Lethal White.

Position:Lethal White: A Cormoran Strike Novel - Book review


Lethal White

A Cormoran Strike Novel

By Robert Galbraith

Robert Galbraith is the pen name of J. K. Rowling (of Harry Potter fame). Lethal White is the fourth book starring the detective team London PI Cormoran Strike--a former boxer and ex-military police officer with one leg, the other lost in Afghanistan--and Robin Ellacott. Also reviewed in the series: The Cuckoo's Calling (***1/2 Sept/Oct 2013), The Silkworm (**** SELECTION Sept/Oct 2014), and Career of Evil (**** Jan/Feb 2016).

THE STORY: After the events of Career of Evil, Strike and Robin have reunited, but their personal relationship remains shaky ever since Robin married a man who resents her career and Strike fired Robin from her job at his private detective agency for her own safety. Strike, meanwhile, is dating Lorelei, but memories of his troubled ex haunt him. Then the mysteries come into play: a mentally ill man reports a strangling he witnessed as a child; Jasper Chiswell, the Minister of Culture, needs protection against an anonymous extortionist (but that's just the start of his problems); and a high-profile suicide just may be murder. And everything might be related, somehow. Together, Strike and Robin try to work behind the scenes, as they navigate London streets during the city's preparation for the 2012 Olympics.

Mulholland Books. 656 pages. $29. ISBN: 9780316422734

Times (UK) ****

"At first glance, Robert Galbraith's new novel has the length and complexity of Victorian fiction, not to mention a cast of grotesques worthy of Dickens.... The fourth novel to feature her private eye, the disabled Afghanistan veteran Cormoran Strike, is easily the most ambitious." JOAN SMITH

USA Today ****

"Perhaps less is at stake, mystery-wise, in Lethal White, but Rowling's signature strengths--her indelible characters, the Dickensian detail and inventiveness (the names alone!), her dry British humor and her empathy toward matters of the heart--have room to bloom." JOCELYN MCCLURG

Vox ****

"The long delay between the start of the case and the classic bloody murder is unusual for a Cormoran Strike novel, and Lethal White's long stretch of time spent with Strike and Robin in comparatively low-stakes circumstances allows Rowling to deepen and shade their relationship in ways she's never quite had time to before. The result is the only love story Rowling's ever written that's capable of bearing the weight of a plot on its back, and in some ways the most romantic book she's written...

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