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    Strike & Robin

    I couldn’t wait to find out whodunnit but I’m sorry the book is finished - I sure hope JK Galbraith is already working on her next one!!
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    Maybe the Most Riveting Cormoran Strike Book Yet

    Like all the Cormoran Strike books, "Troubled Blood" is an epic, complex work, densely packed with detail and imagery. It's also a complete page-turner. The main plot is about Strike and Robin's search for the truth about what happened to a woman who disappeared almost forty years earlier. Was she abducted and murdered by a serial killer who was preying on women in the area then? Or was it something else? The investigation causes Robin and Strike to dive into the world of astrology and tarot, as well as the sordid past of the serial killer and various gangsters in the area. There are also half-a-dozen subplots, at least. Robin and Strike's slow-burn romance continues its slow burn. The agency deals with other cases, and Robin tries to deal with the unwanted advances of some of the agency's new contractors. Strike, meanwhile, is caught up in multiple family dramas. In less skillful hands this would turn into a sprawling mess, but Galbraith ably weaves all the threads together into a shocking ending, while also meditating on the multiple ways in which women are oppressed and abused, and how they can or cannot escape their oppression and abuse. It's definitely a dark book, but one that also has a lot of light and humor in it, and points towards a happy ending in the finale. There's been a lot of chatter about JK Rowling's supposed transphobia and how it is expressed in this book. Most of that seems to be from people who have not actually read her statements or this book. Throughout it her essential humaneness and sympathy for others shines through. At the same time, she does speak out repeatedly against a focus on surface rather than substance, and the ways in which a faux veneer of stereotypical femininity--whether worn by men or women--can be used to hoodwink and hurt others. In a world obsessed with image and identity over facts and reality, this is a welcome corrective.
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