Jackson Brodie is a fictional private investigator created by the British author Kate Atkinson. As well as starring in Kate Atkinson’s novels, Brodie is also the lead character in the BBC television series Case Histories. The Jackson Brodie series of books are crime fictions novels set throughout the United Kingdom, while the BBC television series tends to focus mainly on the Scottish city of Edinburgh for the adaptation of Kate Atkinson’s work. Brodie is a former police officer and soldier turned private investigator in his small town. The first novel that featured the Jackson Brodie character was the 2004 published novel “Case Histories”. The series of novels is generally classified as mystery thriller fiction.
Order of Jackson Brodie Series
|2||One Good Turn||2006|
|3||When Will There Be Good News?||2008|
|4||Started Early, Took My Dog||2010|
The character of Jackson Brodie is private investigator who originally comes from the English county of Yorkshire, but who now resides in Cambridge, in the south-east of England. Jackson Brodie is an ex-cop, so he puts the skills he picked up during his years in the police for to good use in his work as a private investigator.
In the first book in the Jackson Brodie series, Case Histories, which was released in 2005, we are introduced to Jackson as he is brought on to investigate three separate cases. The first case is a young girl who vanishes during the night, with no trace of her left behind. The second case involves a young woman who is apparently attacked at random by a rampaging maniac. And the final case Brodie is investigating involves a wife and mother who is trapped in a relationship that ends up a violent and bloody manner. As well as the three cases, Brodie must also juggle his complicated personal life. Atkinson received the Saltire Book of the Year award, as well as the Prix Westminster for Case Histories, gaining widespread acclaim for the first book in Jackson Brodie’s series.
The second book in the Jackson Brodie series of books is One Good Turn, which was released in 2006, continues Brodie’s story, this time in the Scottish capital city of Edinburgh, during the height of the city’s famous Fringe Festival. While Brodie is retired at the start of One Good Turn, and enjoying the company of his on-and-off girlfriend, he soon finds himself dragged back into action, out of retirement and having to solve several mysteries that seemingly all tie-in together into one sinister plot.
Kate Atkinson followed One Good Turn with the third book in the Jackson Brodie series, When Will There Be Good News? When Will There Be Good News was released in 2008, continuing Atkinson’s trend of releasing a new Jackson Brodie book every two years. When Will There Be Good News was also a winner in the 2009 Richard and Judy Book Club awards.
In 2010, Kate Atkinson released the fourth book in the Jackson Brodie series, Started Early, Took My Dog. Like the other books in the Jackson Brodie series, Started Early, Took My Dog involves intertwining stories and cases, and focuses on how the past can come back to haunt you and shape your future. We also find Brodie back in Yorkshire, this time in the city of Leeds, as he goes back, not to find his own roots, but that of someone else. As ever, nothing is simple for Brodie, and he has to do what he’s best at to get to the bottom of it all.
The Case Histories television series premiered in 2011, both on the BBC in the UK, and on PBS in the United States. It stars Jason Isaacs in the lead role of Jackson Brodie. Unlike the books, which tend to feature different locales, the television series is based in Edinburgh. It consisted of three stories, each a separate two-parter. The first series adapted the first three books in the Jackson Brodie series, Case Histories, One Good Turn, and When Will There Be Good News? The second series was three episodes, each a 90-minute standalone story. The first episode of season two was an adaptation of Started Early, Took My Dog, while the other two episodes, Nobody’s Darling, and Jackson and the Women were new stories written specifically for the television series.
His work with the army and police has given Jackson a tough guy demeanor, even as deep inside he has an empathetic heart. He is always willing to help the dysfunctional, the lost, and the bereaved in their time of need. His empathetic nature is because of a tragic childhood that made it impossible to stand by and watch anyone in pain, when he could help.
The first novel in the series starts out with the enigmatic Brodie having to deal with three cold cases that have lain unsolved for over thirty years. In the first case a little girl has disappeared on a stormy night, in another a pretty and young office worker is the victim of a vicious attack in what is believed to be a random attack. The third case is the most complex that features a new mother who is married to the most demanding of husbands and an equally needy baby that finds herself at the center of a bloody and grisly escape.
Thirty years later Jackson Brodie is called in to try to find an answer to one of the cold cases and soon finds that all of them may be related. What follows is a thrilling rollercoaster of a story that demonstrates the extraordinary story telling skills of Kate Atkinson, that have made her a fixture in the detective crime fiction genre for over two decades.
JACKSON BRODIE AWARDS
The Jackson Brodie series of novels has been shortlisted and even won several industry awards. Some of the most prominent awards include the Saltire Book of the Year Prize and Prix Westminster for the first novel in the series “Case Histories” and the Richard & Judy Book Club Winner Award for the third novel in the series “When Will There Be Good News?”
JACKSON BRODIE BOOKS INTO TV/MOVIES
Since 2011, a crime drama adaptation of the four Jackson Brodie books has been airing on the BBC in the UK. Jason Isaacs, who lent his voice to the audiobook adaptation of the book, plays the lead character of Jackson Brodie in the series. The series is set and filmed in Edinburgh in the UK and airs on PBS in the United States.
BEST JACKSON BRODIE BOOKS
Case Histories: The award-winning first novel of the series, Case Histories is one of the best novels in the Jackson Brodie series of novels. Introducing the lead who is taking on three cases in one, it promises an intense narrative and over delivers in every way possible.
When Will There Be Good News?: The award-winning When Will There Be Good News? Is another incredible novel in the series. Boasting one of the best starts of the Brodie novels, it sees Joanna’s life changed forever while she is on a tranquil walk with her family on a country lane. Thirty years later Jackson Brodie hears a shocking sound while on a crowded light night train. Meanwhile the 16-year-old Reggie is having a peaceful evening watching TV when he hears a blood-curdling scream. In a well-choreographed tale, Atkinson brings the three lives together to make this one of the most popular books she ever wrote.
Started Early, Took My Dog: Started Early, Took My Dog is the fourth novel of the Jackson Brodie series with arguably the best story line of the Brodie books. Tracy Waterhouse a security chief gets her whole life turned upside down when she makes a humdrum purchase, only to find her tedious life replaced with danger and fear at every turn. Bringing in Tilly an elderly witness to the Faustian exchange and Jackson Brodie from whom Waterhouse asks for help, Kate Atkinson writes a thriller of a novel that has been compared to Dickens at his best.
OTHER BOOK SERIES YOU MAY LIKE
Many Jackson Brodie fans enjoy the “Garnethill” series of novels by Denise Mina. The books are suspense thriller featuring Maureen O’Donnell, a resolute amateur sleuth driven by raw instinct, grim wit, and compassion in the solving of complex whodunit mysteries. Many fans of the Jackson Brodie mysteries also love the “Simon Serrailler” series of novels by Susan Hill. These are detective crime fiction novels featuring Simon Serrailler, an introverted and gorgeous chief inspector of police who has to deal with past demons in addition to distressing police cases.
Jackson Brodie FAQs
Q: Who writes the Jackson Brodie series of books?
A: The Jackson Brodie series of books is written by British author Kate Atkinson.
Q: What is the first book in the Jackson Brodie series?
A: The first book in the Jackson Brodie series is called Case Histories and was published in 2005.
Q: Which actor played Jackson Brodie on TV?
A: Jackson Brodie was played by Jason Isaacs in the TV series Case Histories.