Let’s get a few things out of the way real quick: JK Rowling is a TERF. And trans women are women.
I checked this one out of the library before Rowling went on her recent bigotry spree on Twitter. She’s always held problematic views regarding transfolk but in recent weeks, she’s decided to just let her phobic flag fly. She also, perhaps not coincidentally, signed the infamous Harpers letter with other popular writers and academics that tut tutted “cancel culture”, the perpetual fear of the rich that they might not sell their product at a dizzying rate because it’s revealed that they hold animus towards a certain group of marginalized folks.
Anyway, this was going on in the background while I was reading this book. I read Cuckoo’s Calling years ago and was indifferent to it. Someone suggested I try this one and with reluctance I did.
And what’s frustrating is I found this a step up from the first Strike book. Aside from the cloying nature of Strike and Robin’s relationship (anytime there was a Matthew reference, my stomach dropped), I found the mystery interesting and Rowling’s skewing of England’s publishing industry to be funny. So I was enjoying it in spite of myself.
But then, there’s a trans character…whose life is somewhat played for tragedy and wrapped in the mystery. Plus a trans subplot in the novel within the novel that…gah! It was impossible to escape or appreciate the book after, though I did finish it.
Please consider donating to the Trans Women of Color Collective…twocc.us/donate