Started Early, Took My Dog (Jackson Brodie #4)

After Marlee was born they rented videos and fell asleep in front of them. Now, like so much else in Jackson's world, videos were obsolete.

disengaging from the rat race Jackson

Fiction had never been Jackson's thing. Facts seemed challenging enough without making stuff up. What he discovered was that the great novels of the world were about three things - death, money and sex. Occasionally a whale.

He caught the look on her face, a mixture of distaste and confusion which eventually resolved into something more cryptic. Women usually needed to be acquainted with him a little longer before he saw that expression on their faces.

He wondered what a visitor from the past would make of it. It used to be the poor who were thin and the rich who were fat, now it seemed to be the other way round.

In the half-century of his life, a tick on the Doomsday clock, he had borne witness to the most unbelievable technological advances. He had started off listening to an old Bush radio in the corner of the living room and now he had a phone in his hand on which he could pretend to throw a scrunched-up piece of paper into a waste bin. The world had waited a long time for that.

Marlee was fourteen. A dangerous age, although, let’s face it, Jackson thought, every age was a dangerous age for a woman.

On the outside of the bedroom door there was a plaque that said Valerie. On the way up, Jackson noticed that other bedrooms also had names - Eleanor, Lucy, Anna, Charlotte.Jackson wondered how you decided on a name for a room. Or a doll. Or a child, for that matter. The naming of dogs seemed even more perplexing.

Really she was just like everyone else, she wanted to love someone. Even better if they loved you in return. She was considering getting a cat. She didn’t really like cats though. That might be a bit of a problem. Quite liked dogs.

…she was just like everyone else, she wanted to love someone. Even better if they loved you in return.

Shropshire, the fatlands of Gloucestershire,

Sometimes Jackson thought that the past wasn’t just another country, it was a lost continent somewhere at the bottom of an unknown ocean.

This Jackson bloke was the ruddy Scarlet Pimpernel, here, there and everywhere, always one step ahead of Barry. And everywhere he went, women were disappearing.

This was love. It didn't come free, you paid in pain. Your own. But then nobody ever said love was easy. Well, they did, but they were idiots.

Time was a thief and Jackson felt he gained a small triumph by stealing back some of the early hours

Tracy thought she must be missing something, it felt like the same world as ever to her. The rich getting richer, the poor getting poorer, kids everywhere falling through the cracks. The Victorians would have recognized it. People just watched a lot more TV and found celebrities interesting, that was all that was different.

Twittering just seemed to be people telling other people what they were doing--getting in the shower, making coffee. Who on earth wanted to know these things?...Babble and twitter. Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

You can’t change the past, only the future, and the only place you could change the future was in the present. That’s what they said.

You could guarantee a decent cup of coffee in Betty's, but it went beyond the decent coffee and the respectable girls (and women) who had been parcelled up some time in the 1930s and freshly unwrapped this morning. It was the way that everything was exactly right and fitting. And clean.