When Will There be Good News
‘Made up of powerful, strong women’
Throughout this novel Atkinson subverts stereotypes and conventions of the crime writing genre and character, making for a satisfying and exciting read from beginning to end.
Three of the four main characters are made up of powerful, strong women, Louise, Reggie and Joanna. Reggie, a teenage girl portrays a progressive detective figure in the book, doing the job that typically a man has done in traditional crime writing e.g Hercule Poirot, creating a more relatable and empowering character for young women. While Joanna successfully defeats the villain characters in the book, this goes against the ‘damsel in distress’ cliche as she saves herself. She is an intelligent and layered character who makes up the main mystery of the book, and largely contributes to the theme of coincidence present. Finally, Louise manages to show the reader a realistic, modern working woman whose private and family life defies expectations, in that she is arguably much more passionate about her detective work and caring for victims, than her romantic and family life. This is a new representation of a woman who is not as interested in settling down with a family and husband, subverting traditional values and representing a different future that women are allowed to aim and hope for, conveying a role model. As well as this the writing in the novel also encourages working class heroes, as it in parts somewhat mocks the middle class and the stereotypes attached. With the addition of dark humour, this makes for an easy and enjoyable read with just the correct amount of tension and suspension, and a satisfying addition of coincidence and not conforming to expectations, both through narrative and characterisation.