logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: Cormoran-Strike
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-11-19 15:32
Death Spiral
Lethal White - Robert Galbraith

This is a classic J.K. Rowling book - twisted plot and complicated characters with disastrous personal relationships.

 

Why does the English upper crust insist on nicknames that sound like anthropomorphic animals from a children's book? Pringle, Flopsy and Fizzy? Really?

 

Anyway, this book was both a haul and a sprint - it's really, really long - but is riveting, nonetheless, and has enough characters to fill Wembley Stadium. This is an apropos analogy, given that it was set during the London Olympics. Which begs another question, what compelled Rowling to set the Strike novels in the near past? Why 2012 and not 2018? 

 

I do have a couple of quibbles. First, while I hope that Robin is thoroughly shed of Matthew, since their relationship has been nothing short of a train wreck and he's an absolute jackass, I am absolutely NOT feeling the Strike/Robin pairing at all. Second, could we please have a book where Robin does not end up in mortal peril? 

 

Because Cormoran Strike is former military, I'm using this book for the Armistice Day task!!

 

Now I wait for book 5.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-10-19 22:43
Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith
Career of Evil (A Cormoran Strike Novel) - Robert Galbraith

This book felt like it took forever for me to finish. I read the first 1/3 pretty quickly, and that the second 1/3 felt like pushing through cement, the last 1/3 flew by.

 

I was incredibly frustrated by the characters, most particularly Robin, throughout most of this installment. Her behavior was straight up irritating a lot of the time - her relationship with Strike was fraught and her relationship with Matthew was dysfunctional. The ending was the culmination of a series of misjudgments that made me want to slap her upside the head.

 

The mystery was a particularly grisly and disturbing, and the bits and pieces of insight we get from the mind of the killer were interesting. Rowling did a good job hiding the murderer in plain sight - her plotting is, as always, ingenious. There were points were I suspected pretty much everyone who showed up in the book, except for Strike and Robin. 

 

I even had a few minutes where I thought "could it be Matthew?" before rejecting that possibility out of hand. But it's a testament to Rowling's ability to keep me off balance that I considered it.

 

I'm still thoroughly annoyed by Robin's behavior, but I can't wait until Lethal White shows up at the library with my name on it!

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-10-14 20:01
Lethal White Book Review

When I received my copy of Lethal White last week, it reminded me of Order of Phoenix. I was 16 years old when I read Order of Phoenix and oh man, was I tired after reading all night long. The fourth part of the Cormoran Strike series, Lethal White is also excessively long (JKR did it again) but don't let that put you off as I found it the best of the CS books.

 

 

This review contains spoilers. You have been warned.

 

Picking up directly from where Career of Evil left off, the novel shows Strike and his former assistant turned salaried partner Robin falling into an uneasy rhythm following her marriage. This is abruptly interrupted by the arrival of Billy, a highly disturbed young man who comes bearing tales of child murder, before leaving as quickly and loudly as he came.

 

The events of Lethal White take place during those Olympics, creating a pleasant double effect of a fictional world, written by Robert Galbraith, operating within the timeframes of a real world that includes authorial alter ego J.K. Rowling.  Galbraith/Rowling revealed the title a year ago; I wondered, idly, if the central crimes of the book would have something to do with drugs, perhaps.  Turns out that they don’t, and “lethal white” means something different.  Does “lethal white” also refer to the United Kingdom’s brutal, race-inflected imperialist history?  A little bit, yes, in a background but ever-present sort of way.

 

With Billy now disappeared, and no real motive to investigate his claims, Strike takes the case of the foppish politician Jasper Chiswell, nicknamed ‘Chizzle’, who is being blackmailed. Keen to avoid divulging what he is being blackmailed about, the Minister commissions Strike and his agency, which now includes several employees, to obtain information he can use against his blackmailers, who, incidentally, include Billy’s older brother Jimmy.

While the 2012 Olympics takes London by storm, the case quickly descends into almost comical absurdity, with Strike and Robin pursuing multiple lines of enquiry, many of which revolve around Chiswell and his laughably posh family. One of the problems I find with Rowling’s Strike series is that I am always unsure if she realises that she crossed the invisible line between light-hearted satire and full-on ridiculousness which is present in all crime fiction.

After all, her protagonist does, on several occasions, mention how posh and out-of-touch his client and his family are, even at one point referring to them as teletubbies, but the reader remains baffled throughout by the intensity of their otherness and the fact that none of them seem to realise how incredibly self-incriminating they are being.

In this latest outing as in all the previous, Strike remains a mess of contradictions. Although Rowling goes to great pains to make him out to be a mess of a man who she describes on numerous occasions as ‘classless’, he also shown to be more at home in a swanky pub in Mayfair than among normal people. He is often slovenly and unkempt himself, yet he judges a young woman for having painted eyeliner over a piece of sleep in the corner of her eye.

