This is the second Cormoran Strike novel by Robert Galbraith who is better known as J K Rowling. It is better than The Cuckoo's Calling, which was good. This is a very good detective novel indeed.
The usual cast of characters are here, resolving their issues with one another and with their partners. Private Eye Strike investigates a missing author who he soon finds murdered in horrific circumstances which appear strikingly similar to the ending of his latest unpublished novel which appears to viciously attack a wide section of London's literary world. Every chapter heading has quotes from Jacobean tragedies and a one-legged detective limping painfully around a snow-bound London in pursuit of a crazed killer seems to fit the bill perfectly.
Despite the flamboyance of the scenery, Galbraith keeps reality firmly in mind. I started wincing every time Strike's prosthesis rubbed or he had to limp down a snow-covered street concentrating hard on not slipping. When he interrogates a witness over lunch he worries about the size of the bill; he tries taking the tube rather than taxis despite his damaged knee. Locations are accurately described, from exclusive clubs to pubs to tower blocks. Characters are sympathetically portrayed: they function in the plot but each one has a set of strengths and weaknesses and longings and disgusts.
Whodunnit? Clues are scattered through the narrative with care, red herrings are equally dispersed. I nearly got it.
Well written and a real page turner; I didn't really want to go to bed last night. June 2014; 455 pages
Also read Strike #3 Career of Evil
- Having reviewed over 1200 books on this blog, I have now written two myself. Motherdarling is a story about a search for a missing Will which reveals long-hidden family secrets. The Kids of God is a thriller set in a dystopia ruled by fascist paramilitaries. Both are available as paperbacks and on Kindle through Amazon. 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. I am now properly retired. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. Follow me on twitter: @daja57