Last time on The Baby Silk Moth, everyone was terrible. This time… well, this probably adequately sums up my current opinion of this book.
I feel moths are too nifty to be associated with this pile of shite. And I still don’t know what silkworms have to do with this book anyway, unless it expresses the reader’s desire to be boiled alive rather than continue reading it. There aren’t any trigger warnings, this isn’t a Casual Vacancy level of rage… it’s just that all these characters are terrible and I’m tired of reading about them.
So it’s time for you all to share my pain.
Chapter Eight sees Strike on the Tube travelling to meet Agent Liz and thinking about Robin. Rather incoherently. He starts by thinking that she never reproached him for taking on the Quine case even though she must be expecting a pay rise, which makes no sense. You might as well say she didn’t reproach him for it even though she likes cheese. It’s a complete non sequitur. I think we’re meant to infer that Leonora isn’t going to pay Strike’s fee or get anyone else to pay it, therefore the business will lose money, therefore Robin won’t get a raise, but 1) we have no reason to think she’s not going to pay if Agent Liz doesn’t, and 2) Strike has plenty of other clients and several have been referred to as ‘celebrities’ of one sort or another.
At this point there had better be a reason why Strike has no money; we had better find out later in the book that he’s donating it all to charity or secretly supporting an illegitimate child or struggling with a gambling addiction or has massive debts from somewhere, because this is just bloody stupid. Being a PI is a very skilled job and it pays very well accordingly. There is zero reason why Strike would have no money now that his business is established and doing well. Rowling just likes the angst factor of poor characters, while seeming to have utterly forgotten how poverty actually works.
Instead of acknowledging that this was a stupid thing to think, Strike decides that the reason Robin never reproached him for it was that she is a saintly woman unlike all other women and has chosen not to criticise him as all other women do. Think I’m kidding?
“She was unusual in her lack of criticism, or critical silence; the only female in Strike’s life who seemed to have no desire to improve or correct him. Women, in his experience, often expected you to understand that it was a measure of how much they loved you that they tried their damnedest to change you.”
Note that use of ‘female’ there over ‘woman’, or even ‘human’ or ‘person’. In any case, the women in Strike’s life that we know of at this point consist of his Cornish aunt who chatted with him on the phone without realising that even though he called her he didn’t actually want to talk to her, his half-sister who’s invited him to dinner, and Saint Robin herself. And while we were told a lot of negative things about his ex-fiancée in the previous book, her constant desire to change Strike was never mentioned. So there is absolutely nothing to support this bitter misogyny that Strike has pulled out of his arse.
I’d also like to point out that despite my original impression, Robin is literally merely Strike’s employee, not his partner or future partner or whatever (I’d hesitate to even call them friends, honestly). I’ve never yet worked anywhere where I could criticise my boss without fear of the consequences, particularly not over business decisions.
This is a long rant for half a page of narrative, but Strike is pissing me off. Especially since he then starts thinking about how Robin’s going to get married in seven weeks and focuses on the fact that he doesn’t know her fiancé’s surname, though why this matters isn’t stated. And he immediately thinks that maybe it would be a good idea to call the soon-to-be-divorced client Robin was being so catty about last chapter, because she made it clear that she’d love to sleep with him, and this is clearly an appropriate response to learning that his receptionist is going to get married.
First, give the woman a name and treat her like a character. This is literal objectification. Second, based on Strike’s judgements of every person he’s met so far, including last book when he decided several characters were flirting with him based on no evidence whatsoever, I’m going to say that the woman didn’t do anything of the sort and he’s just assuming she’d be up for it. Third, go fuck yourself with your own false leg.
He dismisses the idea, but I suspect not for long, and goes back to thinking about Leonora. He decides that he took the case out of curiosity and because a missing-persons case would make a nice change after the ‘endless variations on cupidity and vengefulness‘ that his ‘wealthy‘ clients keep bringing him. Being poor, how does it work? Whatever.
Agent Liz’s publishing house is in a residential area for no reason I can fathom, and it’s a nice old building that’s falling into disrepair. I’ll spare you the long descriptions. We briefly meet a couple of employees, Ralph and Sally (the narrative points out frequently that Sally is very nervous and uncertain, while not commenting on Ralph’s ability), and an aggressive elderly Dobermann who’s mentioned often enough throughout the rest of the chapter that I assume it’s important we know there’s a dog, before meeting Agent Liz. Let me pick out the key words in her description: ‘thick-set’, ‘large‘, ‘coarse‘, and ‘uncompromisingly plain‘. I hate this book. She’s also older, in her sixties, which leads to this gem:
“She emanated that aura of grandeur that replaces sexual allure in the successful older woman.”
