Narrator: Robert Glenister
Series: Cormoran Strike #2
Published by Hachette Audio on June 19, 2014
Length: 17 hrs 22 mins
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When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days—as he has done before—and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.
But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives—meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced.
When Quine is found brutally murdered under bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before...
Now this was a good one. I already knew I liked Cormoran Strike, the detective, from his first outing, The Cuckoo’s Calling. He’s the same basic guy here. The publicity from that case has worn off a little, but business is going well, even if he’s working mostly divorce cases or for rich guys he doesn’t really respect. It’s money. And we do get to see a bit of him working on the other cases, not enough to distract from the plot, but enough to remind us that he doesn’t just have one case to focus on. Robin, his assistant, is starting to come into her own, we’re learning a bit more about her, what she wants and what she’s capable of.
Then a plain, poor-looking woman, asks him to find here missing husband, author Owen Quine. He’s gone missing after his latest, as yet unpublished, novel was leaked, a book that is going to make a lot of people bad. It’s a smear job of just about everyone who has ever crossed Quine’s path – wife, girlfriend, folks in the publishing business, other writers. It’s no surpise that Quine ends up dead, but the list of potential suspects is l o n g.
Glenister again does the narration. He is just perfect for Cormoran, a bit gruff, with just the hint of his dark sense of humor. He does a good job distinguishing the characters too, not an easy task given the long list. He manages to keep even the most off-kilter characters under control, not letting the voices lead me into picturing them as simple stereotypes. Does that make sense?
I enjoyed this inside look at a fictional London publishing world, all the scheming and back-biting and jealousies. None of the secondary characters are really likeable and some are downright nasty, but that’s what makes them fun to read about. It is a booklover’s mystery, with it’s peak into the world behind the books. And I love the tour of London. Galbraith, not surprisingly, is good at descriptions, at showing us the setting, letting us see, hear, and smell it.
The “scene of the crime” was pretty gross. But the way Galbraith tied everything up at the end was really good. Not only were the clues that we had seen tied in, but also the bits and pieces that I didn’t realize were clues fit together impressively. And of course Cormoran figures it all out and then has to basically serve the solution up to the cops on a silver platter.
Can I have another Strike mystery soon please?