Title: Started Early, Took My Dog
Author: Kate Atkinson
I've read several of Kate Atkinson's earlier works, and in general, I've liked the mysteries more than what I'd call the postmodern experiments (like Behind the Scenes at the Museum). When I started reading Started Early, Took My Dog, I spent the first four hours of the audiobook trying to get all of the stories straight. The book employs third-person limited narration, but it jumps from perspective to perspective several times within a chapter, and at first, it's not entirely clear how all of the characters will come together. I accidentally only downloaded the first half of the book, and as a result, I was really confused while I was listening to it. It felt like a mystery, and read like a mystery, but how were they going to solve it and wrap up all the loose ends in ten more minutes? This wasn't going to be a lame cliffhanger like Discovery of Witches, was it? And then I got to the unsatisfying end, and heard a familiar woman's voice come on and say, "this book has been broken into multiple parts to make the download faster. You have reached the end of this part, but not the complete audiobook..." Suddenly everything made sense-- this was a mystery-- albeit a complicated one. I was a lot less mad at Kate Atkinson after that.
Anyway, I think the book is interesting-- it follows the story of a hushed up murder/child abduction in 1975 and parallels it with murders and child abductions in the present day. Several police officers, private investigators, and even one crazy old lady take turns sharing the story. While I was ultimately somewhat satisfied with what happened with the 1975 murder/abductions, there were a lot of things I'd like to see wrapped up a little more in the current day story. Who's doing the killing? Where did the dang dog come from? For that matter, where did the kid really come from? And was justice ultimately served?