Friday, January 08, 2021

‘Troubled Blood’ by Robert Galbraith

8 January 2021

‘Troubled Blood’ is the fifth Cormoran Strike novel by J K Rowling (writing as Robert Galbraith). It’s the longest novel in the series (I read it as an unabridged audio book, narrated by Robert Glenister, which was almost 32 hours long) but nevertheless felt less rambling and more focussed than its predecessors. This may be because, for the first time, Strike and his partner Robin Ellacott are investigating a cold case – the unexplained disappearance of a doctor who left her surgery more than 40 years ago and was never seen again. Piecing together what happened so long ago, interviewing witnesses, suspects and the original investigators, or their descendants, creates a clearer narrative structure, less diverted by emerging events. And the solution to this crime is clever, hard-to-spot but satisfyingly believable and, when revealed, explains a myriad of small clues imperceptibly laced through the novel. J K Rowling still manages to demonstrate a strange lack of understanding of budget hotel chains (why choose to be specific about it being a Premier Inn if you are not going to get the details right? - is no-one editing these novels?). But I still enjoyed the murder mystery – the best puzzle of the series so far.



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