By Robert Galbraith
For those of you who don’t know, Lethal White is by JK Rowling — written under a pseudonym. This is book 4 in the Cormoran Strike series, starring a summer-winter pair of investigators. However, for the first 9-10 chapters there is no case, no investigation. It’s all the internal musings of Robin and Cormoran—their dissatisfaction with their current love partners and their fear to admit that they respect, appreciate, and are coming to love each other. The actual case that they finally take on is very complicated. The personalities involved are varied, and the social, economic, and political positions the many people hold are fascinating. However, in the end the case is explained to us in prose rather than in action. To me that is always a cop-out and a rating-loser. However, I’m glad that both Cormoran and Robin have made the big choices they did in this volume.
Rowling has a literary background that few of her readers share, and she uses a vocabulary rarely met in fiction, much less in crime investigation writing. I cannot remember a time I came across such delicious words as “concomitant” or “obstreperous.” Rowling is a fantastic writer and in this series has created some characters who are enjoyable to spend time with. That being said, I do hope that volume 5 has more investigation and less angst.
There is quite a bit of “language” in this series, so be aware that it is not PG. And for those who enjoy listening over reading, the audiobook is narrated by Robert Glenister, who does a fantastic job at characterizing all the varied levels of English society.
Book Review by Trudy