I came to this book with the knowledge of the actual author and im not sure how fair I can be.

In my opinion this is very standard crime fiction fare. There is nothing here which lifts this book above the plethora of titles in the genre.

As the main character is a private detective I’m automatically drawn to compare this with the new series by Brookmyre featuring “Jasmine Sharp”, who in my opinion forms a more complete and engaging presence in a book.

That’s not to say that Cormoran Strike is without merit. I enjoyed the interplay between him and Robin and felt that she lent the detective side of the story much needed grounding. Her “normal” provided a great counterpoint for Strike, and I enjoyed the parts of the plot due to her. Her personal life could have faced a lot more explanation and maybe this will be addressed in the next book.

This ‘normal’ is where the book falls. I couldn’t have given two hoots about the murdered model and by the end of the book was so utterey sick of the vacuous nature of the majority of the players that if they had all died it would not have mattered. That goes for the lawyering lot as well.

If you want a better look at high rolling London society then go read ‘a week in December’ by William Boyd. The financial replaces lawyering and modelling featured here but his characters are far better described.

So.. What about the story? We’re presented with the death of a model. Her brother is not satisfied with the verdict of suicide and he engages Strike to investigate. Given that this book is introducing us to Strike, I’ll forgive the lack of substantial or original plot. The stand out moment was the hunting down of a homeless person and this was a nice counterpoint to the artifice of the lives of the main plot. The description of the designer “ghee” was also satisfyingly amusing.

A good start, but I’m not sure it deserves quite the adulation it’s getting and maybe wouldn’t be published if written by a new author.

Seriously? Do you really buy all that nonsense about the authors real name being “leaked”? It wasn’t selling well, they had a lot of copies to shift and it needed a boost. Cue the media…

Meanwhile – get me a book by a half decent author.

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