or married. She's obsessed with the Alison Needler family, whose husband had massacred some of the rest of the family a couple of years ago at a family event. Louise has a son Archie, late teens, early twenties who she doesn't feel much of a connection to. Some of crew are fleshed out a bit, especially young Marcus, a wonderful young man on the force who comes to a bad end (which I wasn't expecting).There's a train wreck just behind Mrs. McDonald's house where Reggie is staying watching the dog while Mrs. McDonald is going to one of her services. Turns out that Mrs. McDonald's car is stuck on the tracks (not sure if Mrs. McDonald did it intentionally, but that didn't really matter). Reggie goes out to help at the train wreck and gives CPR to Jackson Brodie, who is badly injured at the wreck.Dr. Hunter goes missing the same night, with Neil Hunter saying that she's gone off to visit a sick aunt in Hawes. Reggie is suspicious and starts to put together clues, as she takes responsibility for the Hunter's dog.The stories all intersect. Turns out that Louise and Jackson had an unconsummated relationship at one point, and there is longing there, but they are both now married to others. Brodie, just in a train wreck. "On cue, his sister suddenly appeared, sitting next to him on the bench. She touched the back of his hand and smiled at him. Neither of them spoke, there was nothing to say and everything to say at the same time. Words would never have been able to convey what he was feeling, even if he had been able to speak, which he wasn't. He was experiencing euphoria. It had never happened to him before, even at the happiest times of his life -- when he was in love, when Marlee was born -- any possibility of clear, uncut joy had been fogged by anxiety. He had never floated free of the world's cares before. He hoped it was going to go on forever.. . .[now someone is rescuing him, applying cpr, stopping the bleeding]. But then he felt himself being pulled out of the tunnel, away from Niamh [his sister], and he had to fight to resist. She stood up and started to walk away. He exhaled the Holy Ghost and shut his mouth so it couldn't get back in. He stood up and followed his sister. Some slippage, some interruption in the space-time continuum. Someone had punched him in the chest, incredibly hard. He wasn't in the white corridor. He was in the Land of Pain. And then, just as suddenly, he was back in the corridor, his sister walking ahead, looking over her shoulder, beckoning to him. He wanted to tell her that it was okay, he was coming, he wanted to follow his sister. Wherever it was, it was going to be the best thing that ever happened to hi.Something jackhammered him in the chest again. He felt suddenly furious. Who was doing this, who was trying to stop him from going with his sister?" p.137-8