Robert Galbraith - Shastrix Books

Robert Galbraith

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Lethal White

Lethal White

Robert Galbraith

13th January 2019

The fourth book in the Cormoran Strike series returns us to the office of the London private detective and his partner Robin. The plot is so complex that it’s hard to find a sentence to describe it - there are so many interconnected threads of the possible crime that Strike is asked to investigate, and simultaneously we follow the private lives of the two detectives as they also increase in complexity.

I think the mystery is excellent, and frequently I had to pause and review what I’d learnt from the text and revise my mental model of what was going on and who I suspected. The lives of the main characters however seem to suffer from the trope of not talking to one another - and being a bit more open and communicative might have shaved a few chapters of angst off the book.

I really love this series and am glad of this new book - hopefully it won’t be too many years until these characters can return and I can find out what happens next.

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Career of Evil

Career of Evil

Robert Galbraith

2nd December 2015

The third book in the Cormoran Strike series follows the private investigator and his sidekick Robin as their work is interrupted by the surprise delivery of a severed leg. It's another slightly gruesome tale, as you might guess from that description, but not so much as the second book in the series, The Silkworm.

As with many of the authors works, you fall in love with the characters all over again and feel as if you want to die into every aspect of their lives. It's a rich world filled with interesting minor characters who feel as much thought and effort has gone into their creation as the stars. What's nice though, and is different from other stories though is that the characters are not open books and there are aspect of them and their histories that are being slowly revealed as the series progresses.

The plot is convoluted and twists around a varied set of suspects as is typical of a novel if this genre, and keeps moving at a good pace. There's also a lot of good background stuff going on in the characters' lives to forma strong secondary plot which makes the whole thing deeper and more interesting. I'm looking forward tut seeing how some of the events depicted in this novel have repercussions in its sequels.

An enjoyable part three for Strike and Robin's adventures, though perhaps still not up there with the first four entertainment value.

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The Silkworm

The Silkworm

Robert Galbraith & J K Rowling

28th June 2014

The second book in the Cormoran Strike series follows the private detective as he investigates a case that bears more than a passing resemblance to that covered in the previous novel. He’s hired to find a woman’s missing husband, and author who’s just delivered a surprisingly inflammatory novel.

It’s always interesting when authors write about the book world, as they can give an insight into their industry, but also tend to exaggerate and use the opportunity to make fun of themselves - to an extent, that is the case here, as the characters are larger than life and each have some extreme quirks, though those all play important parts in the plot too.

Like the first novel, Strike’s assistant Robin feel like she’s sidelined and I would have much preferred for her to serve as the main character - although clearly a strong character when she is in the action spotlight, there’s more a focus here on her personal life rather than work, and I felt she could have been utilised better to advance the central plot line.

There’s a quantity of gore and explicitness that matches the author’s previous adults works - it feels less now that it’s done just because it’s now permitted after years of writing for children, and more that it really is the author’s preferred style. There are reminders of the children’s novels though - the relationships between the characters feel familiar and are presented in a similar way to those in the Harry Potter series.

Overall though I found it an enjoyable read, despite the occasional graphic scenes, lighter than a lot of crime series while remaining serious, and I see no reason to think I won’t continue reading about these characters for a lot more books.

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The Cuckoo's Calling

The Cuckoo's Calling

Robert Galbraith & J K Rowling

21st July 2013

Once the truth about the book's author was revealed I got my hands on a copy as soon as I could, and it doesn't disappoint. Robin's latest temping assignment is her dream job, working for Cormoran Strike, a private detective hired to prove a suicide was in fact murder.

The style of writing is familiar and relaxing, though I doubt I would have been able to guess the secret identity of the author. The whole cast of characters is one of the best I've read about for a long time, with every single one seeming to be thoroughly defined and individual, and each are given sufficient page-time to shine.

The use of two main characters is an interesting twist - at the start I thought it would be more like the tradition of Sherlock Homes or Hercule Poirot stories, where the narrative is from a secondary point of view, but the focus quickly shifts to the detective himself. I was a little disappointed that Robin didn't feature even more, as she seemed like a strong enough character to have been able to carry more of the narrative.

The plot is strong, and reminded me of Christopher Brookmyre's writing for some reason, though it's not particularly similar. There's not a lot that's new for the genre, but unlike a lot of 'serious' crime novels the writing seemed approachable and less formal - the book could appeal to anyone, not just fans of crime novels.

Overall though it didn't quite stand out enough for me to give five stars. I didn't get the feeling of unputdownableness that sometimes strike me in a book, and it didn't excite me as much as others have done recently. I did enjoy it though and hope that this is the beginning of a series that I can enjoy for years to come.

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Top books

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  2. The Silkworm
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  4. Lethal White
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  6. Career of Evil
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  8. The Cuckoo's Calling