by Robert Galbraith
Cormoran Strike is back with his assistant Robin, searching for a missing author of a controversial book. I read this at a similar time as Broken Harbor and I think it suffered a bit in comparison. Cormoran is a great character. He's a gruff, lumbering man, but his heart is big and his intimidating bulk can be deceptive for those who underestimate a sharp intelligence. In so many ways Strike has been broken, through his ex fiancé, the war, his famous fathers neglect, etc. but his vulnerabilities are well hidden from the general public.
I like that we are getting to know his history a little better as the series progresses. The writing can be overly descriptive and indulgent at times and I think for that reason it works better as an audiobook. Strike's assistant Robin had a chance to prove herself a bit more in this book. The tense relationship between her boss and fiancé hasn't improved, but she's taking a stance for what she wants of her career.
The plot of this one wasn't as strong in my opinion. It's a decent mystery, but it took a turn into some unnecessarily morbid and nasty areas. It was relevant to the characters lives, but it didn't need to be in there, nor to be taken quite as far in my opinion. It felt like Rowling was just trying to prove that she could write something graphic and not just a Harry Potter style content. I felt like she had already proven her skill as a mystery writer with “The Cuckoo's Calling” so that element in this book was completely unneeded.
BOTTOM LINE: I like both Cormoran and Robin as characters and so I'll still plan on reading the next book in the series. But if it sinks into the same level of grossness I will probably stop there. I'm hoping this one's content had more to do with this particular case with the direction of the series has a whole.
*Read as part of the R.I.P. Challenge hosted by Stainless Steel Droppings.