I love these books. Rowling better keep churning them out because in addition to her fantastic plotting in each one, I am so emotionally invested in these characters that it’s ridiculous.
“Strike knew how deeply ingrained was the belief that the evil conceal their dangerous predilections for violence and domination. When they wear them like bangles for all to see, the gullible populace laughs, calls it a pose, or finds it strangely attractive.”
So first, the murder plot. Robin receives a severed leg one day — accompanied by Blue Oyster Cult lyrics — delivered by a masked courier who meets her at the front door of the detective agency. Strike has 3 contacts from his past who might have sent him a severed leg (Strike’s a fun guy): his stepfather plus two enemies from his days in the army. As they investigate the case, with and without the help of the police, Strike and Robin get pulled further and further into this psycho’s web. And more women show up mutilated and killed.
I love that these books seem so…traditional in their plotting, while still managing to be fascinating and cunning. What I mean by that is, I am so used to novels and films and TV shows where the cops/detectives spend the whole time chasing one or two bad guys, only to have the actual perpetrator be someone completely out of left field. These books don’t do that. The author makes it clear from the start that it’s one of these three or four suspects, and then spends the whole novel dropping tantalizing clues to keep you roped in until the final reveal. And believe me, there are still some good twists and turns in this book, like the others. The end definitely surprised me.
I also love the relationship between Strike and Robin, which continues to change and evolve as they themselves change and evolve. I am completely wrapped up in these people. As several points during the book, Robin appears to be in great danger. I listened to the audiobook, mostly while running, and I would completely forget where I was as I focused so entirely on what would happen next. I cannot WAIT for book four!