Big Sky

Jackson Brodie is back, and in the nine years that have passed since his last appearance, so many things have changed, but just as many have stayed on course.

The baby whose paternity was denied him is now a surly teenager, Nathan. Now that Julia has tired of “want[ing] him to myself,” she depends on Jackson to keep him while she films a television program. The two of them trundle about Yorkshire and its surroundings in a variety of duties: chronicling a cheating spouse; discovering who’s threatening a posh wife; worrying about the little girl Jackson saw getting into a car at night. Not far away, a man in a trailer video chats with women in third world countries who want to work in England, representing a fictional firm serving as a cover for a sinister operation; a trio of golf buddies adds an awkward fourth; and teenage sleuth and Brodie savior/admirer Reggie (from the third Jackson book, When Will There Be Good News?) is now a full-fledged police officer, working on an reopened case with a fellow female cop named Ronnie — the two are so dogged in their pursuits, they’re nicknamed the Kray twins, after the legendary gangsters. And just who is the bride with Jackson in the very first chapter?

There are plenty of story lines in Big Sky, but Kate Atkinson never drops a single one. So many are resolved that readers might credibly believe this is her last Jackson Brodie novel. Let’s hope that’s not the case.

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