Despite it is all long out in the open about Ms Rowling's alter ego she continues to write as Robert Galbraith in the latest instalment in Cormoran Strikes life. I'd really enjoyed the first two books in the series and looked forward to this one. On completing it I have to say - I'm a little deflated and disappointed.
Whilst the continuing character exposure of the two main characters in the book, namely Strike himself and Robin his enthusiastic assistant continues I feel that in some ways the main plot line was purely a complete vehicle for that exposure. In the first two books it was clear there was a deep, dark secret in Robin's past in this book that is pushed firmly into the open. That is the major reveal of the book but is somewhat too early in the narrative since after that we're playing out the rest of this plot that you feel was mostly there to simply reveal that secret. The frisson within Strike and Robin's relationship continues with her continuing engagement to Matthew the guy you really want to just bugger off out of the scene - no disrespect Matt but you just are getting in the way of what we can all see if the relationship we all want to see... oh he does look a complete shit at one point as well which helps you dislike him more.
Where however this book fails to be as enthralling and engaging as the previous two is that the case Strike manages to solve again under the noses of the incompetent Met Police is all about him. A ghost from the past is stalking him and wanting to destroy him. This again is a vehicle to expose a bit more of our hero's past but frankly I feel less engaged than when Strike was working to show up a major injustice in someone else's story as the first two were. He lost some of the Robin Hood shine that kind of role gave him - having him pitted against the Met over threats to himself just doesn't seem to fit as well as an engaging plot line. As I say I just feel the author felt the need to expose some points about him and Robin in particular and wove the investigation about that which just left me a bit flat.
If you've read the first two and enjoyed them and intend to stick with the series read this. If new to it - read the first one and then decide. I do feel after the next volume comes out this one might seem unnecessary reading frankly.
Two Thumbs horizontal (just!) on the FTUBRS*
* Furtheron Thumbs Up Book Review Scale -
lowest is both thumbs down with a frown
two thumbs down,
one thumb down,
one thumb horizontal,
two thumbs horizontal,
one thumb up,
two thumbs up
two thumbs up with a grin - very rarely awarded