Published – April 18th 2013 by Sphere
Based in 2010 England (You get a few mentions of Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister at the time)
So I’ve had this book since it first came out and I’ve only just got around to reading it. I’ve tried many times before but I just couldn’t get in to it but I’m happy to say that I have now completed it!
I feel as if I’ve accomplished a great feat…
After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his long-time girlfriend and is living in his office.
Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man. (Via Goodreads)
I’m going to start this off by saying that it took a ridiculous amount of time for me to really get in to this book. From the notes I took I was around page 120 to 150 before I really started to enjoy myself. I must have been enjoying it otherwise I would never have read that far but this was a hard book for me to start. That being said once I got in to it I couldn’t put this book down, it wasn’t full of thrilling car chases or staking out a suspect but it did have a lot of interesting characters and plot points.
Speaking of characters I marvel at J.K. Rowling’s writing. How she manages to get the characters to jump off the page I have no idea but they are so realistic I can easily visualise them in my head. (FYI I’m pretty sure everyone knows by now but Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym of J.K. Rowling’s. She uses this name for her Cormoran Strike series of books).
This book relies heavily on its dialogue to piece the story together if you don’t like lots of talking interspersed with descriptions then this probably isn’t the book for you but if you like reading about fully fleshed out characters then you should for sure pick this book up.
J.K. Rowling’s writing is a thing to envy. She translates the characters so well through the use of the appropriate slang that that particular character would use, the way they walk, how they hold themselves as they sit as he is questioning them ext. These things are so subtle but it really adds to the depth of the story and it makes you connect to the characters. Even the characters that you barely see, in some cases they are only spoken about but you still get a feel for who they are.
His face contrasted strangely with his taut, lean body, for it abounded in exaggerated curves: the eyes exophthalmic so that they appeared fishlike, looking out of the sides of his head. The cheeks were round, shining apples and the full-lipped mouth was a wide oval: his small head was almost perfectly spherical. (Page 248)
If you can persevere through the first quarter of the book then you will be lead in to a captivating story with a very satisfying ending. You will be trying to figure out who the murderer is throughout the entire book and I can almost guarantee that you will not get the right answer. When it is all explained out at the end you realise that all of the information was there but you just needed it pieced together.
The ending and the writing is what made this book so good for me. This was my first detective\mystery novel and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I can’t recommend this to anyone who doesn’t like being in a book for the long haul because this book does take a long time to read.
I do have one little nit picky thing to address though. At times it feels as though the writing skips rapidly from one place to another. One moment he can be in his office, he’s thinking and then the next second he is walking down the street to the pub to meet someone.
I can’t decide on a star rating for this book. Do I rate it 4 starts taking in to account the time it took for me to get in to the story or do I rate it five stars because of how much I enjoyed it and the writing?
I think I’ll give it 5 stars 🙂
I think I will read the sequel to this, The Silk Worm, eventually but not any time soon as I have a few (more than a few) books to read before the end of the year.
The third book in the series Career of Evil comes out on the 20th October this year.
Until next time,