Lethal White (Cormoran Strike, #4)by Published 18 Sep 2018
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“I seen a kid killed…He strangled it, up by the horse.”
When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike’s office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed, and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic.
Trying to get to the bottom of Billy’s story, Strike and Robin Ellacott—once his assistant, now a partner in the agency—set off on a twisting trail that leads them through the backstreets of London, into a secretive inner sanctum within Parliament, and to a beautiful but sinister manor house deep in the countryside.
And during this labyrinthine investigation, Strike’s own life is far from straightforward: his newfound fame as a private eye means he can no longer operate behind the scenes as he once did. Plus, his relationship with his former assistant is more fraught than it ever has been—Robin is now invaluable to Strike in the business, but their personal relationship is much, much trickier than that.
"Lethal White (Cormoran Strike, #4)" Reviews
K, I'm going to put this down. I read 25%, so I'm going to refrain from giving it a rating, as it's not fair. I didn't read enough. And maybe I'll pick it up again some day, but as of right now, I'm having a hard time stomaching it for its... politics.
It's a true reflection of Rowling's staunchly center-left politics, as she takes sharp digs at far leftists as well as the conservatives. That's fine. What bothered me was the incredible lack of nuance in the Israel-Palestine conversation Rowling seemed to be wanting to have. For a topic so sensitive and so relevant, Rowling took a clear side and seemed to be taking digs at anyone who is critical of Israel's position. And for someone like me who has an opinion on the issue, who does take this conflict rather seriously and personally, I simply don't feel like continuing.
The writing was as good as ever. The characters were still the same characters I grew so attached to, and I would love to read this book another time just to find out what happens with Robin and Cormoran, but... maybe another time.
I'd just like to say that for whatever reason, my review does show up near the top of the page, and I know it's visible and people will disagree with me. But please refrain from attacks in the comments. :)
Lethal White, the 4th volume in Cormoran Strike series, kept me at the edge of the seat/bed during the past 4 days. I think it is the best so far although some parts could have been trimmed by the editor. It starts to resemble the Harry Potter series, with each book longer and longer. If this one has 650 pages I hope the next will not have 800 or more. Rowling talent as a storyteller in so I was never bored but still, the plot could have been a bit more intense with a bit less filler.
The novel starts with the ending of A Career of Evil, namely the wedding between the Asshole and Robin. J.K. Rawling managed to create one of the most irritating characters I’ve ever read that it is hard for me to believe it can be found in real life. Anyways, after the drama at the wedding the plot moves one year forward when Cormoran’s services are sought by a young, psychotic boy who wants to hire the detective to uncover a hanging he thought he witnessed when he was very young. Although the boy was mentally ill, Cormoran’s instinct tells him that the story is not wholly invented and from the little he got from the youngster’s chaotic mind he manages to identify his brother, a dedicated socialist and activist. From here the plot gets more an more complicated, involving politics, blackmail, upper class dynamics and murder.
The plot is very complex, there are many threads in the plot that do not seem to be connected until the end, as it is written in the blurb it is very ambitious in scope. Off course, JKR added to this mix the personal lives of Cormoran and Robin who are even more tumultuous then in the previous books.
I love this series and the author so I can’t wait to read the next one. However, I hope it will be a bit shorter and more intense.
“It was a glorious thing, to be given hope when all had seemed lost.”
I hate it when they change cover designs mid-series. I really do. You bought three books that find neatly on your shelves and they all sit there looking pretty and THEN comes the new guy with a new outfit and it's just. not. right. It's just as much a crime as showing up in a green shirt on a Wednesday when you're supposed to wear pink.
