Lethal White – Robert Galbraith (pseudonym for JK Rowling)

Lethal White - Robert GalbraithThe fourth Cormoran Strike book has a complex plot and, as in previous books, the evolving relationship between Cormoran and his associate Robin is central to the story. In many ways, this is a superb procedural book: how are clues discovered and interpreted? The procedural emphasis is reminiscent of Michael Connelly’s detective Harry Bosch. But the real joy in this Galbraith book is how Cormoran and Robin interact, how ideas and theories are discussed and debated (much like Inspector Lynley and Havers in the E. George mysteries). Both characters are completely dissimilar and have some significant human frailties that are often endearing. Finally the choice of certain words requires the use of a dictionary, a delicious practise that I find completely satisfying. Violence is minimal; this is an excellent book about plot and motive.

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling).

Cormoran Strike (what a perfect name for a PI) and his intrepid assistant Robin are targeted by a serial killer in this 3rd book in the CS series, which keep on improving. In addition to the serial killing, this book has some disturbing content about amputations. The Strike/Robin relationship is ever-complicated and a real treat to watch unfold.

December 2013

Cuckoo’s Calling – Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling)
A classic contemporary murder mystery in the Mickey Spillane tradition: hard-boiled private investigator in London with a fabulous name – Cormoran Strike. He is an amputee from Army service, and is investigating an apparent suicide. Excellent context of London, usually Soho in the rain.

The Secret History – Donna Tartt
A psychological story about 6 self-absorbed college students in the 1980s: alcohol, drugs and murder.
The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt
A really excellent, multi-faceted book. The first 1/4 is an exceptional description of paralysis due to grief. The book then described a self-absorbed and self-destructive life style. Then the final 1/4 becomes a thriller and the end is perfectly philosophical. Overall, excellent story telling and highly recommended.
The Bell – Iris Murdoch
Beautifully written, especially in the beginning of the book. Dora is an annoying ditz, someone who acts without thinking.