Lethal White


When I finished the third book of the Cormoran Strike series, I was desperate for more. Almost sure that there would never be another one; I assigned the grisly detective and his beautiful, clever partner to the ranks of friends I might never see again. Then damn, here came the new novel “Lethal White.”

Don’t worry Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott are as fascinating as ever, she even more so because she’s now married, and her husband Matthew turns out to be every bit as much of an (obscenity omitted) as he was before their wedding.

But it’s not just the author’s ability to create fascinating characters and let us experience their psyches down to their last iota of ambivalence, or his amazing powers of description coupled with his willingness to take the time to involve the reader fully in every vital experience. (Digging up the dead body in the middle of the night makes us almost handle every shovelful of dirt and wrestle away every rock in the hole.)

What I like are the stories, each set in a different milieu, requiring the reader’s full attention as the ins and outs of brand new worlds are revealed. Here we combine old English aristocracy and its love of class distinction, horses, and marital infidelity, with the voices or anarchists protesting the London Olympics, with international trafficking in torture devices. The fact that Galbraith never quite ties up every single loose end (though he thinks he does) isn’t quite as important as that he gives us so much and gets so damn close.

Here’s another excellent mystery not to be missed, brand new characters with their own desperate tics and treasures, scenes of bone-chilling horror, million pound paintings, protest marches, the halls of parliament, the grimy London waterfront, brilliant criminal deduction, all-out madness, and two of our all-time favorite characters finally starting to realize that they are falling in love.