This is word salad flavoured with bullshit. Telling us she had grey hair and dark eyes and was wearing a business suit would have been enough; Strike not being sexually attracted to her doesn’t mean nobody anywhere ever will be again because she’s past it now poor old thing.
Liz is also a chain-smoker with a severe cough. Severe, as in every few paragraphs she goes into a nasty-sounding coughing fit that leaves her seriously out of breath and barely able to speak. Strike comments on it, naturally, and she tells him it’s the flu. She doesn’t show any other signs of flu, so I’d be more inclined to guess bronchitis or emphysema, but okay. Ignoring the missing Owen, they talk about who’s going to pay Strike, and Liz says Owen’s no longer her client and she’s not going to pay a penny to get him back. Sally brings them some tea (that’s what women do, after all) and knocks over some papers trying to find room to put the tray down, and Liz wheezes at her between coughs that she’s useless.
This sparks a paragraph of Strike thinking that the agent is a bully capitalising on the fact that she reminds her victims of their demanding mothers. That’s a hell of a judgemental statement based on one word. But he’s immune to that because his mother was a saint (that’s a change from last book when she was described as a junkie and a slut) and because he’s decided that Liz is a ‘dragon‘ but has a hidden vulnerability that he can see after five minutes but that the people who work with her every day haven’t spotted.
What the fuck is this.
I’m skipping through the rest of the conversation, there’s lots of descriptions of coughing and silent cigarette-related judging and lots of bullshit. Stripping all that away, Liz tells us she last saw Owen when she said she wouldn’t publish the new book and they had a public row in a restaurant before he flounced off and left her with the bill, and that despite what Leonora said she never complimented the book in any way. She was home with the flu when Owen finished the manuscript, so he sent it over to her at home (I won’t ask how he knew where she lives) and she tried to ignore it because she was sick but he kept phoning almost hourly to see what she thought of it and for some reason she couldn’t just turn her phone off or something. So she skim-read it, while feverish, to shut him up and didn’t think it was too bad, she missed all the libellous bits – heh, sort of like how if you skim-read all of Rowling’s books they’re much better than if you pay attention as you read? – and said it was fine and got her people to send copies to two publishers, Chard (his existing publisher) and Fisher.
This isn’t how I understood that publishers work. I was under the impression that if you’re an established author, you are under contract with a publishing house for X number of books for Y amount of money per book and Z amount of money as an advance plus terms and conditions regarding royalties, foreign-language options, media adaptations, publicity etc. If your contract has ended and your agent can’t renew it, you write your next book on spec and the agent calls the publisher and says ‘Author has written a new book, it’s (genre) and (length), are you interested?’ and they say either ‘No sorry’ or ‘Maybe, send a copy for us to see’. I’m reluctant to say this is bullshit, since getting books published is one area where I’m happy to concede that Rowling knows more than I do, but it seems unlikely that an agent can randomly send unsolicited manuscripts to publishers and get any response at all beyond it being chucked in the bin or deleted.
Anyway, Owen thinks himself an eccentric genius and likes causing trouble, we’re told. He also insists on using a typewriter and sending physical manuscripts around just to be awkward. And although Chard’s house has been publishing him for a while, they’re tired of his tantrums, hence her sending a second copy to Fisher. Then her employee called her, having flicked through the script after sending the copies out, to ask if she’d actually read it and he read her the worst bits, so she called both publishers to say it was a first draft sent by mistake and could they return it without reading it, before calling Owen. Owen was too pleased with himself to listen and invited her to a celebratory dinner, so she went and told him his book was vile garbage and he lost it and started screaming abuse in the restaurant before declaring he’d self-publish it online as an ebook (despite being technologically inept) and storming out.
The existing publisher at Chard read it and was furious with her, and hung up on her when she admitted she’d sent it to Fisher.
Owen took his original manuscript and notes with him when he vanished, Strike says helpfully. Liz says Owen has a girlfriend who self-publishes really bad erotic fantasy novels – fuck off, Rowling – and she tried to contact her to warn her not to help him publish it but couldn’t get hold of her, and goes to find the number. Strike noses around in her absence and finds a photo of Liz (badly dressed and fat, of course) with a very beautiful young man, an ugly man of indeterminate age, and Owen (also fat). Liz comes back, and instead of asking him what the fuck he’s doing, helpfully explains that the pretty man is a young talented author called Joseph North, who died, and the ugly man is Michael Fancourt who used to be a client of hers.
