About Me

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I live in Canterbury, England. I lived for more than thirty years in Bedford. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019 and I am now properly retired and trying to write a novel. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. I have also recently become a keen playgoer to London Fringe Theatre. I enjoy mostly classics and I read the playscripts and add those to the blog. I am a member of Bedford Writers' Circle. See their website here: http://bedford-writers.co.uk/ Follow me on twitter: @daja57

Sunday, 30 August 2020

"Lethal White" by Robert Galbraith (aka J K Rowling)

"The curious case of a government minister, slashed horses and a body buried in a pink blanket, down in a dell." (C 20)

The fourth Cormoran Strike novel starts where the previous one began, as assistant Robin is getting married to her long-term boyfriend. Both PI Cormoran and Robin go through problems with their relationships. Meanwhile they are hired by government minister Jasper Chiswell to investigate blackmail threats coming. One of the suspects is Jimmy whose psychotic brother Billy tells Cormoran that he witnessed the killing and burial of a little girl, or was it a boy, near the government minister's house. The stakes in this mystery a further raised when a key character is found dead.

For me, the Cormoran Strike novels are the best things that J K Rowling has written. The books are long and this gives her the opportunity to make precise and detailed descriptions of the settings and the characters. The people come alive, the action scenes grip and the scenes in an old house at night, or digging through the night for a shallow grave next to a ruined cottage, are suitably tense. A great read.

Great Moments:
  • "A pair of gigantic, crumbling stone skulls sat on top of carved bones on gateposts, beyond which a tall square tower rose." (C 3)
  • "she was speaking in a series of unfinished sentences, occasionally losing herself in secondary clauses" (C 5)
  • "Sycophancy should be our national Olympic sport!" (C 5)
  • "Bare-chested, tanned and handsome, Matthew’s features were so symmetrical that his reflection was almost identical to his real appearance." (C 7)
  • "‘Some women just like fat one-legged pube-headed men with broken noses.’ ‘Well, it’s a sad indictment of our mental health services that they’re loose on the streets,’" (C 11)
  • "lately he had felt tiny spots of displeasure when he had told her he had to work weekends, like the first heavy drops of rain that presage a storm." (C 11)
  • "She had the talent, by no means usual, of staging an erotic scene without tipping into parody." (C 11)
  • "He’s a pervert, but with creepy add-ons." ( 20)
  • "Izzy’s gone with Dad to do something so tedious it just bounced off my brain." (C 21)
  • "It was four in the morning, the hopeless hour when shivering insomniacs inhabit a world of hollow shadow, and existence seems frail and strange." (C 26)
  • "With her whole heart, she regretted not leaving then, before he could scratch himself on coral, before she could be trapped, as she now saw it, by cowardice disguised as compassion." (C 27)
  • "Strike sipped tea that he suspected was of the finest quality, but which, to him, tasted unpleasantly of dried flowers." (C 38)
  • "The older he got, the more Matthew was aggravated by and contemptuous of people who did not dress, think or live as he did." (C 47)
  • "A curious-looking man, whose ascetic features of pinched nose and black brows were enclosed by rolls of fat around chin and neck, as though a puritan had been engulfed by the body of a jolly squire." (C 49)
  • "Life had taught him that a great and powerful love could be felt for the most apparently unworthy people, a circumstance that ought, after all, to give everybody consolation." (C 54)
  • "You can bloody hate someone and still wish they gave a shit about you and hate yourself for wishing it." (C 58)
  • "Bullets would bounce off their self-regard." (C 58)
  • "His dark mood had lightened so abruptly that it was akin to having moved from sober to three pints down." (C 61)
  • "Sometimes you’ve got to slap on a brave face and walk out into the world, and after a while it isn’t an act any more, it’s who you are." (C 62)
  • "Maybe you could put that on the next employee satisfaction review. 'Not as bloody annoying as the woman who shagged my husband.' I’ll have it framed." (C 62)
  • "‘Would it be OK if I have two minutes,’ she asked, pressing the cold kitchen roll against her swollen and bleeding lip, ‘to enjoy not being dead, before you start?’" (C 69)
Thoroughly enjoyable. August 2020

The other Cormoran Strike novels, in order:

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