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Are you a fan of mystery novels and looking for your next thrilling read? Look no further than Kate Atkinson’s “One Good Turn.” In this comprehensive audiobook review, we delve into the intricacies of this captivating mystery, exploring its plot, characters, setting, and more.

Key Takeaways

  • “One Good Turn” by Kate Atkinson is a must-read for fans of mystery novels.
  • The audiobook narration enhances the overall storytelling experience.
  • The characters are captivating and memorable, with dynamic relationships and development.
  • Edinburgh’s atmospheric setting adds to the ambiance of the book.
  • The deeper themes and takeaways offer a thought-provoking reading experience.

About the Author: Kate Atkinson

Kate Atkinson, born in 1951 in York, England, is a highly acclaimed author who has won several awards for her works of literature. She started her career as a short story writer and has since gone on to publish several novels, including “Life After Life,” “Behind the Scenes at the Museum,” and “One Good Turn,” which we review here.

Atkinson’s writing style is characterized by its masterful blend of literary fiction and crime/mystery genres. Her works often feature complex plots and multi-dimensional characters that are expertly crafted to keep readers engaged and invested.

Throughout her career, Atkinson has been praised for her ability to create a strong sense of place and atmosphere, transporting readers to different times and locations. Her writing is also marked by its wit, humor, and astute observations about human nature.

If you’re interested in learning more about Kate Atkinson and her works, we recommend checking out her official website and exploring her impressive collection of novels and short stories.

Overview of “One Good Turn”

One Good Turn

One Good Turn, written by the acclaimed author Kate Atkinson, is a gripping mystery novel that takes place in Edinburgh, Scotland. The story weaves together several seemingly unconnected characters, whose lives become intertwined after a traumatic event that occurs during the Edinburgh Festival.

The main character, Jackson Brodie, is a former police officer turned private investigator who finds himself in the midst of the chaos after witnessing a road rage incident. As the story progresses, secrets are uncovered, and the characters find themselves connected in ways they never could have imagined.


The plot of One Good Turn is complex and intricately woven, with multiple storylines converging in unexpected ways. At its core, the novel is a murder mystery, but it also explores the themes of love, betrayal, and the repercussions of our actions.

“One Good Turn always leads to another, and that’s what they never tell you. It’s the people who look at all the bad turns and think they can’t do anything who end up doing nothing.” – A quote from One Good Turn.


The characters in One Good Turn are richly drawn and complex, each with their own backstory and motivations. From Jackson Brodie, the ex-cop turned private investigator, to Gloria Hatter, the wife of a successful businessman, the characters are all intricately connected in ways that are only revealed as the story unfolds.

“She was finding it hard to remember a time when she hadn’t been Gloria Hatter, wife of Graham Hatter. She supposed, in a way, she had always been Gloria Hatter; it was just that before she met Graham she had been a different version of Gloria Hatter.” – A quote from One Good Turn.


The setting of One Good Turn is as much a character in the story as any of the human characters. Set against the backdrop of the Edinburgh Festival, the city itself is a living, breathing entity, with its winding streets and towering castle providing the perfect atmospheric backdrop for the mystery that unfolds.

Overall, One Good Turn is a well-crafted mystery novel that keeps readers engaged from beginning to end. With complex characters, an intricately woven plot, and the beautiful setting of Edinburgh, this book is a must-read for anyone who enjoys a good mystery.

Engaging Narration: Audiobook Experience

If you’re looking for a different way to experience “One Good Turn,” the audiobook version will not disappoint. The narration brings the story to life and enhances the overall audiobook experience. The narrator’s tone and pace provide an engaging and immersive experience that grips listeners from start to finish.

The audiobook version of “One Good Turn” is an excellent option for those who don’t have the time or desire to read a physical book. It allows listeners to indulge in the story while multitasking or traveling, making the audiobook experience an exciting and relaxing one.

But don’t just take our word for it. Check out some of the reviews left by listeners who have experienced “One Good Turn” through the audiobook:

  • “The narrator’s voice was perfectly matched with the story’s tone, and the audiobook kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time.”
  • “I loved how the narrator gave each character a unique voice that made them feel more alive and exciting.”
  • “The audiobook version of ‘One Good Turn’ was an absolute joy to listen to, and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good mystery.”

So sit back, relax, and let the engaging narration of “One Good Turn” take you on a thrilling journey.

Unraveling the Mystery: Plot Analysis


At the heart of “One Good Turn” lies an intriguing mystery that keeps readers guessing until the very end. Author Kate Atkinson employs various storytelling techniques to keep the plot suspenseful and engaging, making it a must-read for fans of the genre.

As we analyze the plot twists and turns in “One Good Turn,” it becomes apparent that Atkinson is a master of pacing and tension-building. The book’s opening scene sets the stage for the mystery to come, and Atkinson expertly weaves together multiple storylines and perspectives to create a complex web of intrigue.

Throughout the book, readers are kept on their toes as they try to unravel the mystery alongside the characters. Subtle clues and hints are sprinkled throughout the narrative, and Atkinson never gives too much away too soon, leaving readers hungry for more.

One particularly notable aspect of Atkinson’s storytelling in “One Good Turn” is her use of flashback sequences to provide insight into the characters’ motivations and past experiences. These flashes of backstory help to deepen the mystery and add an extra layer of complexity to the plot.

