Strike four

Published October 4, 2018

I’m surprised that I haven’t written about the Cormoran Strike novels before, but as I’ve just wrapped up reading the fourth installment in the series, I figured now was as good a time as any.

As I’m sure everyone is aware by now, Cormoran Strike is the central figure in the series of novels by Robert Galbraith, which is a pseudonym of JK Rowling. The first book picked up decent plaudits before the real author was uncovered, but naturally ever since that info was leaked, the series has garnered a lot more attention than it otherwise might have. Four books in, and a TV adaptation to boot, Strike and his temp/assistant/partner Robin are picking up a lot of fans.

And I’m one of them.

It’s taken me a while to really get on board with everything Strike-related, but I’m there now thanks in part to the excellent TV show, but mostly because of the audiobooks.

JK Rowling’s books have interesting plots; storylines that are less crime thriller and more detective adventure, and as such Rowling is at liberty to describe every step of a case in extreme detail. Sometimes it’s excruciating detail, but on the flip side of that, the ability to immerse yourself in a scene and picture it perfectly also makes you closer to the characters involved.

As the prose is so lengthy, I haven’t found enough time to settle down with the written words, but I have indulged in the audiobooks, read marvellously by Robert Glenister. I previously knew him as Ash in Hustle but now as the voice-wonder behind the books I enjoyed so much. He can do basically any accent and manages to keep a consistency across a growing number of characters that is admirable.

The fourth book, released last month, stretched to a lengthy 22 hours, but Glenister’s narration kept it interesting throughout. The book has received mixed reviews, most of which I agree with (loved the evolving relationships, but the case itself was a bit muddled, and the ending felt unsatisfactory given the build up), but generally it’s a good book that leaves you wanting to know what happens to these characters next, and that’s as much as you can ask for from a series like this.

It’s just been confirmed that it will be also be filmed for the small screen to join the three existing adaptations. I need to rewatch the episodes, I think, as I have only seen them once. I remember thinking they would be less enjoyable if I hadn’t read the books, but as a fan, you can just indulge in seeing the stories brought to life. I’ll be interested to see how the bulky Lethal White turns out in four short episodes, I don’t envy trying to pick out the crucial info and not missing anything out that fans will rage about.

Meanwhile, Rowling has confirmed she hasn’t any plans to stop writing about Strike and his adventures anytime soon, so there should be plenty more to enjoy.

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