Wednesday, Dec 12, 2018
Lethal White is the fourth book in this mystery series, featuring detectives Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott. If you're unaware, Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for J. K. Rowling, and she does a great job with this adult series.
Coming off the success of catching the Shacklewell Ripper, Cormoran Strike is busier and more famous than ever. With Robin having been fired, Strike must hire contract workers to help provide surveillance on his cases. One of his hires, Barclay, is a likable character who gets decent coverage in this book, and hopefully future books. Thankfully, we pick up pretty much where book three left off: Strike crashing in Robin's wedding at the last moment, and Robin returns to the agency as Strike's partner. While Robin is away, Strike is visited by a mentally ill young man, who wants to report a murder he saw as a child. Unfortunately, he doesn't have much useful information to share, and runs from the office shortly after arriving. Not sure what to believe and who Billy really is, Strike is still convinced there's something to his story and decides to take a look. After tracking down Billy, his brother Jimmy and Jimmy's girlfriend, Flick, things only get more confusing. Robin must go undercover, first to Parliament and then as a shop girl, where she befriends Flick in a dangerous endeavor to determine the connection between far-left anti-government activists, a blackmail scheme between parliament members, and the child death Billy reported seeing as a child himself. Along the way, the member of Parliament who hired Strike, and with whom Robin went undercover, is murdered. As usual, Strike solves the puzzle first, connecting the long ago murder and the current.
Rowling takes her time, slowly resolving Robin's relationship problems with both Strike and Matthew through most of the book. Without giving too much away, I was relieved when Robin resolves her relationship problems with Matthew. Not because the tension Rowling has created between Robin and Strike is particularly exciting, but because it seems to have taken Robin quite a while to admit (to herself) what she wants. It's satisfying to see Robin determine her self-worth, stand up and make some decisions for herself.