I posted my overall review of this book earlier, but since I try to keep my reviews spoiler-free, I wanted to create a separate post to go into more spoilery details.
If you have not read Lethal White yet, GO AWAY NOW. There will be spoilers after this paragraph, so unless you really like spoiling things for yourself, you’re going to want to leave.
Okay. Now that that’s clear, I can finally talk about this book. In my original review I mentioned not really being a fan of the overall mystery in this one. There were a lot of elements that I really didn’t care for, such as the whole blackmail thing. Once Chiswell dies and it becomes more about solving his murder, I enjoyed it more, but all of the political stuff up to that point I felt was kind of boring.
It felt like the story didn’t really start until that happened. Once Robin finds the body it felt like game on.
Also the thing that Chiswell was being blackmailed with didn’t even seem like that big of a deal. When they kept saying what he did wasn’t illegal at the time but is now, I was intrigued and was hoping it would be something interesting. But it totally seems like something that a politician could talk their way out of in the real-world and not really suffer from in the long-run. The fact that he’s trying so hard to cover it up would just make it worse when it got out.
So all that being said, it just felt like the mystery wasn’t as strong as it was in the first three books. It seemed like J.K. Rowling tried to make it much more complex than it needed to be, and it didn’t really work the way she intended.
I loved Robin’s character development in this one. She’s always been a strong character, but I’m glad she finally started standing up for herself and realizing that she was in an abusive relationship. It was so disappointing in the beginning after the wedding when she stays with him out of pity, and when she finally left him for real I was so happy.
Also, fuck Matthew. Throughout the whole series I had a little bit of pity for him, and thought maybe he would change and become likable, but he’s such a little prick. I’m so glad he’s gone.
Also I found it a bit ridiculous that as a private detective, Robin didn’t realize he was cheating on her as soon as she got that text that he accidentally sent to her. Same goes for Strike thinking Robin was pregnant when she had really just left Matthew. These two are incredibly good at solving mysteries, so that fact that they were so wrong about simple things was pretty unbelievable.
I loved the conversation that she has with Strike afterwards when she is trying to keep things from him because she is worried he’ll think she’s too emotional to handle the job, and she feels like her job is all she has left.
“Nothing in your past precludes you from doing this job, but you need to take care of yourself if you want to keep doing it.”
And then, a bit later he says:
“I don’t want to lose you, because you’re the best I’ve got. Every case we’ve worked since you arrived, you’ve found evidence I couldn’t have found and got round people I couldn’t have persuaded to talk to me. We’re where we are today largely because of you.”
I love that he recognizes how much of an asset she is. And when he asks her what her vision for the future for the agency is, and her answer is the same as his, so great.
Their relationship is so great. He’s such a cranky old man (and I mean that in the most endearing way possible), but I think he really looks up to Robin. Even though he’s technically her boss, he really does his best to treat her as his equal.
I’m pretty hard on the Robin/Strike ship, so I wish we would have gotten a bit more of that in the book, but I love reading about the lead up to relationships as much as the relationship itself, so I was still happy.
The stuff with Robin/Strike is why even though I felt the mystery wasn’t very strong, I still gave this book a 5 star rating.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this book, and whether you agreed or disagreed with anything I pointed out.