Published October 20th 2015.
After reading the first two installments ("The Cuckoo's Calling" by Robert Galbraith/J. K. Rowling, "The Silkworm" by Robert Galbraith/J. K. Rowling), I had no doubts I’d be reading the third. And here it is. After having finished it, was it worth it?
Melikes a good detective novel, and what I like about this is that it’s unashamedly in love with Crime Fiction. Should we have novels with more balanced detectives rather than damaged ones? Well, I for one like them dirty, rugged, and foul-mouthed so to speak…The more the better. If my protagonist is lucky in love, the opposite of hopeless at relationships, he may not be better than the mustachioed doughnut eaters who miss all the clues and don’t do a proper job at investigating.
I’m not going to blast this for being clichéd, because it was too much fun. And what Galbraith/Rowling has obviously spotted is that nobody does this kind of thing anymore, i.e., a good old-fashioned Crime Fiction novel, featuring a detective with an office, and a secretary, a pile of pot noodles, and a camp bed in the corner. Writers have to balance the “reality” and grittiness of a book with its entertainment counterpart. It’s from this dichotomy and the use of a creative license that we get the great works of literature. Would I really want a book where detectives spent many hours doing surveillance in the hope of seeing a thief? Or canvassing a neighbourhood in the off chance that one saw something? Not likely.
Galbraith’s/Rowling’s approach is the antithesis to the usual doom-laden grimness of Scandinavian Crime Fiction. Don't get me wrong. I love Scandinavian Crime Fiction, but grimness and bleakness just for the sake of it gets boring after a while.