Let’s face it. I probably would not have read this book if not for its famous author, writing under a male pen name. Rowling explains on the official website for Robert Galbraith that she chose to write her detective novels under the pseudonym because she wanted the anonymity associated with a new writer. Too bad her cover was blown almost immediately! However, I’m glad that I chose this book based on her past work!
The Harry Potter author pens a good mystery novel, rife with plenty of shady characters and suspects. I pride myself on being able to guess whodunit before it’s revealed, and while I briefly suspected this person, I thought there was no way. So she did a good job of stringing me along and making me suspect others.
The main character, Cormoran Strike, has an odd name, an odd lineage, and an odd living situation – he’s shacking up in his office because his fiance has just given him the boot. He’s a proud man, and doesn’t want help from anyone, and hides his secrets from his temporary secretary, Robin. Robin’s a smart woman, though, and quickly discovers his living arrangements. She handles him with tact and quickly proves herself useful in sleuthing. The two of them have an interesting dynamic – there’s definitely some attraction there, but Robin is engaged, and Cormoran is definitely damaged goods. All the makings for a hookup somewhere down the road! And there will be more from these two – Rowling/Galbraith’s next book in this series, The Silkworm, is due out soon in the US.
In reading more about Rowling’s decisions to write this novel under a pen name, and the research she did, I discovered that she is donating her royalties from this book to ABF The Soldier’s Charity. I read my copy from the library, but if you’d like to purchase her book with this in mind, know that it will be going to help retired soldiers and their families (in the UK).