Strike asks why she doesn’t represent Fancourt any more and she says she had to choose between Fancourt and Owen (for reasons that are not explained) and stupidly chose Owen, before changing the subject and giving him the girlfriend’s number. He asks if she has any idea where to find Owen since she’s found him before, and Liz says she never found him, he always called after a few days to ask for an advance to pay his bills. Strike’s surprised that she pays, and Liz asks if he’s met the Quines’ daughter Orlando before saying vaguely that she and Owen used to be friends once and go back a long way, and listing a few of the hotels she remembers him using before.
I assume this means the daughter is ill or has special needs and thus needs money for care? I hope not, I already don’t think much of Owen, and there’s no suspense in a murder mystery when you don’t care who killed the victim as long as someone did.
Strike asks if Liz thinks Owen might have done something stupid, and she laughs. He’d never want to deprive the world of his genius, she says, and wouldn’t want to spoil the huge dramatic manhunt he seems to expect every time he goes missing. When Strike tries to end the interview Liz asks a favour – if he’s going to be out trawling around all the people connected to this, could he please tell them that she genuinely didn’t know what was in the book when she sent it out, that she was careless because she was sick but not guilty of conspiracy? Because this is hurting her reputation and that affects her clients, she’s even been uninvited from a party at Roper Chard tomorrow. Surprisingly, Strike agrees.
The chapter ends with the elderly Dobermann growling at Strike and Liz commenting that the dog bit Owen once, and she thinks it’s a shame it wasn’t fatal.
This is turning into quite a long post, but I suppose I can force myself through another chapter or two before stopping. Strike calls Robin to rearrange various appointments and pass messages on to clients – we finally get a possible name for the soon-to-be-divorced woman! Her name might be Caroline Ingles. I hope this doesn’t end up being racist – and give her some more hotels to check because he’s going to check out Owen’s mistress himself when he gets time. Robin hasn’t found Owen yet, shockingly, and gets in an unnecessary comment that there’s no way hotel staff could miss him if he was staying with them.
Strike goes off to work for yet another client, tailing a PA because her boss and lover thinks she’s passing information and sexual favours to a rival company. Fuck off, book. It does at least turn out that the woman isn’t doing anything of the sort, and when she told her lover that she was going to a beauty salon for his benefit she actually meant it. Strike found the stakeout very boring, so decides to go and see Owen’s mistress for something to do now he’s finished it. Her name is Kathryn Kent. That amuses me, I had a friend called Kathryn at uni for three years including a year as housemates before she decided one minute after graduation to be ‘too busy’ to talk to me or any of our other friends ever again. Unless the description is radically different I’m going to be imagining her.
It’s night by the time he arrives at her address, which is a very stereotypical council-built tower block, because poor people are terrible unless they’re the protagonist or a friend of the protagonist. Kathryn – heh – isn’t home, so he stands around outside her door looking really fucking suspicious, and ends up reading Robin’s wedding invitation for something to do. For some reason the invitation as written is from her parents, inviting the recipient to their daughter’s wedding. This is the 21st century, Rowling, it doesn’t have to automatically work like that any more. Anyway, Robin’s middle name is Venetia for some reason, and Matthew’s full name is Matthew John Cunliffe. Very Biblical.
Strike broods angstily in the rain for a while, which is hilariously emo, until Kathryn shows up with some shopping. She has red hair, slender legs and large breasts, and Strike sounds disappointed when he notes that her face is a lot older than he was expecting. Because he’s a prick. That does stop me imagining the Kathryn I used to know, though, which is probably for the best.
Kathryn’s reaction on seeing Strike is to yell “You!” before dropping her shopping and attacking him, yelling that someone called Pippa is going to kill him. I feel that this is actually a perfectly acceptable reaction, but it turns out – after some stereotypical incompetent flailing that mercifully doesn’t include a comment about hitting like a girl – that she thought he was someone else because it was too dark to see him clearly. Strike explains he’s been hired to find Owen and knows she’s a friend of his, and she replies that no she isn’t and she wants nothing to do with him and ‘she‘ is welcome to him. She refuses to say when or where she last saw Owen, insists she hasn’t read the book and doesn’t know anything about it, denies it when Strike mentions that Leonora saw a woman matching her description at their house last week, and ends by slamming the door in his face. Not at all suspicious, then.