The character also mentally derides his latest temporary secretary for not remembering that he detests milky tea despite the fact that he himself is completely incapable of thinking of the feelings of others, even crashing his colleague’s wedding and taking out her flowers in the prologue. Rowling either drastically underestimates the intelligence of her readers or she is unaware of how characterisation works, but either way, the result is the same; a protagonist with all of the sincerity of a Tory election promise.

Then, of course, there is the question of length. I don’t know if you’ve been to Waterstones lately to check it out, but this book is HUGE. In hardback it is over 600 pages long, although a good 300 of these are completely unnecessary. Rowling gets so bogged-down in the minutiae of surveillance and the day-to-day running of a detective agency that she lets her narrative run away from her, and spends fruitless chapters describing the perfectly mundane. There are also far too many needless characters, leaving the reader struggling to keep up with who’s who and what’s what.

Named after the colloquial term for a horse that is doomed to die due to a genetic condition, the one thing that Lethal White does have going for it is its foreshadowing. Rowling is able to skilfully direct her readers where she wants them to, and at times it is intriguing to realise where a certain detail came into play previously. Each chapter begins with a line from Rosmersholm, a play by Henrik Ibsen, which focuses on a time of political change and the emergence of a new order, a metaphor for the downfall of the Chiswells, whose gilded life is quickly disintegrating as the case develops.

There is also some great skill shown in Rowling’s depictions of her disgustingly upper class characters, particularly Jasper Chiswell. There is one scene, in which he is chewing with his mouth open, and he spits a piece of potato at Strike, which is so vivid that I physically reacted (the poor chap on the train next to me thought I was mental, but there you have it).

These brilliant, emotive stretches of text are interspersed with a lot of waffle, but there is some narrative excellence. Robin and Strike’s relationship is brilliantly handled, and it is great that their strange passion for each other does not overwhelm the main plot.

All in all, Lethal White remains by far the best of the Strike novels, although it is, fundamentally, too bloody long and at times completely absurd. Hard-core Rowling fans will love it; anyone else is better off elsewhere.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-10-06 10:29
Career of Evil Book Review

When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman’s severed leg.

Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible – and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality.

With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take matters into their own hands, and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them…

 

I usually buy my books from local shops but recently I have been buying them online because I am lazy haha. My goto online bookstore is now Bonpaper after having the worst ever experience from Liberty bookstore.

 

Career of Evil Review

I felt the last book was really building to some relationship drama between Strike and Robin and this book did not disappoint! The killer involved was a great mystery as well. I was guessing the whole time who the guy could be and I was even questioning men like Wardle because I knew it would be someone we’d already met and I wanted to be ahead of Strike for once. I’d written the real killer off a long time before for similar reasons to Robin, but I really enjoyed figuring out what was going on.

The one thing that confuses me in the whole book is Robin and Matthew’s relationship. I don’t get why she keeps going back to him. Honestly, I don’t know if I could if my husband was as terrible as Matthew. Other than that, I loved the characters even more than in the last book and I can’t wait to see what Galbraith does with them from here. It’s going to be a very different dynamic in their relationship now.

I adore Robin. I love her even more now that she’s talked about his history a little more. She’s a very strong character and I feel like she’s finally learning how to be strong on her own because of her job with Strike. Again, if she hadn’t stuck with Matthew, I think I’d like her more, but I can see how she’d want to continue with the relationship. In all honesty, it was the easier decision. I hope that’s not why she did it, though.

I related to Robin more than I’d like to admit, but in a way that I think most married people can. I got cold feet for a bit during my engagement. There, I said it! I was 23 and getting married to someone I’d known since I was 14. I don’t think it’s unusual to second guess a life-changing decision for a minute before you make it and I know my husband and I had a few conversations that helped me feel reassured we were making the right decision. Though we had nothing as big as Robin and Matthew’s trust issues to deal with, yikes!

 

The investigation of the three men was great, but I really enjoyed the chapters from the killer’s point of view. It helped me guess along which was fun. One of the complaints I’ve had with this series is that you can’t try to figure out the murderer along with Strike because some things are kept from the reader. Having the chapters from his view helped me feel closer to the answer and once it was revealed, I felt like I should have figured it out! Not from Strike’s evidence but from something in one of those chapters. I thought this was a good addition to the book structure.

I’m repeating this a lot, but Robin staying with Matthew kind of bothered me. She’s strong and gutsy in work, but it doesn’t carry over into her personal life and it frustrates me. I wonder if this will start to develop going forward in the series. She seems a bit committed at this point, though!

The audiobook I listened to was narrated by Robert Glenister, the same man who narrated the first two books in the series. I think he does a great job with the books. He easily slips into an American accent when needed and I think (though I’m no expert) he does different accents for the British characters depending on where they’re from. None of it seems oddly forced and I really enjoyed listening to him read this book!

