I’ve been looking forward to reading this one since last summer and therefore I’m so glad I actually had the chance to read it now! The Cormoran Strike series is one of my favourites and one of those that I never find the killer! That’s a big plus for me when it comes to a detective story!
This time, Private Detective Cormoran Strike is in Cornwall, visiting Joan and Ted, his aunt and uncle, as Joan is going through a health issue. One night, he is out having a drink with a mate of his from the old days, when he is being approached by a woman. She wants him to try and find out what happened to her mother, who disappeared in 1974, after leaving her practice and on her way to meet a friend. The missing mother was a GP and a new mother so it stroke to the daughter that she wouldn’t be leaving her baby and flee.
It’s the first time that Strike is working on a cold case, but his nagging feeling of always wanting to know what actually happened couldn’t let him decline the job. Given this is a cold case of almost 40 years, there no rush to have results in a month or two and he and Robin needed to do a lot of digging to get their hands on the actual evidence of the case, they add this one on top of the other cases they are currently handling, having a year on their disposal to get results.
With Joan’s health issues falling upon Strike and Robin going through a messy divorce, the two of them are working endless hours, trying not to push their subcontractors’ to their limits while as the same time trying to keep their active cases moving and not lose any clients. In the midst of it, Robin is getting some unwanted male attention whilst trying to understand her feelings about her business partner.
As the cold case investigation moves on, they realise they are going through a very complex case woven with tarot cards, a psychopathic serial killer, unreliable witnesses and lots of secrets that are not to be revealed that easily. So many people are involved in this case and the suspect list is growing lager every time they find a new lead.
Every now and then I was trying to go through the evidence they had and tried to narrow it down to two or three, but it was always so difficult! There was always a bit of more information point to this direction or the other, so when Strike seems to have finally understood what has happened, I’m actually at a loss! I have no idea what he saw, even though the tipping point was pretty clear. The explanation though had all turns and angles covered and everything clicked in place.
I enjoyed this one as much or even more than the previous books. The character development of Strike and Robin is the key point in this one as well as the relationship they seem to build over the years. I was glad to see that they were both trying to understand where they stand and how their own feelings could affect not only their relationship but also their professional life. They are both going through a lot and working seems to take their minds off the ugly things in their lives. What I’m glad to see is they now know what they mean to each other and I’m happy with their current status.
I hate it when people speak without having any clues or evidences. I have seen some blaming reviews about the book and about the author with respect to some transvestite murderer. This is all false information. There was no such thing in the book. There was a very intelligent male serial killer that a couple of times wore a wig and a woman’s coat. This was a disguise he sometimes used to lure his victims from afar, so as to feel safe. I’m so sad how this small piece of the book was used in order to convince people not to read it.
On the contrary, the author addresses a few tough topics, such as domestic violence, abortion, sexual harassment, pornography and sex trafficking, racism and mental illness in way that on one hand serves the plot while on the same time do not provoke or insult, but rather enlighten those that might be on the receiving end and give them something to think on and understand that they shouldn’t be justifying everything, but should be getting justice for themselves. It’s a very eye opening book, especially to people that are receiving such behavior and they are trying to dismiss it as not important.
Thank you Little, Brown Book for my gifted copy! This one is the best in the series so far!!