Private investigator Cormoran Strike returns in a new mystery from Robert Galbraith, author of the #1 international bestseller The Cuckoo’s Calling.
When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days—as he has done before—and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.
But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine’s disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives—meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced.
When Quine is found brutally murdered under bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before…
What a fun read! I think after reading this second book of J.K. Rowling/Robert Galbraith’s detective series that I really just like the way this women tells a story. Wizards or detectives, I’m all in. All of the characters, both major and minor, are well fleshed out and interesting, the plot moves and doesn’t dawdle, and I was completely surprised to find out who the killer is at the end. The subplot that focuses on Corm and Robin’s relationship is well done, too. And I really think that this second book in her Cormoran Strike series would have given her cover away if her pen name hadn’t been leaked earlier. This novel focuses on a world J.K. Rowling knows well: publishing. The references to so many stories about literary figures, stereotypes of writers, and even famous feuds make this a fun, and for me, a delicious read. And it’s sort of hilarious the way Rowling paints male literary writers, too.
I also love the growing friendship between Cormoran and his assistant Robin. The reliance they have on each other is sweet. And his respect for her is also refreshing. It’s not surprising that J.K. Rowling writes such lovely relationships (see all the Harry Potter books), but in the more hard boiled mystery novel it’s certainly refreshing to have that kind of relationship between a man and a woman.
I listened to this book as a part of the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge, Task 9. Listen to an audiobook that was won an Audie Award. This won the Audie Award for Mystery 2015 and I can understand why. Robert Glenister is the narrator and he does a wonderful job. And, as an American, I loved hearing all of the different English accents. As the week I listened went on, I found myself using some of my favorite British expressions and pronunciations (well, as close as I could get) around the house. And, yes, most of it was swearing.
Overall, I enjoyed the bloody hell out of this book (see what I did there?), and I will encourage you to read this book and the entire series as well. Don’t be afraid to read it because it isn’t Harry Potter, and think you can only read J.K. Rowling if she is writing HP novels. J.K. Rowling writes a damn good mystery novel and, if you love mysteries, you will enjoy the Cormoran Strike stories too.