When Will There be Good News? by Kate Atkinson Black Swan, HK$104 Kate Atkinson is that rarest of creatures: a literary novelist who lots of people want to read. Come to think of it, she's not unlike Marian Keyes, but with better sentences. Her early books (Behind the Scenes at the Museum, Human Croquet and Emotionally Weird) were self-conscious and playfully intertextual. Then she created Jackson Brodie, exactly the sort of left-of-centre detective that would work in a Kate Atkinson crime novel. Like most great crime serials, there is an element of soap opera that follows Brodie like a piece of toilet paper stuck to his shoe: during Atkinson's trilogy, he has gone from lonely to a relationship to lonely but with a son, all within the blink of a trilogy. But as with any great crime serials, each new book feels like a new beginning. Brodie's past seems to shift with each case as they all dip into the past. Here, a young girl, Joanna Mason, is the sole survivor of a brutal attack in which her mother and siblings are murdered. Three decades later, she disappears when the killer is about to be released. Filled with reflections, echoes and allusions it is fine, cerebral fun - and the title ends with a question mark: how cool is that?