Book 3 of the Cormoran Strike Series mixed up the equation some and gave us a serial-killer mystery with even the point of view of the killer at times. Did this work for me? Not really, but I loved the character growth of Robin and Cormoran. The story starts out with Robin receiving a package of a severed leg addressed to the office. This starts the mystery of who would do such a thing to provoke Cormoran? Cormoran whittles down the list of suspects who could be this new “Jack the Ripper” like serial-killer to three men. The majority of the book is Cormoran investigating these three men, all connected to Cormoran from the past. So right away this is a much different book than the previous Cormoran books.
The big differences between this book and the previous book are that we know that the killer is one of these 3 men, there is no crime scene to investigate, and the murders are personal towards Cormoran, and the actual murders themselves are from a serial killer that is motivated by a serial killer’s desire to kill. The point of view of the serial killer did nothing for me. I thought those parts of the book were written laughably bad and didn’t add much depth to the character. Knowing that the killer is one of three men made me really upset because I like to think of outside the box thinking about who the killer might be when reading murder mysteries. Not having a crime scene made it so that Robin and Cormoran had to go looking for information about the men from past acquaintances. I wasn’t too thrilled with this mystery at all and thought the previous books were much better mysteries.
Where this book really shined, was with the progression of Robin and Cormoran’s friendship and working relationship. More things happen between Robin and Cormoran and their connected people, in their lives, than the previous two books combined. My absolute favorite part was learning about Robin’s past. The surprise factor about Robin’s past was the biggest reveal in this book. Where I mainly read this series for Cormoran, I now have an invested interest in Robin. She has become my favorite character in this series, maybe. I would have to look to television to point out a male/female mystery pair that I like more than these two.
Anyway, sub-par mystery for me, but great character moments.
14/25 Possible Score
2 – Plot
4 – Characters
2 – Setting
3 – Writing Style
3 – Heart & Mind Aspect