One Good Turn Review
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This complicated tale begins in Edinburgh, London, when a man in a Honda rear-ends a man in a Peugeot. He then gets out of his car in a rage and goes after Peugeot man with a baseball bat in front of a crowd of witnesses who could describe the dog in the Honda man’s car—but not the Honda man himself.

Mystery writer Martin Canning comes to the Peugeot man’s aid and ends up taking care of him—even going as far as spending the night with him in a rundown hotel room because of his head injury. While Martin is watching over Peugeot man, comedian Richard Mott is murdered in Martin’s house.

Jackson Brodie—an ex-cop, ex-soldier, ex-private detective, and new millionaire married to an actress—seems to be lost in life. While he’s wandering around out of boredom, he sees the body of a young woman on a sandbar, about to be washed out to sea. The ex-policeman in him tries to haul the body in, but the tide is too strong, and he has to let her go. He reports the body to the police, but when a search turns up nothing, they think he’s a nutter looking for attention. Then Jackson has a run-in with the Honda man who tells him to forget what he saw. They end up in scuffle, and when the police arrive, it looks like Jackson attacked the Honda man, so he’s arrested.

Louise Monroe, a policewoman, takes over the case of the supposed murder. She has a troubled fourteen-year-old son and a dying cat at home. To make things worse, she’s attracted to Jackson who’s a murder suspect who pleaded guilty to assault and battery, even though he was innocent.

Gloria Hatter’s husband, Graham, has a heart attack during sex with a dominatrix called Tatiana. While he’s in intensive care, possibly dying, Gloria goes on about business as usual, ignoring frantic phone calls from people trying to reach Graham because of a crisis at his business, Hatter Homes—a building company that makes shoddily-built Real Homes for Real People. Plus, Graham has been laundering money.

All of these people are connected in some way, and it all seems to lead back to a cleaning company called Favors, which seems to do a little more than clean house.

Though One Good Turn doesn’t move in a fast-paced way, it keeps you captivated. It’s more literary in nature, and it spends a lot of time in each character’s head—but it’s such a fascinating place that you won’t mind. The characters are unique, while, at the same time, joined in a universal state-of-mind: life is mundane, life is funny, life is ironic. And you’ll relate because everyone’s life has been mundane or funny or ironic at one time or another.

The book presents a complicated mystery. You’ll be pretty sure who murdered whom, but you won’t be sure why until all the connections are made. You’ll want to read One Good Turn in front of a cozy fireplace while it’s snowing outside, on a day when you have absolutely nothing else to do—because you won’t want to put down this novel, not even for a second.

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