“When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike’s office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed, and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic.
Trying to get to the bottom of Billy’s story, Strike and Robin Ellacott—once his assistant, now a partner in the agency—set off on a twisting trail that leads them through the backstreets of London, into a secretive inner sanctum within Parliament, and to a beautiful but sinister manor house deep in the countryside.
And during this labyrinthine investigation, Strike’s own life is far from straightforward: his newfound fame as a private eye means he can no longer operate behind the scenes as he once did. Plus, his relationship with his former assistant is more fraught than it ever has been—Robin is now invaluable to Strike in the business, but their personal relationship is much, much trickier than that.”
-Synopsis from Goodreads
As you may know, I have been doing a re-read of the Cormoran Strike series since May, leading up to the release of the newest book, Troubled Blood, on September 15. I cannot believe we got here so quickly and that I’m already finished with the series. If ever there was a series to give you a major book hangover (and I know there are a lot!) this is one of them for me.
Similar to my first reading, this book started off a little slow for me. There is so much going on between the characters and the storylines and for a big chunk of the book a lot of it is kept separate. We have Billy claiming he saw a murder, and we have the Minister who needs Strike and Robin to find out who is blackmailing him and why, but not specifically what the blackmail is. It’s tricky to follow but I enjoyed the story, dialogue and details, as much as ever, even when I was having trouble keeping everything straight. How Strike manages to keep up with everything, or Robin for that matter, without taking furious notes or recordings is beyond me!
Robin has to go under cover yet again, only this time in a more serious setting (the House of Commons) and is also dealing with some intense PTSD symptoms from her attack last year. She has been hiding the symptoms from both Matthew and Strike which has bad idea written all over it. I really felt for her though, because she was terrified that if it came out that she was struggling in this way, it might make her seem too emotional and incapable of doing her job. Once again Robin is the most #relatable character.
Meanwhile, Strike is navigating the end of a relationship that he didn’t really care about in the first place, not to mention a run-in with his ex-girlfriend Charlotte which (thankfully) has no impact on him other than bringing up bad memories. He is also struggling to help Robin from afar; she keeps pushing him away even though he knows there is something wrong but he can’t seem to figure out what.
What I loved
Robin is one of those characters that I hate to see in distress. Everything she does is well-meaning and genuine and when that is taken advantage of, I feel it down in my core. I think it’s because I identify with her in some ways. Regardless, once again watching her deal with the awful Matthew was just so cringe-worthy. If I thought he was bad in Career of Evil, I had completely forgotten how terrible he was in Lethal White. I really, really, really hope Strike has the opportunity to punch him in the face in a future book. Maybe my dreams will come true in Troubled Blood?
As you can tell, I just love this series so much. I kept referring to strikefans.com while reading so that I could see some of the locations in real life. I would definitely check that out if you are a fan of these books.
With just over a month until Troubled Blood is out, I already know I’m going to have to block off the second half of September to read it, what with it being reportedly 944 pages. Lethal White ends with Robin and Strike’s personal lives sorted out in ways that they haven’t been in previous books, so I’m eager to see what new case they are taking on in the next book. And obviously they have to kiss at some point, finally, right?
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