All in all, “One Good Turn” is a masterclass in mystery and suspenseful storytelling. Atkinson’s careful plotting and expert pacing make for a captivating read that will keep you hooked until the very end.

Memorable Characters: Development and Dynamics

One of the standout features of Kate Atkinson’s “One Good Turn” is its impressive cast of memorable characters.

At the center of the story is Jackson Brodie, a former police detective turned private investigator. Brodie is a complex character whose history and personality are slowly revealed throughout the book, making him all the more intriguing.

Another captivating character is Gloria Hatter, a wealthy philanthropist with a mysterious past. Hatter’s journey throughout the book is a compelling one, as she confronts the truth about her own life and the people she cares about.

Additionally, the supporting characters in “One Good Turn” are equally well-developed and fascinating. From the bumbling crime novelist Martin Canning to the ruthless hotel owner Paul Bradley, each character brings a unique dynamic to the story.

One of the strengths of Atkinson’s writing is her ability to create complex, flawed characters who feel like real people. As the story progresses, the characters’ relationships and interactions become increasingly intertwined, adding depth and nuance to the plot.

Overall, the memorable characters and their development and dynamics in “One Good Turn” are a key component of what makes this novel such a compelling read.

Atmospheric Setting: Immersion in Edinburgh

Edinburgh’s atmospheric setting is a key element in “One Good Turn,” as Kate Atkinson vividly captures the city’s enchanting ambiance throughout the story. From the winding streets of the Old Town to the grand allure of the New Town, readers are transported to the heart of Edinburgh and its distinct personality.

The city’s rich history and cultural references are woven seamlessly into the plot, adding a layer of depth to the story and immersing readers in the world of the characters. Edinburgh’s landmarks, such as the iconic Arthur’s Seat and the enchanting Holyrood Palace, create a sense of authenticity to the setting, while the descriptions of the city’s vibrant festival season evoke a feeling of excitement and anticipation.

The use of descriptive language and imagery further enhances Edinburgh’s atmospheric setting, allowing readers to visualize the city’s allure and complexity. As a result, the setting becomes a character in its own right, captivating readers and adding to the book’s overall ambiance.

Overall, the atmospheric setting of Edinburgh in “One Good Turn” is a notable aspect that enriches the story, creating a memorable reading experience.

Critical Acclaim and Reader Reception

Since its release, “One Good Turn” has received critical acclaim and won over readers worldwide with its engaging plot, memorable characters, and atmospheric setting. The book has been described as a “riveting mystery” by The Guardian, highlighting Kate Atkinson’s mastery of the genre. The New York Times praised Atkinson’s “acerbic wit and vivid prose,” while The Independent hailed “One Good Turn” as a “polished gem of a book.”

On Goodreads, “One Good Turn” has an average rating of 3.91 out of 5, with over 45,000 ratings and 3,700 reviews. Many readers have praised the book’s intricate plot, clever twists, and relatable characters. One reviewer wrote, “It’s a page-turner with clever writing, mystery, and delightful characters.” Another said, “I loved this book. It’s the perfect combination of well-developed characters and an intriguing plot.”

Overall, “One Good Turn” has garnered significant attention and praise from readers and critics alike, cementing Kate Atkinson’s position as a renowned author in the literary world.

Themes and Takeaways: Deeper Meanings

While “One Good Turn” is a compelling mystery on its surface, there are deeper themes and takeaways that make the story even more thought-provoking and impactful.

One of the central themes of the novel is the interconnectedness of our lives and actions. Atkinson weaves a complex web of characters and events, demonstrating how seemingly small moments can have a ripple effect that touches the lives of others in unexpected ways.

Another significant theme is the idea that the truth can be subjective and multifaceted. As the story unfolds, different characters have their own interpretations of events, and it becomes clear that the truth is a matter of perspective. This theme highlights the fallibility of human perception and the importance of considering multiple viewpoints when seeking to understand the world around us.

The novel also explores the consequences of our actions and how they can shape the course of our lives. The characters in “One Good Turn” are forced to confront the repercussions of their choices, and the story serves as a reminder that our decisions – both big and small – can have a lasting impact.

Key Takeaways

  • The interconnectedness of our lives and actions is a central theme in “One Good Turn.”
  • The novel highlights the fallibility of human perception and the importance of considering multiple viewpoints.
  • “One Good Turn” serves as a reminder of the consequences of our actions and how they can shape our lives.

By exploring these deeper themes and takeaways, readers can gain a richer understanding of the story and the complex issues it addresses.


Overall, “One Good Turn” by Kate Atkinson is a captivating mystery that keeps readers on the edge of their seats. The audiobook experience, with its engaging narration, elevates the storytelling even further, immersing readers in the atmospheric setting of Edinburgh.

Kate Atkinson has woven a complex and intricate plot, filled with suspense and unexpected twists and turns. The characters are well-developed and memorable, each with their own unique impact on the story.

Through “One Good Turn,” Atkinson explores deeper themes and takeaways, encouraging readers to consider the implications of the story beyond surface level. The critical acclaim and positive reader reception of the book only serve to reinforce its impact within the literary world.

In conclusion, “One Good Turn” is a must-read for lovers of mystery and suspense, with its gripping plot, engaging characters, and thought-provoking themes. Kate Atkinson has once again proven herself as a talented author, leaving readers eager to explore more of her works.

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