This is the third book in Robert Galbraith’s (J.K. Rowling’s pseudonym) series of mystery/crime novels featuring the detective Cormorant Strike.

First, I love the two main characters. The hard-boiled amputee Strike and his assistant Robin Ellacott make a great team. While there are characters to sympathize with, there are not many other truly likable characters in the story. I found Shanker – a criminal almost step-sibling of Strike’s – fascinating, but I guess he is likable in an odd sort of way. Rowling’s non-Potter worlds seem to have fewer characters we can root for – in The Casual Vacancy for example, I didn’t find any characters who seemed completely decent.

I can’t say that the mystery at the heart of this book measured up as well as those in the first two volumes. There were quite a few red herrings thrown into the mix that felt artificial. Still, I recommend the book, particularly if you take the time to read The Cuckoo’s Calling and The Silkworm first.

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