Sunday, November 18, 2018

Book Review: Lethal White (Cormoran Strike #4) by Robert Galbraith

Lethal White by Robert Galbraith

Published: September 18, 2018

Genre: Mystery, Crime, Thriller

Hardcover Pages: 656

Synopsis“I seen a kid killed…He strangled it, up by the horse.”

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.

Thoughts: What I have enjoyed about this series as it has gone on is that it does a good job of interspersing the personal stories of Strike and Robin among all of the main mystery they're investigating. In fact, oftentimes I was more intrigued by their personal stuff than said mystery. The books have also given Robin more focus as they have continued, which I have appreciated as well. It definitely seemed like when it first started that Strike was going to be the main focus, but that once Robin became more well-rounded, readers have responded just as much to her.

That said, the mystery itself this time around was perhaps a little bit convoluted and took maybe longer than needed to solve? The last book I felt moved at a great pace and the mystery became very personal for them in a way that this one didn't quite as much. It was nice to see that previous plot affected both of them into this book because it would be unrealistic to not have it do that, but overall it was just not quite as thrilling as the last one. But it's also been awhile since I read that one, so I could be remembering it wrong!

What I think Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) does well is being able to put you right back in to the story without having to give too much exposition about what happened before, and you can still get it without having read the previous books. Because there is a bit of a time delay in between them, that's especially nice, because with some sequels you really need to remember what happened before, and if there's a lot of time in between publications, that's pretty tough on a reader! So, I think she did a great job of putting in enough detail to get you through without it feeling like a lot of rehash.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, but felt the pacing could have been a bit tighter. That said, I like the characters enough that it didn't really bother me very much.

Rating: 4/5

What I'm Reading Next: Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

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