We’re back with Robin for Chapter 10. That used to be a good thing but I’ve given up on her ever becoming a half-decent character. Since she’s not been allowed to take part in the plot so far beyond calling hotels, I suppose I can forgive her for thinking solely about Matthew, as there’s nothing much else for her to think about. The two of them had a bad fight over her inviting Strike to the wedding without checking with him first.
I hate these sorts of fights in books or shows. There is literally no reason why Robin would not have mentioned during the endless wedding plans that she’d like to invite Strike and there is nothing wrong with Matthew not wanting someone he’s never met at their wedding. In the real world she’d have mentioned it ages ago when they first started planning and he would have asked her to wait until he’d had a chance to meet him and this fight would never have happened. So its presence here is just for Drama and does nothing except make everyone involved look like a moron incapable of using their words.
We get a recap of the fight. Matthew asked, quite reasonably, since when were they asking people without telling one another? For some reason Robin responded by lying to him twice – she thought she had already told him, Strike would expect to be invited since he’s her boss (what? Is that a thing? My brother’s getting married this August and I’m damned sure neither his boss nor his fiancée’s boss are expecting invites) – before being honest and saying she wants Strike there. Which isn’t what Matthew asked, but okay. She wants to bring together her work and home life and ‘to see Strike in the congregation, approving… of her marrying Matthew.’
Robin, generations of feminists are spinning in their graves right now.
Matthew says this is a bit rich after all the fuss when he wanted to invite someone called Sarah. Robin thinks this is below the belt (I don’t) and snaps to invite her then but it’s not the same situation because Strike has never tried to get her into bed, which Matthew snorts at. Given that all he knows about the bloke is that he’s given Robin a very revealing dress and she won’t shut up about him, I can understand his scepticism.
The fight was interrupted with a phone call telling them that Matthew’s mother has just been diagnosed as having had a mini-stroke last week, which is totally out of left field and stuck in so there’s an excuse for the fight to still be continuing because… I don’t know. Apparently you can’t make up and set aside an argument after getting some bad news? Anyway, they’re still angry with each other.
Strike stays shut up in his office all morning making various phone calls for various cases we don’t know much about, and finally comes out looking like a vagrant (it’s apparently a deliberate look for another case and a long story) to update Robin on the plot currently happening without her. He says Kathryn must have thought he was Owen, to which Robin laughs and says he’s not that fat. Fuck off.
Robin’s done something productive while angsting, at least. Kathryn has a blog, because of course she does. We get a few entries, which are mostly very badly spelled rants about how publishers just don’t recognise good books. I think when I do these chapters I’m going to have to keep “Fuck off, Rowling” on my CTRL+V. Because seriously, fuck off, Rowling. If publishers recognised good books you wouldn’t be a billionaire. The blog also covers personal things and Kathryn hints at her affair with a writer, who is stuck with a wife he doesn’t love because of a Third Party, who I’m guessing is Orlando. The wife is a carer for said third party and is also apparently really selfish and won’t let the writer go despite knowing about Kathryn – so, yeah, Orlando is special needs and Leonora can’t manage to look after her alone and also work full-time to pay for it so doesn’t want a divorce. How unreasonable of her.
There are some comments on the blog from Pippa, presumably the one Kathryn mentioned while hilariously assaulting Strike, and some hints about Kathryn’s day job which involves ‘tightened security‘ and can’t be stated on there. The most recent post says that her sister has just died of breast cancer, and Pippa’s the only one to have commented on it. Strike follows this by deriding blogs, of course – yeah, buddy, wouldn’t it be a shame if a blogger was writing about you and what terrible people you and your creator are?
“Why do people do this?”
“Blog, you mean? I don’t know… didn’t someone once say the unexamined life isn’t worth living?”
“Yeah, Plato,” said Strike, “but this isn’t examining a life, it’s exhibiting it.”
Somehow this leads to Robin doing a comical forehead-slap and saying oh dear, she totally forgot to say, but Fisher called to ask if Strike would be interested in writing a book. This is shoehorned in purely so Strike can nobly say ‘ew no icky fame get it away from me’ while still smugly wallowing in the fact that he is inexplicably famous for no fucking reason.
If there’s much more of this I am just going to rename Strike to Harry. This was boring in the HP books and it’s boring now.
Strike goes to leave and Robin reminds him he’s meant to be meeting her and Matthew for drinks tonight. Given that she’s feeling sick with nerves at the thought after last night’s row I don’t know why she’s pushing for it. We get a hilarious bit with Strike hilariously misremembering the time of the meeting, hilariously, before he changes the subject to comment on Robin’s middle name and she admits, embarrassed, that it’s because she was conceived in Venice. Wow, her parents are tasteful people. I imagine learning that feels similar to the first time it occurs to you to count backwards from your birthday and you realise you were probably conceived on your parents’ wedding anniversary, only you’re reminded of it far more often because they made it your actual name. Robin asks what Strike’s middle name is and he refuses to tell her, before waltzing out.
