Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling)
-> Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Detective novel.
-> Plot overview: Well-established detective pair Cormoran Strike and his partner Robin Ellacott try to unravel a 40-year-old mysterious death. At the same time, Cormoran is dealing with the death of his stepmother and Robin her divorce, the side plot is that of their resulting loneliness and them inwardly dealing with their own feelings for each other.
-> Our rating: 8/10
-> Review: An easy if slightly long read, with plenty of plot twists and side stories. The growing uneasy romance between the two main characters is touching and it helps if you have read some of the previous Strike novels to understand how it’s developed, but not essential.
The murder mystery, which is perplexing and details the long slog in unearthing events from so long ago, is well played out. It’s realistic and the slightly brutal details of the crimes are dealt with sympathetically, there is definitely no glory in the criminals involved. Similarly, some interesting insights into the mental health of the detective in charge of the original case and his fascination with the occult create another dimension of the characters and clues.
Overall an enjoyable murder mystery with plenty of character and scenery, although at over 900 pages (in hardback) its not a quick read.
-> What others say? There is a lot of commentary about gender issues in this book, but if you like murder mystery, then read it and make up your own mind.
Generally, a lot of praise for the actual storyline, with the only main criticism being it’s quite long. It was referred to as ‘the most anticipated novel of 2020’ by most, and didn’t seem to disappoint.
-> Recommend to a friend? YES