Oh yes! I did jump at the release of another Cormoran Strike crime novel. To get this out of the way right now, I had read rumors of the book (and therefore Galbraith) being anti-trans people, but in this book it would seem that horrifically deviant people come in all varieties and Galbraith is an equal opportunity employer of evil. I do hope that the complainers get further into the book than they apparently have because no category of humanity is exempt in a Cormoran Strike novel.
Troubled Blood By Robert Galbraith 2020 / 944 pages Read by Robert Glenister 31h 51m Rating: A+++ / crime series private detective (Both read and listened)
Also, there’s no serious evidence in the book that this or that particular bad guy (and there are lots of bads) is any kind of real trans. The one character who might be (depending on your definition) sometimes uses dresses as a disguise to lure women to their rape and seriously ugly death, but he is a brilliant schizophrenic with many tricks. There are a couple of seriously bad and/or mad women, too. (I don’t remember any bad gays or lesbians although they are present in the story.) Because of the violence I really don’t think kids under 16 or 18 should be reading it, even if their parents were Harry Potter fans.
The main plot is a who-done-it concerning the disappearance of Margot Banborough, a London-based physician who went missing and whose body was never found even after 40 years. Now, in contemporary London, Anna Phipps, Margot’s daughter, wants to find out what happened to her mother. The timing of Margot’s disappearance was such that Dennis Creed, the crazed man convicted of slaying of several other women, was always suspected but it could never be pinned on him.
So Strike and Robin take the closed case and go about interviewing the people who were involved in the cases at the time. In doing that they go through the notes of the police who were involved, finding that the main detective went a bit mad himself and ended up studying astrology to solve the crimes. That old detective’s notes are a marvel of drawing included in the Kindle version but not the Audible.
There are a lot of characters. There is the ongoing staff at the agency, the families of the multitude of victims, the suspects for each victim whose body has not been found and ascribed to the main suspect who has been in custody for decades, the friends and relations of Robin and Strike, the individuals involved in the agency’s other ongoing cases and some assorted old police friends and detectives who knew of the cases.
The relationship between Strike and Robin continues to progress through its ups and downs which started in Book 1 of the series and that relieves the focus on the horrors which can happen to women. In addition to the developing relationship between Strike and Robin the pair have other detective jobs for their agency to take care of.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel although it did get a bit long and it is very gritty. Galbraith sets a tone and a mood which the narrator, Robert Glenister just carried out to perfection. I both read and listened to it. If you’re new to the Cormoran Strike series start with #1 – The Cuckoo’s Calling because the story-line of Strike and Robin and their lives is overarching and develops throughout.