Okay, this is actually a pretty recent read. Like last two years or so read, which is probably more recent than most of these books (rereads not included). Anyway, I know what you all are thinking, it says it’s by Robert Galbraith but we all know that’s just J.K. Rowling in disguise and yes, I did only want to read it because I found out the real author…however, bare with me because this is no Harry Potter book.
The series follows gruff, war vet turned private detective Cormoran Strike, who is basically everything I’d want in a noir detective but he’s stuck in modern England. He’s accompanied by Robin, who is newly engaged, newly moved into the city and just supposed to be temporary. Their first meeting is anything but smooth. However, after a bumpy start the two begin to work better together. The plot is set in motion by John Bristow, who knows Cormoran from childhood. His adopted sister, Lula Landry (a famous model) died three months previous and all except Bristow had accepted it as suicide, Lula having been known to deal with mental issues and drug abuse. Strike is reluctant to take on Bristow’s case but Bristow is well off and offers enough money to make a dent in Strike’s piling bills, so he takes the case, though he expects to find nothing different than the police did…what follows is a murder mystery that had me guess until the big reveal, something I never saw coming.
There are several thing I enjoyed about this story. The first is it’s characters. Cormoran Strike is rough, not just around the edges, but everywhere one looks. He’s not good at being soft or kind unless he means it. He drinks, he’s missing a leg, his looks are nothing to swoon over and he doesn’t have enough social skill to charm the pants off a desperate cougar…however, he is huge and intimidating and that works just as well. Robin, on the other hand, is pretty normal. She loves celeb gossip, her fiancée and the idea of mystery and danger more than the actual practice of dealing with both. She’s stubborn, intelligent and cheeky and I enjoy the back and fourth she and Cormoran build as the story continues. I like the way the story kept me guessing, which might not be hard to do in books because I haven’t really read many detective novels but according to Criminal Minds and the first episode of BBC’s Sherlock it’s pretty hard to fool me, so take that as you will. I really enjoyed how fully fleshed out Lula Landry was. She is dead at the beginning of the story, but she still comes to life as we uncover her story. She was relatable in her struggle to understand who she is, not just the being adopted part but being mixed. For me a lot of what she struggled with connected on a deeply personal level.
There are moments that are slow, I will say that. But the thing about it is, every slow moment seems to develop the characters more, for me at least. There was something really realistic about the the ebb and flow of action throughout the story. Some moments hit as slower than others but overall I really enjoyed reading this and would recommend it.