The story is about a private detective by Cormoran Strike. He used to be military but after an injury to his foot, he turned into a PI.
Strike is down on his luck, trying to find jobs and get payment for jobs that have passed but all that changes when a famous model by the name of Lula Landry seemingly commits suicide by jumping out of her hotel room. Her brother John Bristow doesn’t believe that she committed suicide and hires Strike to investigate.
With the help of his temporary secretary, Robin (someone who he can’t afford but he keeps on because he wants the company), they look into Lula’s death and quickly see that her life then was on the surface. There is turmoil amongst her family. She is a black woman adopted into a white family and she has had a falling out with the mother and her brothers after she became famous.
The deeper and deeper that Strike goes, the more he sees that maybe John was right and her death was not a suicide. Now, Strike strives to find out who the real killer is and why they would want to kill her.
I, like I’m sure many people, started reading this book after I learned that Robert Galbraith is actually a pseudonym for JK Rowling (the author of the Harry Potter series). But after reading it, I wish I didn’t know.
I tried going into the book with the fact that this a book meant for adults and not for children. It was a little hard for me to read the profanity at the beginning because it’s not something that I’ve read before in her writing. Don’t get me wrong it’s not over powering in the book, but it happens quite a bit.
With that aside, I think that the book is a good beginning of a new detective series. Like many other first books of a series, it is slow to begin but once it does, it’s hard to put down.
The best thing about the book, just like every other of her books, is the description of the characters. She describes every single character into detail but doesn’t do it in a way so that it drags on. Sometimes she uses their language to help paint the picture of the character. For example, when Strike visit’s the mental hospital that Lula went to he meets with another patient who has a broken language. You can almost see the
brokenness of the character as they talk that she didn’t need to use much description when describing them.
The climax of the story was very intriguing. It literally was one of those moments when you just stopped reading and were trying to figure out how you could have missed the clues. Though, it shouldn’t surprise too much considering that she’s proven she’s good at dropping small hints throughout the book that will usually go unnoticed. Knowing that she does that, I tried to pay attention to the small details but I still was surprised by the ending.
Really the only negative or downfall to the story is the fact that it does take a while to get good. It is something that you are going to have to power through because the ending is worth it. I’m sure that the second book will be a much faster pace then the first once since the groundwork for the characters has been set up. It’s unsure how long the series will be but the beauty of books like this, you don’t really have to put a set number you can just write as often as you want.
The story is not as gripping and intriguing as the Harry Potter was, which could possibly be because the content. A series about a detective has been done so many times before so it’s not really all that different. That’s what hurts the book but what helps it is Rowling’s skill as a write to create complex and unique characters. I think that the series should be a success because of her fan base she’s created and also because she knows how to keep you interested and guessing at what’s going to happen next. Perhaps the next book will be a fast paced book and more intriguing then this book.