Thanks to the wonderful team of Tandem Collective, I am rereading the Cormoran Strike series and I’m loving it! The plan was to read a book a month, along with a few other bookstagrammers, starting on April and aiming to have read all the books up until August, when the fifth installment in the series is coming out! I’m so happy to participate in this readalong since Strike is one of my favorite detectives and Robert Galbraith, aka J.K. Rowling, is one of my favorite writers in that genre! Plus, I’m so excited on the new book!!!
It’s been months since Cormoran Strike solved the Lula Landry case and the office is now in a better shape than how we found it on The Cuckoo’s Calling. One day Strike has an unexpected client, one that didn’t have an appointment. The woman just wants him to find her husband and tell him to come back home. She just believes that it is a matter of a man talking to a man. All Strike has to do is to convince a writer to get back home to his family that needs him. How difficult or time consuming that might be?
The writer, Qwen Quine, has just finished his latest novel and he has gone missing along with his manuscript. He is nowhere to be found. His agent has no idea where he might be, and so does his publisher. The issue is that this brand new manuscript is one that has raised a lot of discussion all around the literary London as it seams that it is some kind of attack on many well known personalities around the writer. So, when Quine is found brutally murdered, it is a race of time for Strike to understand the motivation, means and opportunity and finally find his murderer. This case is the most complicated one that Strike has faced so far and he needs to make sense of every little piece of information, may it be official evidence or parts of discussion or interview he ever had with anyone that had been close to the writer.
In this second installment, Cormoran Strike is so much more active than he was in the first one. He is determined to bring justice and not let an innocent person be blamed for a not committed crime. We get to see more of his personality, as well as his past, without having to expect to see his ex fiance in every third chapter or so. We do get to see her, yes, as there is a new development that plays some part in the plot, and she has been a great part of Strike’s life for 16 years. Thankfully that part is over and Strike is now a person of his own. He is described as the typical man that likes football and forgets the ages of his nephews and godson, something that passes as a normal thing for someone like Strike. I don’t like the part that he is using a woman just to get information from her on his case, but I do appreciate the fact that the named woman realizes that and she treats him respectively.
Robin has a very good character development on this one as well. She is more visible, more hands on and more active than in the previous book. She loves investigative work and she does anything she can to help and support her boss, especially when he needs her the most. We also get to see a stereotype being crashed here, and I really like that part! Most men believe that women can’t drive, but guess what? Robin is an awesome driver! And there is also her relationship with Matthew. We have seen in the previous book how Matthew feels about Strike and his line of work and we see a bit more in this book as well. This has brought some friction in the couple, but as soon as Robin came clear on the reason she kept this job and not the human resources one, that would provide her with double the salary, then everything seems to fall in place, even if not so smoothly.
The plot and the characters of this new case where mostly enjoyable for me. I liked the fact that there were a number of suspects available and I was not able to guess early one who the killer might be. I had a few suspects in mind but I couldn’t decide among them. I really loved the trail of thinking the detective followed to get to the actual killer. It was a long shot and he had to try hard for evidence and all the while, I had no idea what was on his mind. I was trying to tie pieces of evidence together, without much of success on the final outcome. Things that might be of less importance to me, where actually of high importance for the case! When it was all out in the open, there were no loose ends.
Now, I just kind wait to start the next book in June!