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on 17 August 2017
I read this suspense/detective story several years ago when it was first published - mainly because it was written by my favourite children's author JK Rowling and I was curious how she would tackle this genre of book for adults. Overall, I was not disappointed, although I found the slowness of the plot hard going, I kept losing interest and the numerous characters seemed very stereotyped, forgettable and quite boring, and to be truthful, after a few chapters, I didn't really care whether the case was solved or not. The book was only redeemed by the imaginative creation of the complex main character, Strike, supported by the endearing character of Robin.
HOWEVER - I re-read the book this week (after almost 4 years) and except for the ending, I had forgotten such a lot of the plot that it was like reading a new book. Also, because I remembered the ending, I appreciated the way the plot progressed much more than the first time and enjoyed very much more the wonderful character of Strike. I also re-discovered tucked away in chapters, little nuggets of the special Rowling wit and flair - and I might read this book again in another four years.
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on 28 August 2017
Good story, but cannot give it 5 stars due to the constant swearing which just becomes incredibly tedious after a while; it feels like a 5 year old is throwing every swear word they've ever heard and is trying to shock and be 'cool' (failed!) rather than using language to enhance the storyline and pad out the characters. If you can ignore that, the story is enjoyable and rattles along quite nicely.
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on 18 February 2018
Really surprised there isn't a thread for this book here yet, maybe I just couldn't find it. We all know that Robert Galbraith is really J K Rowling and I am a bit late to this book series. I was intrigued for a long time about these book so I thought I would dive in. A model falls to her death and her brother (she was adopted) hires Cormoran Strike, ex-Army, ex-happy, ex-housed, to investigate because he knew the brother in an earlier life. Cormoran also hires his last assistant for the job, as money is running out and he can never get an assistant that suits. A temp, Robin, comes into his life and makes it a little better for now.

The plot, for me, was ok. A little cliched with 2D characters; model, rapper, fashion designer - just worlds that hold no interest for me and I wasn't that fussed about the murder. But, the setting up of Strike and Robin as a crime-fighting duo was really interesting. Strike is a fascinating character and one I'd like to read more about. And Robin, efficient, compassionate and ambitious, was a great character too. I love them together and I hope they get some more gruesome and interesting crimes to solve.
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on 31 December 2014
Not a bad book at all.

If I hadn't known it was by Rowling, I would probably have felt more favourably about it, but by comparison to the spellbinding work she did with the Harry Potter, which draws you in and thrills like few other book series, it is clear that this book lacks the imagination of the former. I also found the excessive swearing and multiple references to exposed nipples and breasts a slightly annoying distraction from the storyline, which would have been improved by their removal, and perhaps a few less characters.

It feels a bit mean to be negative about what would have been an EXCELLENT debut novel, but the thing is, its not, its a novel by a debut author, but by the most famous and successful one in the entire world, who has an imagination the size of canada. And I found myself bored several times as I read through it. The Characters were the most interesting part, but I guessed who the murderer was long before the end of the book.
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on 9 September 2017
Robert Galbraith is of course JK Rowling (did she really expect to keep that a secret?) The private detective is Comoran Strike and his assistance is Robin. Both likeable characters.
The plot is interesting but deviates too often as though the author is trying to page fill. Much of this cut out by the TV adaptation which is excellent.
I have never read anything else of JK Rowling but obviously know of her success with Harry Potter. I doubt this would had have been taken on by the TV people if the author was not so famous. Having said that they have done a good job.
Recommended but the TV adaptation is much better
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on 22 June 2016
Massive fan of the Harry Potter books and I wanted to like this, but I honestly can't recommend it. None of the imagination from Potter's world is on display here, it feels like a long winded and coarse episode of CSI London. Stripped of the originality of Potter's world, Rowling's style and language is exposed as unnatural and stilted. There are a lot of clichés, not least the generic setting and casting. Everyone is a two dimensional stereotype, from the war hero, neglected son of a rockstar lead character, to the glam and fickle supermodels, to the overtly gay, Graham Norton esque fashion designer, to the drug addicted celebs and beaver-teethed, boring accountants. There's a lot of irrelevant and soap opera style back story that drags the pace and lowers the tone, and in her quest for grittiness, Rowling has riddled the dialogue with crass language and ghetto slang, as well as crap pop culture references (like the fact a track by Lady Gaga is playing in the background at one point). I really would give this a miss, there are vastly superior authors operating in the crime genre.
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I wasn't sure about reading this originally purely because I don't usually read detective/mystery stories. I usually get a bit bored with the slow running plot. I chose to read this in the end though because I loved Rowling's writing style and the way she weaves a good story. I am so glad I chose to read this!

