Number of pages: 455
The second of J.K. Rowling's Cormoran Strike novels written under her Robert Galbraith pseudonym revolves around the disappearance of the writer Owen Quine.
Quine seems to have a lot of enemies, particularly as his latest book contains unsubtle and slanderous caricatures of people in his life. This all sets up a plot that is similar to the previous novel, but manages to be in my opinion even better. I was curious about the title, but thankfully this is explained later on in the story.
[Spoiler (click to open)]About a quarter of the way in, the story turns from a missing persons case to a murder case as Quine is found dead and mutilated; the discovery of his remains is easily the most gruesome (and graphic) thing I've come across in one of J.K. Rowling's books so far. But what makes it more intriguing is that the method of killing matches a murder that took place in Quine's latest novel.
I enjoyed reading about the characters of Strike and his assistant Robin, all the time wondering if J.K. plans to develop their friendship further. Both characters are ones that I found myself wanting to read more about. I noticed too that there was less weight given to the Strike's estranged ex-wife, who is only mentioned briefly here. I'm not sure if J.K. plans to go any further with this, and wouldn't be surprised if she ended up killing her off and having Strike accused of her murder in a later novel.
The one other thing I liked about the writing was J.K. Rowling's knowledge of London, often describing in great detail Strike's journeys through the city and talking about real-life places, many of which I am familiar with.
Overall, I loved this book and I can't wait for the next instalment in this series.
Next book: The Case for Christ (Lee Strobel)