I just watched all the BBC adaptations of the previous Cormoran Strike novels, which I very much enjoyed and I couldn’t wait to get this new installment. I bought it as an audiobook, as this was the cheapest way for me to get it (using my monthly credit) and it was a long listen, over thirty hours which consumed my life for about a week! Initially, I found the narrator’s West Country accent for Strike really off putting, I was so used to the gorgeous Tom Burke’s portrayal of the tortured but nobel Strike, that the accent, which was to my ears like the lovechild of Sam Gamgee and Worzel Gummidge was just wrong. I got used to it though, and I realise that it is fitting for Strike to talk this way as he was raised in Cornwall (his backstory is explored more in this novel which is partially set in his childhood home).
I really love this series, Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling) manages to capture the array of human foibles and personalities with all the good, bad and in between in a way that is totally believable and relatable. The mystery is complex and interesting, covering black magic, astrology, medicine, crime gang lords, genetic illness and more. The subplots of ongoing investigations being carried out by Strike and Robin’s agency give both light relief from, and additional insight to, the main plot.
For me, having a will-they-won’t-they romantic relationship thing going on between the male and female detectives in a whodunnit is usually an annoying cliche too far that would put me off reading a series. I have to admit though, that I’m totally sold on the whole Robin/Cormoran love vibe, and it’s resolution, or at least acknowledgment is if anything, more important to me than the mystery aspect of the plot. There are some very frustrating, and also some very sweet moments between the two protagonists, and I thought this aspect of the book was handled perfectly!
When I got to the end, I was sad it was over, and wished I also had it on Kindle so I could read it again (I guess I could listen on audiobook again, but it’s so long, and I have other things I want to listen to….). If the kindle book gets cheaper, I’ll defo buy it and read it.