I would think after eight months as alleged friends this might have come up before now. Particularly since Robin would likely need to put her full name on the paperwork for the payroll.
Strike’s going to see someone related to one of his other cases. He’s been hired by a crook named Mr Gunfrey to investigate an unnamed man who runs a business cracking phones and laptops and selling the information therein, who turns out to be a violent thug happily telling Strike he’s going to send someone to beat up Gunfrey’s son and offers to pay Strike to do it. Strike leaves and phones his client to advise him to back off and leave this psychopath alone, and then utterly fails to notify the police. What the fuck.
He calls Robin to let her know he’s going to be late to meet her and Matthew, inevitably, and oh bugger I thought the meeting would be next chapter so I could stop here. She’s panicky because it’s going to take him ages to get there from where he is, and I’m shocked that for once Rowling’s managed to judge distance and travel time correctly because yes, it would take Strike nearly an hour to get from Crouch End to Waterloo at 6pm. By taxi. If he wasn’t a total fucking moron or an arsehole deliberately trying to be late and took the Underground, it would take half that time, since he’s about five minutes’ walk from Highgate station and it’s a direct route down the Northern Line.
As he travels unnecessarily slowly to this meeting, Strike decides Matthew chose a pub so far away deliberately to make him travel a long way, possibly as payback for Strike having done the exact same thing for all the previous meetings one or other of them didn’t show up to. I’m actually glad Robin’s such a disappointing character; I’d hate for a decent woman to be wasted on either of these fuckers. It’s a very smart pub and Strike’s still dressed like a tramp, though to his disappointment he isn’t thrown out because of this. I’m not sure Rowling’s grasped the difference between a pub and a restaurant. As long as you are wearing clothing and can afford drink, a pub will not throw you out for looking scruffy.
Meanwhile Robin’s sitting uncomfortably next to Matthew, who is of course immaculately dressed and the handsomest man in the room and every woman around is sneaking glances at him that he’s too noble to notice with his bright blue eyes. Excuse me while I vomit.
We get a very uncomfortable, stilted conversation. Strike’s mysterious and vague about his job and where he’s been, Matthew name drops fancy restaurants while commenting on the pub’s Thai food, both men are inwardly amused since that’s exactly what they expected of one another, and Robin tries awkwardly to make small talk and bridge the gap. Since she has no social awareness, she does this by asking Strike about his afternoon’s work in the hope that this will make Matthew love detecting as much as she does. When this doesn’t work, Robin goes to order their food and leaves the two men alone to talk.
Matthew comments that he heard Strike was in the army, and doesn’t understand when Strike says ‘SIB‘ in response, and naturally won’t ask nor will Strike explain. (I don’t know what it is either; I assume it’s the police-investigator-whatever branch that I dimly remember Strike was in before. I don’t care enough to look it up.) Matthew’s father was ex-Royal Air Force, and served at the same time as some famous rugby player, and has since done all right for himself though not the same as Strike’s father of course… To be fair, this is all very well written, it is cringe-inducing and full of second hand embarrassment. They’re both misunderstanding each other and finding fault with everything they say. I’m just finding it hard to care since they’re both so unlikeable.
Robin comes back and tries to get Matthew to talk about his job instead in the hope of showing Strike what she likes about him. Matthew says vaguely that the firm he works for is auditing a small publishing house who are apparently in serious financial difficulty, which really would have triggered either Robin or Strike commenting that they’re working on a case connected to publishing right now but instead their food is brought out (despite Robin having ordered it about two minutes ago; it turns out that this pub is real, The King’s Arms in Waterloo. I may have to go there because it’s apparently staffed by wizards) and they eat in awkward silence before Strike gets an idea that he naturally won’t enlighten the readers about.
Matthew asks abruptly if Strike has a girlfriend, and we’re told that he’s asked Robin and she was vague about it. I don’t know why. Strike says no and promptly excuses himself to make a phone call, which Matthew is sarcastic about and that annoys Robin. No, Robin, that is rude behaviour when you’re out to dinner with someone; both these men are arseholes but Matthew’s done the least wrong thus far.