I'm also blaming the cover for the first 150ish pages or so being a little slow. I started this book in December and finished it in February. It's mostly my own fault because I get easily frustrated when a book doesn't read as fast as it should, when I don't feel like I'm making any progress and could easily read three other novels while I'm stuck with this one. But it's not just me. It was a slow start. I get that detective work is frustrating. People don't want to talk, there are hardly any clues and of course we're only on page 111 out of 600something so there isn't much going on just yet. But the characters were frustrating as well. They were struggling and not moving forward so, naturally, I was struggling and not moving forward. It's one of those books that is good while you're reading it but when you put it down for a minute you'll struggle to pick it up again. But one long train ride roughly a week ago I decided to stop complaining, to bring only this book and nothing else because it's J.K. Rowling and I KNOW it's good, I just needed time.
And then. Whoa. What a book! What a story! Most intriguing thing ever! I think I just sat there reading for five or six hours. JKR excelled at spinning a fantastic web of dishonesty and deceit. She writes the most captivating dialogues - every single conversation, every interview lured me deeper into the obscure story. And when Strike and Robin stopped dragging their awful private lives around with them and decided to get a move on it turned out to be a blast.
I think Lethal White is my favourite Strike novel just after The Cuckoo's Calling. The Silkworm was weird but good and Career of Evil was mostly confusing and I can't even tell you what it is about anymore. But Lethal White took things to a whole new level. It was a unique crime story meticulously constructed. No wonder it took JKR so long to write it.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay were both such letdowns that I'm forever thankful for Lethal White. It restored my faith in JKR. For now. And it will probably be a while until Untitled is released but that leaves me enough time to reread (or listen to) the first three books again.
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Roses r Red, Violets r Blue, the Cover's Green just to suite you.💚💚
Strike & Robin are back for their biggest case so far..
..case full of Red Herrings & White Horses.
LETHAL WHITEA blackmailed Minister, Riot in the Olympics, Mysterious Murder..Goblet of Fire, 's that you?!
Plus, more unexpected twists into the personal life of Strike & Robin..
Certainly I'll miss picturing Hugh & Emma as I used to since my first read, Oct.2013.
Lethal White is 2 Parts book, 2 Cases.. not totally separate but essentially different kind of investigations needed for each..
The story truly sprawling this time... the cases are very complicated with many things need to accomplished.. Thrilling, compelling , and with touch of romantic.
The Characters facing much harder times, both in their personal lives...and the professional ones due to the high political rank of the client this time.
The Places are even more important and unexpected to be in...
------------- The Story -------------
☆☆☆ How did it Start ☆☆☆
Starting right at the 'cliffhanger' the previous book left us at, with Robin wedding 'n all.
About 30 pages at the wedding that made my smile wide, heart warming, thrilled and tensed and happy all in the same time.
It was the conclusion that needed badly right after you finish book three, like..3 years ago!
☆☆☆ One Year Later ☆☆☆
Welcome back to 12 Bar Street
(More on that later…)
The Agency is getting much bigger now, more employees, new temp (unfortunately disappeared later), and more cases..
A mentally troubled young man, Billy ,arrive, reporting infanticide he witnessed years ago...and fleet paranoid they may arrest him.
Only curiosity, and few free hours, made Strike check the boy's older brother. Jimmy The revolutionary lefty, who make meetings to prepare marches against the imperialists Olympics that set in London at the time, June 2012..
And somehow that lead to a call from a new client...the most important one so far to Strike… A Minister..
Chiswell, The Minister for Culture…
His case is ; just digging dirt on 2 blackmailers threatening the Minister..one of them, the Minister for Sports’ husband...the other is Jimmy Knight...the mentally troubled kid’s brother.
What are they blackmailing him for is not Strike businesses, his client insists on just digging dirt on them..
What's more, Billy’s story concluded with the murdered child is buried in Chiswell’s horses farm borders.
And half way through, with risky undercover detective work, stressful personal life, and not much dirt to satisfy the client, or even us, the readers…
Then a huge turn of events happens, AND a gruesome murder...
and we move to ;
☆☆☆ Three Days Later ☆☆☆
Not much a change to the characters, just different client of the same family… for a harder more serious case.. A Murder Case.
