An imprint of Little, Brown Book Group
First off, I have to say that I probably wouldn't have got round to reading this book just yet, if not for the fact that the news recently broke that J K Rowling was the author. I'm a big fan of the Harry Potter books, but not so much a fan of The Casual Vacancy, so it was with an open mind that I started to read this sophisticated crime story.
Set in contemporary London sometime in the last decade, the mysterious death of model Lula Landry causes something of a media storm, all the clues point towards Lula’s suicide, and yet, there are some who believe that her death was rather more complicated. Cormoran Strike is an ex-military veteran, eking out his civilian survival by working as a private detective. His chaotic life is completely shambolic, and from the necessity of survival, Cormoran grabs the lifeline to his failing business when he is hired by Lula’s brother to investigate the surroundings of Lula's death.
What then follows is a tightly controlled and well thought out crime novel. There is impeccable writing and fine attention to detail, and without ever having to resort to blood and brutality, the twists and turns, red herrings and loop holes are completely absorbing. The plot literally grabs your imagination from the beginning, there’s humour, pathos and incredulity, and very quickly into the novel you begin to love Cormoran, who is superbly flawed but bright as a button and brimming with character. The added inclusion of a sharp and sassy temporary secretary in the form of Robin Ellacott is inspired, as the rapport which builds between these two very different characters is joy to observe.
It would be easy to write this book off as media hype, and yet, that would be to do this accomplished author a great disservice. Robert Galbraith is a very fine crime writer and this series of Cormoran and Robin deserves to run and run.