A door stopper of a book but it’s unputdownable!
I waited months to be able to borrow this from the library so it was a bit of a red-letter day when I got my hands on it. Troubled Blood is Book 5 in the Cormoran Strike series and it’s every bit as good as the previous four novels.
Robert Galbraith is the nom de plume of J.K. Rowling. Anyone familiar with the Harry Potter series by Rowling will be aware that as that series progressed the books got longer. It’s the same with this. At 923 pages long, it’s an absolute door stopper of a book! But it’s still unputdownable in my view.
There are several story-strands woven through the novel because the detective agency is working on a number of different cases at any one time. The main one relates to the 40-year-old unsolved case of Margot Bamborough, a GP who went missing in 1974 and hasn’t been seen since. Now Margot’s grown-up daughter asks Strike to look into it again, not least because the police investigation at the time had been poorly managed and they still hold to the idea that Margot was a victim of serial killer, Dennis Creed, who was caught shortly after her disappearance.
But the original police investigation was flawed because the detective in charge had been having a mental breakdown. When this was realised the case was handed to a new team but as a result things faltered badly. However the Creed theory remains a convenient fit, although because Margot’s body has never been found the case is still considered ‘unsolved’.
Alongside this investigation, Strike is dealing with some heavy family matters, and Robin Ellacott (his business partner) is going through a messy and unpleasant divorce. Neither of them will tell the other what’s happening in their personal lives, nor will they admit their feelings for each other. This emotional stalemate adds all sorts of extra tension to a plot that rockets along. Who could believe a cold case could be so gripping?
Will you enjoy this book?
Yes, if you like a good mystery! Galbraith/Rowling is a master of plot and writes her stories so cleverly that despite all the different strands you never lose track of what’s happening. It’s as if you’re there in real-time, and because real life isn’t linear, hopping between the different story-strands seems entirely natural.
It’s a convoluted plot that features lots of different characters so you need your wits about you. But what can I say? This was absolutely worth the wait and I enjoyed reading every page. It’s entertaining, interesting and clever. Definitely 4+ Stars.
Review by: Cornish Eskimo
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