J K Rowling is renowned for being a force to be reckoned with. When I heard of her foray into crime fiction under a pseudonym, I was surprised. Reading about her reasoning afterwards, I could see why she would opt to be judged on a new book as a new author rather than put her book up for scrutiny by fans and critics as the author of Harry Potter.
I found it engrossing. Crime fiction will always be a genre I find myself drawn to for the many ways it can explore the undersides of humanity. This book does it well and adds mystery with one of my favourite kinds of detectives: the private investigator. Cormoran is an unusual name and with the way he’s been introduced in this book and will no doubt be explored in more to come, his character will be one of great depth and many layers. Our female lead, Robin, is perhaps less well developed but there is enough ground work in place for her to become a strong role in herself.
The mystery was slow to take off, I found myself not as keen to read between chapters 4 and 8 – but as the momentum built and the story began travelling down parallel paths, it became quite an engrossing read. From chapter 8 onwards I was captivated and found myself rushing to read it every chance I could. I think like most Rowling books, once she has set her stage, playing with her characters and drawing a reader through is easy.
4 stars for story, pacing and a strong lead character.