So this just happened.
Again I feel like I need to start this review with a disclaimer: I am the worst book geek there ever was. I say that because I mainly just read when I’m living abroad. I don’t know why, but the fact of the matter is that from 2010 till 2015 I was reading perhaps less than 6 books a year. It was only last year that I moved back to Europe, and suddenly I’m joining bookclubs and reading 35 books in 9 months.
Anyway, I hope this might excuse the fact that I did not know this was a JKR book when I picked it up, nor had I read the previous ones. The only reason I bought this was because it was on sale for £0.99 on Audible. I know. I should not be allowed to call myseld a book afficcionado. I promise I’ll try and do better.
In any case, let me get on to the actual review portion of my rambles. Brief summary for those of you who, like me, have no idea who Cormoran Strike is.
Strike is a PI who, along with his assistant/partner Robin, has solved a few high profile cases (I am assuming in the previous books) and has become quite famous. He’s also missing a leg and, surprisingly enough, a positive balance on his bank statement. Someone from his past is obviously very jealous of his success and decides to screw with him by sending him a package – containing a human leg. Yes, you read me right: a human leg.
He contacts the police (apparently they don’t like him much on account of his previous successes having made them look like incompetent fools), and presents them with suspects: men from his past who hold him responsible for misfortunes in their lives (such as murder or going to jail for abuse – you know, the kinds of things that are totally another person’s fault ¬¬), and who he believes are capable of murder. The police officer doesn’t put a lot of stock into his suspects, so he decides to start investigating on his own, with Robin’s help.
Then it starts: there is SO MUCH going on with this book. The story unravels slowly, each thread carefully presented and woven together in a masterful way. We don’t get the backstories right from the start. We don’t know why Strike considers them to be the possible perpetrator. As the investigations begin, paralel for each suspect, we start getting little nuggets of information and maybe there are clues throughout (hindsight being 20/20 and all that), but it left me hanging until the very end.
We slowly learn so much not only about the suspects, but also about Strike and Robin, and the supporting characters. They are all complex creatures, full of nuance and I just got so involved (I wanted to bitchslap Matthew so hard).
Anyway, I don’t want to spoil anyone – you should read the book.
It is a great mystery novel, without all the forced romance crap you find sometimes in books of the genre which tend to kill the stories (at least for me). Although I think she may have been trying to hint at a romantic foundation there somewhere, I can’t be sure. I think she’s brilliant, but the woman is not a romance writer and for me, that’s a good thing.