Troubled Blood

Troubled Blood

Book - 2020
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While visiting his family in Cornwall, Private Detective Cormoran Strike agrees to take on a cold case involving a woman who went missing in mysterious circumstances in 1974, and as Strike and his partner in the agency, Robin Ellacott, investigate the disappearance, they come up against a fiendishly complex case with leads that include tarot cards, a psychopathic serial killer, and witnesses who cannot all be trusted.
Publisher: New York : Mulholland Books, Little, Brown and Company, 2020
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316498937
Call Number: M GALBRAIT
Characteristics: 933 pages : illustration ; 25 cm


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Mar 05, 2021

It was good, not great. I surprisingly guessed correctly on who I thought was the killer, which I usually can't do with her books. There were one too many characters and lots of descriptions. I still really enjoy her writing though, and will definitely stick around for more of the series.

Feb 17, 2021

It's a massive tome, 927 pages, hard to hold. The tale was engaging enough to hold my interest: Strike's and Robin's first cold case, a female physician who vanished without a trace from Clerkenwell on a rainy night in 1974. They are hired by the woman's daughter to try to find out what happened. They review the police case file. The lead investigator had a mental breakdown and came to believe he could solve the case through astrological and tarot clues. The two detectives immerse themselves in his notes trying to understand. They track down and interview all the witnesses (or their survivors) still alive. We follow them step-by-step, every dead end and thread they follow up. They maintain their other caseload with the help of the other Agency employees. These cases (a bigamist, a harmless stalker, unfaithful spouses, unspecified business shenanigans) are also described and resolved. Strike's Aunt Joan is dying of cancer in Cornwall while Strike's rockstar father is trying to make amends, so family cares are described at length. Robin's contentious divorce from Matthew is dragging on. Strike's and Robin's feelings for each other are still complex and unacknowledged and, once acknowledged, not acted upon so as not to interfere with the smooth running of the Agency.

The plot is ultimately unsatisfying. Robin and Strike confirm that the missing woman has been murdered, but not by the serial killer the police believed committed the crime. They figure out where to find her remains and, through their skilled deductions, figure out who the killer is...a poisoner who has been knocking off people undetected for decades, just for fun. So there are two serial killers at work in one book. C'mon, really?!?

Rowland enjoys describing all the many characters and situations in minute detail. This is either a strength or a weakness depending on the reader's taste and patience. There is not much suspense.

Feb 14, 2021

This book is just too long. I got about 1/4 of the way through and quit. It isn't a page-turner and requires slow thoughtful reading. But looking forward to a new one.

Jan 30, 2021

I braved the cold temperature and wandered down to the local branch. I was dismayed to see the sheer bulk of this book. I was an early reader of the Harry Potter books (I taught the appropriate grade level) but after a few I gave up as they just got longer and longer. I was happy to re-discover this author, but now I see she has once again over-written: 925 pages. Are you kidding me? I may take a stab, but it had better be amazing for me to devote two weeks (yes I am a slow reader) of my reading life to it.

Jan 27, 2021

It was good to meet up with Robin and Strike again but I do think this book was way TOOOOO long!
I did not really understand all the mumbo jumbo about the horoscopes and by the time I finished reading, I didn't really think it had that much bearing on the outcome of the case. It seemed to me all the ins and outs of the horoscope stuff was just to add pages to the book. I wish an editor could have taken JK Rowling aside and said, "This is NOT a Harry Potter book, so mind your words!". I did enjoy the characters and the on-going progress of the detective agency and the glimpses into Strikes extended family life.

Jan 21, 2021

Good story, with great characters and story lines. WAY too long. By the time the culprit was revealed, I'd forgotten all the relevant persons and how they fit in. Take notes as you read.

Jan 21, 2021

Good detective work

Jan 15, 2021

The best Comoran Strike yet, absolutely riveting and so well written.

JCLHilaryS Jan 11, 2021

5th in the series, Troubled Blood is a massive entry at 927 pages. It could have been edited down and shortened quite a bit. There is plenty of character development in addition to the detailed plot laying out the main case as well as a few tertiary cases. Additionally, quite a bit of the character development doesn’t revolve around the building romantic tensions between Cormoran and Robin. The book also includes a handful of pages replicating drawings and entries in a notebook featured in the story. While not necessary to the understanding of the plot, audio users will miss out on those additions.

Jan 10, 2021

At 927 pages, this is about 300 to 400 pages too long, in my opinion. It's quite graphic about sadistic torture and very repetitive. If this had been the first in her Strike series I probably wouldn't read any following books, but since it's the fifth and the first four were quite good, I'll watch for another. Her descriptions of conversations (many pages long in some chapters) in dialect were the best part of the book.

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Oct 20, 2020

“We aren’t our mistakes. It’s what we do about the mistake that shows who we are.” - p. 825


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