Robin’s revelation about her past was a big part of her character development in this book. I liked what Galbraith was saying about Robin being seen as more than the victim of her circumstances. Knowing that Rowling is a feminist and rather outspoken, this was a consistent message with what I know of her. Robin didn’t talk about what happened to her because she was seen as a victim and some saw her as inviting what happened to her. I think that happens a lot with rape victims and I think Rowling addressed what Robin went through well.

Writer’s Takeaway: I can’t get over how much I liked the chapters from the killer’s point of view! It added just enough dramatic irony that I stayed more engaged than I otherwise would have. For these hard-to-solve mysteries, it was great. Especially because the clue that gave it all away was something I, as an American, would never have picked up on.

I enjoyed this story a lot and I’m now eagerly anticipating the fourth installment. Five out of Five stars.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2016-04-19 14:42
Elegantes Kammerspiel
Der Ruf des Kuckucks: Roman - Robert Galbraith

Im Herzen ein Kammerspiel, findet hier die Mörderjagd in den Seelen und Beziehungen der handelnden Figuren statt. Für „äktschn“ - süchtige Leser vermutlich ungewohnt, aber es lohnt sich.

 

Ermittler Cormoran Strike ist Mitglied des einsamer-Wolf-Club, wie die Kollegen Wallander oder Hole. Frau weg, Job auf der Kippe, Schulden, beschädigt an Leib und Seele. Trotzdem hatte ich hier mal nicht das Gefühl, dass der Ermittler von der ganzen Besetzung am dringendsten auf die Couch gehört. Sein Leben und Denken nimmt angemessenen Umfang ein, nämlich genug um die Figur kennen zu lernen ohne den Fall in die Ecke zu drängen. Seine neue Sekretärin und Mit-Schnüfflerin Robin Ellacott bleibt Nebenfigur und eher blass. Zum ersten Beschnuppern reicht’s, es folgen ja noch weitere Bände.

 

Cormoran Strike ist unangefochten die Hauptfigur. Gebrochen wird dies hauptsächlich nur an zwei Stellen, direkt am Anfang: Im Prolog schildert ein neutraler Erzähler das Verbrechen, da die Hauptfigur noch nicht im Spiel ist. Die Einführung in die Geschichte übernimmt Robin, die ganz klassisch als neue Figur dem Leser als Ankerpunkt dient, der sich, selbst Neuling, in ihr wiederkennen kann. Danach folgt die Handlung Strike, und Strike allein.

 

Dieser Blickwinkel hat einen Vorteil: Man erfährt, was der Ermittler erfährt, wenn er es erfährt. Es bleibt die Möglichkeit selbst mit zu ermitteln. Wenn man also vorher die richtigen Schlüsse zieht, dann nur, weil man sie selbst zieht und nicht weil man, - wie so oft in anderen Krimis, - in Vorwegnahme bereits Lösungen und Zusammenhänge durch den Autor präsentiert bekommt. Was gern darin endet, dass man als Leser bereits bei halber Lösung des Falls genervt darauf warten muss, dass der Kommissar oder Detektiv endlich aufschließt. Nicht selten lässt das die als ach-so-clever bezeichneten Ermittler wie ewig im Dunkeln herum tapsende Volltrottel wirken.

 

Der Ruf des Kuckucks ist ein gutes Beispiel dafür, dass die Suche nach dem Täter auch ohne Krawall und BumBum auf allen Seiten verlaufen kann. Lässt man sich auf die hintergründige Spannung ein findet man hier einen Krimi, der trotz seines klassischen Aufbaus nicht altbacken wirkt. Spannung ist eben kein Synonym für Schockeffekte und tritt nicht nur bei möglichst viel: „Drama, Baby, Drama!“, auf.

 

Es ist ein klassischer, stilistisch und genretechnisch sauberer Kriminalroman, kein Thriller. Wer übrigens den Unterschied nie so ganz fassen konnte, der sollte dieses Buch lesen und zum Vergleich etwas von Sund, Fitzek, oder McFadyen lesen.

 

Eine Abwechslung zu all jenen gerade populären Bücher, die entweder die den Unterschied zwischen „Krimi“ und „Thriller“ auch nicht mehr so recht wissen oder zu glauben scheinen, sie dürften sich nicht in einem dieser Genre einordnen, ohne mindestens fünf Tote, - von denen nicht weniger als zwei durch detailliert beschriebene Gewalt ihr Leben lassen müssen,- und ohne wenigstens einen Fall voyeuristisch geschilderter sexueller Abartigkeit.

 

Wer Blut und Gewalt und möglichst viel Tote wünscht; wer dies unter „Spannung“ versteht - was völlig in Ordnung ist, - der wird wohl mit Der Ruf des Kuckucks falsch bedient sein; wobei ich nur empfehlen kann, sich auf die Ruhe dieses Kriminalromans einzulassen, um vielleicht (wieder) zu entdecken, wie viel Kraft darin stecken kann.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?