Strike calls his journalist friend Culpepper from the first chapter, who he’s just remembered has by an amazing coincidence got a cousin who works at Roper Chard. Gosh, isn’t that lucky. And he just happened to remember this based on a conversation we’re told they had several months ago. This kind of implausible coincidence is lazy and as far as I’m concerned means Rowling couldn’t think of any other way for Strike to meet anyone from there. Like, for example, phoning up and asking for Owen’s publisher by name and stating that he’s a private investigator looking into Owen’s disappearance. That would be enough to get someone to talk to him. But no, she wants Strike to go to the fancy party there tomorrow instead of just interviewing someone, so we get this instead. I hope it turns out that this cousin is the cleaner and isn’t going to the party and therefore can’t take Strike. Culpepper says he’ll explain things to her and hangs up, and Strike smokes a cigarette to take up some time before reluctantly going back inside.
He’s been gone long enough that Matthew’s almost finished his meal, though he was trying to do that deliberately to make it seem longer than it was, and Robin looks so miserable that Strike heroically makes an effort to have a conversation with the other man. I am pretty anti-social and also have social anxiety, and I don’t like talking to people I don’t know, but it’s really not this big a deal to talk to a friend’s partner for an hour, for fuck’s sake. Strike notices that the conversation flows best when Matthew can talk about himself, and notices that Robin apparently constantly feeds him lines and cues to let him do so. Show, don’t tell, Rowling.
We learn that Matthew and Robin have been together for nine years, they met in sixth form (NEWT year in HP terms) and Matthew says he had no choice because she was the only girl there with any brains who was ‘fanciable‘. I would assume this is meant to be a joke, but we’re not shown Robin’s reaction and I don’t trust Strike’s assumption that he meant it literally, so who knows. That’s the only other glimpse of conversation we get before they walk to Waterloo station together and then go their separate ways.
Robin asks Matthew what he thinks, which was probably a mistake. Not wanting to sound insane, he just says that Strike’s punctuality is shit and he’ll probably show up forty minutes late to the wedding and ruin the ceremony, which she takes as acceptance of his coming and shuts up.
Matthew broods silently on the way home. He was reassured that Robin’s less than flattering description of Strike was mostly accurate, but he’s uncomfortable that Strike is taller and more muscled than he is. He was also hoping that Strike would boast about losing his leg in the war and how he earned the medal Robin has mentioned numerous times and so on, and finds it disappointing and uncomfortable that Strike didn’t talk about it at all.
Robin is also brooding because she’s never seen Matthew like this before. In nine years she’s never seen him struggling to make politely meaningless small talk with someone he’s not getting along with? Really? She’s puzzling over how Strike’s presence has made her see Matthew through Strike’s eyes, and decides that Strike must have somehow done it deliberately while pretending to be polite. I honestly have no idea what she’s on about.
Long story short, they’re both pissed off at Strike and at one another and everything is awful for them. Strike, meanwhile, has fallen asleep on the Tube and clearly doesn’t give a shit.
Thank God, the chapter is over. Only 40 more to go.
So, we’re almost a quarter of the way into a murder mystery thriller. None of the characters are even aware that a murder has taken place yet, let alone started to investigate it, and there has been no action whatsoever, just conversations. The victim is such an unsympathetic person that there’s no reason for the readers to care who killed him. The protagonist is tiresomely whiny and misogynistic. The token love interest is just plain tiresome and clearly will never graduate to actual main character status. The other leg of the unnecessary and tedious love triangle is a strawman villain who actually hasn’t done much wrong, especially when compared to his ‘rival’.
I have yet to find a reason for the reader to want to keep reading this book. There is literally nothing about the plot or the characters at the moment to interest me, and if I weren’t blogging about this I would have got bored, flicked ahead to see whodunit and taken the book to a charity shop unfinished. There’s been no hook to draw the readers in, nothing to make me want to find out what happens next.
I really hope it gets more interesting soon. I would like to hope that it also becomes less misogynistic and nasty, but this is Rowling and I have very low expectations, so I’ll settle for ‘not totally boring’.
In other news, the title of the third Cormoran Strike novel has been announced: Career of Evil.
Dun dun DUUUUUUN!
Snort. I hope it’s as melodramatic as it sounds, then at least I could have a laugh while struggling painfully through it.
And, inevitably, there’s going to be a BBC series. Sigh.
Danny Cohen, Director of BBC Television says: “It’s a wonderful coup for BBC Television to be bringing J.K. Rowling’s latest books to the screen. With the rich character of Cormoran Strike at their heart, these dramas will be event television across the world.”
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA you poor deluded sod.