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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 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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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 21 April 2018
3.5 stars
4 stars for the two subsequent books and 4.5 stars to the TV series, which does an excellent job of adapting all of the books.
This particular book made it far too obvious whodunnit. I skipped to the finish to confirm my suspicions and then went back to read the rest of it. I like to guess who it is but not when I'm less than halfway into the book.
I love JK Rowling's writing and have read ALL of her books and this is the weakest from my point of view. Still, you have to start here to find out out about Strike and Robin's backgrounds and relationship, so from that point of view, worth the read and it's not a bad book - just not as good as her others!
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on 31 August 2017
Thoroughly enjoyed the book. It had me gripped and I really believed the characters I was reading about. Early on in the book the phrase "long snouted..." was mentioned and I wondered if there were to be any further references to the magical world of Harry Potter. I don't believe there was! Having been a fan of the Potter books and having read 'A Casual Vacancy' I am impressed how Rowling has switched her writing style. Not that I didn't enjoy her other books but this had additional depth. Would recommend.
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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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on 4 May 2015
... to a worthy addition to the private eye tradition they defined. I'm a sucker for the genre in all its guises, from Bladerunner back to Philip Marlowe . But it has to be done right and be different enough, with a quirky enough lead character, and Galbraith / Rowling gets it achingly right here.

Beautifully written - you know where you read just for the pleasure of the flow of the words and you are where the descriptive passages describe; that reading state where you are 'immersed' in it, unconscious of the writing process that produced those words - well, that's where I went reading this.

With some of the Potter books (yes, I read them - still do for reasons I won't go into here) there was a sense sometimes of rushing to a production schedule and the odd grating thing - like the same word repeated in a sentence (inelegant repetition I think the aficionados call it) - smacked of a writer pushed to writing too fast and not getting the chance to review and refine, chisel away, romance the stone and all that.

Just sometimes. I did occasionally wonder if it was a great story but not always as elegantly written as it could be - great story but great writer? Or just good writer?

After reading this I know she was just rushed. If I'd never heard of Potter or J K Rowling, I'd still be doing what I'm doing next - downloading the next book in the Cormorant Strike series. Oops, inelegant repetition of next ...

If J K Rowling ever reads her reviews - we have a terminal hereditary illness in the family. People with this illness tend to lose interest in everything, all the things they used to love. It's heartbreaking seeing someone lose all interest in what used to be their passion.

The one thing our family member hangs onto, that keeps her connected with her past the most and gives us a common language as a connection that let's us reach in and pull her out of her isolation to be 'with' us and to enjoy the text and the films and the audio books and even Saturday nights quizzes she looks forward to where she beats all comers - the only part of her life where she is 'the winner' and the one with all the answers rather than the powerless one being looked after - and that lifts her up so much to be that person, the 'expert' we all defer to where the rest of her life is disability and bouts of dementia - Is the world of Harry Potter.

We can still get her to laugh, smile, show interest in the world, using your books as a ladder out of the isolation she would otherwise be in. Thank you.
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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 23 August 2017
I loved this book. Extremely well written, good characters, good plot, realistic locations - not going to mention the plot, don't want to spoil it for you. If the kids loved Harry Potter, adults will love Strike. J K has done it again. I'll be reading no 2, and no 3, et al with pleasure and anticipation
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