Multi-threaded crime thriller
Have you ever seen a painting that has so much detail in the background that the main subject becomes almost invisible to your eye? Have you ever listened to a piece of music that has so many intricate harmonies that the melody becomes obscured? Either way, try to imagine the equivalent book. You now have the base format of One Good Turn in your mind. This story has a brilliant plot, but it takes quite a while to get past all of the memories of the characters and their friends and relations. I would encourage you to persevere, because you will eventually uncover a crime thriller with more twists and turns than the back streets of Edinburgh.
Beginning with a road rage incident that unfolds before an assortment of people queuing for an Edinburgh Festival event, the plot unravels the connections between these people and a millionaire property developer who is lying, close to death, in the intensive care unit of Edinburgh Infirmary. How he got there is for you to read.
There is a good balance of horrific and comical moments in this book. There are also some neat little thought provokers such as that which stems out of the cliché, "as dead as a doornail." Why a doornail? Can death be comparative? How could anything be deader than anything else? Et cetera.
Eventually, the backgrounds are all complete, the strands of the plot are all neatly entwined and there are no remaining loose ends.
Kate Atkinson has a unique style, which she applies to this over-subscribed genre. I like the style and I enjoyed the story, so I would recommend it to most of my friends. There are a few who would not enjoy it, as it is a matter of taste. To the reader of this review, I would say, just try it.