I have enjoyed every book in this series so far, and I’ve looked at a lot of very positive reviews for True Blood, so maybe it’s just me, but I found this book overly long and confusing
The main plot of the book is the historical disappearance of a GP.
40 years ago an ex-Playboy Bunny girl, who became a GP went missing at the height of the crimes committed by a serial killer. When he was finally arrested he refused to say if he had killed the doctor, and although there was evidence of his other killings, there was no evidence he killed Dr Bamborough.
Strike and Robin are retained by the Doctors daughter, who was one when her mother went missing, and given a year to find out what happened to her.
The initial investigating officer, Bill Talbot, had suffered a breakdown after 6 months of the investigation and had resorted to looking to the spiritual world, using tarot cards and astrology to help him solve the crime, whilst getting fixated on one suspect.
The second investigating officer hadn’t faired much better.
Strike and a Robin manage to get their hands on notes from both officers as well as the crime file and start their investigation
What follows is a investigation which is confused by the different ramblings, and notes of Talbot. I will say at this point I was reading this book on a Kindle and the replicated pages and drawings of Bill Talbots note books were illegible on that format, so it may have added to my confusion.
Several side plots of other investigations carried out by Strike, Robin, and their associates add a bit of humour and provided a relief from the brain ache of the main story.
What kept me reading this book was the story of Strike, who is in the middle of two emotional episodes in his life; and Robin, who is herself going through a stressful time, her divorce from a husband she found cheating with a friend.
Both of them are beginning to understand the dynamics between the two of them are shifting, and they separately struggle with the feelings they have for each other. Without the other knowing they both worry about the effect it would have if either came out about how they feel.
It is a good story, but for me it gets lost in the astrology, I can’t see that it brings anything to what would be a good story without it.
At 994 pages this is a long book. I read it in two parts, punctuating the middle by reading another book, before going back to read the second half of the story. If I hadn’t done that I may have struggled, and maybe would even have given in. If I had I would have missed out. It’s worth persevering with
Having said all that. Will I be waiting with baited breath for the next instalment. Yes, I will
Pages, 994. Publisher, Sphere. Available now