TROUBLED BLOOD Robert Galbraith

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

Career of Evil Robert Galbraith

Career of Evil     Robert Galbraith

The third in the Cormoran Strike series is no let down. From the first page it’s a comfortable enjoyable read.

Following on from The Silkworm the book finds Strike and his assistant; don’t call her his secretary, Robin, busy on two low profile cases. That is until a package is sent to their office.

The grisly contents of the parcel send Strike and Robin on a path of not so much a who-done-it, but more of a which-one-done-it.

Strike quickly comes up with a list of suspects that would want to send him a message in such a way.

The possible suspects open up more of Cormoran Strike’s backstory. Is one of the criminals he prosecuted during his time in the Special Investigation Branch of the Army responsible, or is it somebody closer to home from within his extended and confused family, and who is the mystery victim.

As the investigation continues the Police start to look for a possible serial killer. Strike is convinced that the parcels sender is responsible for the killings, but who will be the next victim.

The investigation takes the duo across the country and into Strike’s past. Moving through the seedy world of drug dealers, child abusers, strip joints and domestic violence Robert Galbraith introduces some fantastically realistic characters. As with the previous books every one of them is so well written you have to think that at some time the author has met people of similar ilk.

Each scene, whether it is a London back street pub, or a Hospital ward, is written in a way that effortlessly transports the reader to the time and place the author is describing.

The main story of this book is the unravelling of the puzzle of who sent the parcel, and possibly identifying a the serial killer, but the thing that keeps the story ticking along is the revelations about Strikes past, and his relationship with Robin.

At the end of Silkworm Robin was due to marry her boyfriend but the reader was left in no doubt she had feelings for Strike, and him for her. Neither will openly acknowledge their feelings and this theme continues into this book. In many stories I would consider this an unnecessary diversion but in these books I find it fascinating.

Robin will take risks to prove her worth to Strike, and he will give her duties that will keep her out of danger, but in the end will it all end well. Her safety may well depend on Strike identifying the killer, if he doesn’t will he put her in danger in a place where he thinks she’s out of harms way.

Will there be a happy ever after ending.

There’s only one way to find out.

Read the book.