Admittedly it is a bit slow in parts but it is very character driven rather than action driven. The fact that I predicted the killer did not detract any enjoyment from reading it (I have a sixth sense bout these kinds of things).

Mr Strike, though a bit annoying at times, really grew on me as a person. Yes, he's not always nice and isn't drop-dead gorgeous, but he's real, gritty and pretty awesome at times.

Robin I couldn't fault at all. She was independent, smart and could stand up for herself. I did not like her judgy fiance. He is an ass!

I found the plot, though quite slow, to be engaging and intelligent. Yes, there's a bad language, innuendo's etc so if you're easily offended then don't pick this up. If your going to compare to harry potter, then again, don't pick this up.

This is JK Rowling writing as Robert and for Adults, not children and teens. I liked this a lot and I will definitely be reading the other books in the series.
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VINE VOICEon 7 September 2013
What an absolute find! I downloaded the free sample and was so entranced that I bought the rest of the book right there on the tube into work. I am a fan of crime fiction anyway, so I guessed the content might well please. This novel is written in the classic style, a proper plot with real twists and turns, well-described characters and accurate research. The story follows a young secretary fresh from Yorkshire who arrives in London and is sent, by the Temp Agency, to a grotty Private Eye in a dingy office just off the Tottenham Court Road.

As a Londoner I can so relate to this scenario - at the same age and in the same place I was sent on so many assignments that turned out to be one nearly-broke man with a bird-cage lift to his office. The descriptions of London are wonderful to anyone who knows this city as it is, right now, recession, walking-wounded post Afghanistan, celebrity culture, paparazzi and all. Part of the joy of the book, for me, was the true to life locations and most of all the humour.

Absolutely hilarious descriptions of the Police Officers, the rag trade, the music business and the army. Rather more poignant examination of what it is to be homeless, bullied, wronged by the Press and abandoned by HM Armed Forces. 'Robert Galbraith' has used his experience of life, including some inside knowledge of the army, of celebrity culture and all the ins and outs of chauffeur-driven cars, security guards, journalists both honourable and dishonourable and newspapers who once made a killing out of tapping other people's phones. As for the final twist, well, no-one says it better than Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

This book is recognisably the first in a series, and as is so often the case with a series, I suspect the author will gain in assurance if there are more. It's also recognisably written by an author slightly new to adult fiction - but oh what a talented one! I really hope there are more Cormoran Strikes in the pot. For that reason, I give it a high five.
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on 6 May 2015
This was the introduction to Comoran Strike JK Rowling's private detective and his assistant Robin. They come together and attempt to solve a murder/ suicide case. The story is well written in every respect, grammar, facts, colour and mystery. JK has done a very good job on her first book and I immediately ordered the second in the series. It was good to remember the fine beer from Sharp'e brewery that I first tasted in Port Isaac, "Doombar", so i bought another case next day.

Robin Guy
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on 7 September 2017
There are several themes in this book, apart from the central plot of finding a murderer. The themes intertwine and the reader is kept in suspense until the final chapters. The characters are well drawn, with enough background information to make them believable. You have real empathy for Cormoran Strike - this is a real crime thriller.
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