And it's faster now, still dense and tangled, but more thrilling and as classic crime novels as it gets …
Yeah, it's the biggest story for Strike & Robin so far, yet it's the most challenging one, I fast re-checked some parts after the twists, and oh man how it all fit...how every minor insignificant question served as a Red Herring has been answered..
Enough with the story, I won't try to spoil it for you. And let's catalogue the review this time as Mr. Strike does for his cases reviews
☆☆☆ The Places ☆☆☆
12 Bar St.
This vivid way of Rowling's Galbraith's writings makes Denmark Street as a place I've been living every single time I read this series since 2013...the background sounds, the music shops, the customers trying their potential buyings... God, I've missed this place since last book..
In this 4th book, there's a dreadful threatening that it may NOT be the place for Strike agency for long (which is really sad news).
It reminded me with the dreadful anticipation 5 years ago about will Robin stay for another book or not…
But the sad thing is, It's a real life actual address and building , and as today, 2018 it's already vacant building...
But this book is set in 2012 , London…. Rings a bill?
It's the Olympiad year, held in London..
Lucky people those who have Rowling as their national author… she capture and preserve the atmosphere back then perfectly between the pages of the novel..
The English society complaining the difficulty of getting desired tickets… dreading unfortunate thing turning the coming opening ceremony lame.
But what's more relevant to the plot, is the protesters, against the Olympics as a face of Imperialism..that's because one of the Blackmailers are revolutionary lefty attacking The conservative party, the tory...like Strike’s client, The Minister
Too much politics? Well, there's more
The Palace of Westminster
The second blackmailer is working at the parliament, he's the Minister for Sport's husband..
Well, it required a risky job of going undercover in this extremely important place...which you will feel really getting inside every place there by the author ability of transporting you by her words as if you see the whole place from through professor Dumbledor office's Pensive…
It's really inside look there... also,
The Lancaster House
The big Paralympic reception ceremony at the Lancaster House witnessed a huge unexpected meeting for Strike..a personal life turn of event , as elegant as this house was really long waited since early book one..
It had also a significant impact at the plot, cause the day after the ceremony is where part one ends...and the second started..
The Horse of Uffington
When Billy came to pull the trigger of Strike’s curiosity, that led to 2 different cases, though both almost unrelated, it kept returning to this horse, the white horse of Uffington , it appears that's where the murder Billy claimed happened , which is also near Chiswell’s Horse farm..
Like many strange ancient sites, It had a myth related to dark magic...alas, mentioned but not used here though.
But still it's one of the many Horses that surround the characters..
☆☆☆ The Characters ☆☆☆
Despite his cute unacknowledged of various different names the high class distinguishing the horses according to the colours, I almost hated him here..
His relationship with a new girlfriend was so bad, so typical bastard ... I really hate what he did, all that cause of a harmless word of Love. He didn't even give her a better closure...
Well, we can relate that to his complicated feelings toward his newly wedded partner, Robin..
19 September 2018
For more on the amazing chemistry duos... the pre-reviews 2 years ago in the spoiler below..
A little too long and overly complicated mystery BUT still well worth the read!
Lethal White picks up shortly after where Career of Evil ends at Robin and Matthew's wedding. Then the plot fast-forwards to a year later when London is preparing to host the Olympics. Strike is now famous and business is flourishing. Robin, on the other hand, is suffering from PTSD and is living in a state of misery.
Two cases are at the forefront, while some side cases also get some attention. There is a lot going on, with many characters to keep track of. While the mysteries eventually come together, at times I was lost when trying to keep up. Characters from previous installments also pop up, including revolting Charlotte and idiotic Matthew. I also found the plot to be drawn out and the pacing, at times, to be rather slow. However, things do pick up in the second half.
I read this series because I love Strike and Robin’s characters, as well as their chemistry. They are both multidimensional and believable. It feels like there was finally some forward movement with their relationship, but it remains to be seen how things will progress.
While there are some flaws, all in all, I was so happy to read this and I CANNOT wait for the next book in the series!