Kate Atkinson’s One Good Turn (Black Swan, 2007) opens on a rainy Tuesday in Edinburgh.
A man calling himself Paul Bradley arrives during the madness of Festival. We are told immediately this is not his real name and so can infer that the unspoken errand he’s here to perform may not be above board. He makes a wrong turn in his rental Peugeot and finds himself on a narrow street with a crowd of people milling about ‘like the end of a war has just been declared’.
Martin Canning, a meek and unassuming writer of twee mysteries published under the nom de plumeAlex Blake, is taking the long route to his ‘office’ (quotation marks his own) to put in another day’s work on his latest Nina Riley novel (‘The blighter’s getting away, Bertie. I need a weapon – throw me that hockey stick!’). Continue reading