Jean, 39, lover of sci-fi, horror and fantasy, reader of comic books, conqueror of genre fiction.
This was probably the summer read I was most looking forward to, and I was not disappointed. Much as I loved The Cuckoo's Calling (and I did!) it had its problems like, in my opinion, not fully utilizing Robin after such a promising introduction, an obvious murderer and a solution I'm not entirely sure satisfied. This, the second in the Cormoran Strike mysteries, solves all of these issues, much to my delight.
The cast of characters/suspects are eccentric, amusing, fun to read about; a nice little poke at the literary community, with a finger pointed especially at the inherent misogyny of the industry (something I'm sure J.K. is personally familiar with.) I did finger the murderer fairly early on, but I hadn't a clue about motivation, and she still made me gasp as she connected all of the clues at the end, which is what pushed it from a solid four star review up to five. [spoiler]Connecting Elizabeth Tassel's persistent cough to the suspicious items purchased months before the murder, and her love of her dogs into the overall solution was amazing; those are the kinds of details that I take for granted that an author will forget about, or doesn't care to wrap up.[/spoiler] The theme of Jacobean revenge tragedies is perfectly incorporated in both the perverseness of the crime and of its players, as well as the perfectly selected quotes that start each chapter.
But what really made the book shine for me were Cormoran and Robin herself, this time a somewhat united front, as Robin struggles to make Strike understand that she's serious about the line of work that she's chosen, and he worries about losing her to her jealous and slightly temperamental fiance. Their interactions were perfectly pitched, making neither one too dense, neither one too in the right, or sometimes, too in the wrong. It's a stunning balance that makes me want to read more about them, want to know more about these characters, and delight in their friendship. But I need the sequels soon, okay Ms. Rowling? Because I need to know what happened to Robin, to drop out of uni and her drive her away from her psychology degree!