This one was another good one from Robert Galbraith, aka JK Rowling. In this one, Strike and Robin’s relationship continues to develop, as they and we learn more about their backgrounds. The story opens with Robin being sent a severed leg and it quickly transpires that the leg could have been sent by one of four dodgy men who hold grudges against Strike. The police seem reluctant to investigate most of the leads Strike gives them, so he is forced to investigate himself as the body count starts to add up. The story is at times gruesome and it covers some unpleasant, possibly triggering subjects in detail. At times, there are chapters written from the killer’s perspective and it is chilling and sadly believable that there are predators out there thinking those sorts of thoughts about women. I don’t particularly like books that delve into the killer’s perspective too much but Rowling handled this cleverly, as we don’t know till close to the end which, if any, of the four men being investigated is the killer, so when Rowling starts to drop little, possibly contradictory clues in the killer’s narrative, it makes the guessing game even more intriguing.
Finally, much as the story completely absorbed me, because the author is so famous I was perhaps more aware of the writer behind the words than I normally would be. Rowling sent her characters up and down the country and she describes each place, particularly the pubs and strip joints which such detail, I felt like I was there along for the ride with them (which is great considering I’m currently stuck at home mostly on my bed, it felt like I travelling somewhere, even if it was somewhere really salubrious) but each pub and strip joint seemed so real I couldn’t help but wonder, are they? Did JK Rowling, when writing this, go on a massive tour of dodgy pubs across the country? I can sort of imagine that, her sitting in the corner with a notebook and a pint, taking a note of the pub’s decor, it sounds kinda fun.