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The Running Grave, Robert Galbraith, review: fun but too long

For a decade now, JK Rowling has steadfastly refused to allow the mutual passion between her fictional detectives Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott to develop, even though the flamboyant chemistry evident from the opening pages of her pseudonymous debut novel “Robert Galbraith”, The Cuckoo’s Calling (2013) delved into an unspoken love on both sides.

Of course, Rowling is astute enough to know that delaying her readers’ gratification is one of the reasons they keep coming back to the series – putting Strike and Robin to bed too soon would be like killing Voldemort in mid-life. path of the Harry Potter series – but at current rates, it looks like we’ll have hit net zero before they even hold hands for the first time.

Naturally, I’m not going to reveal whether this seventh installment of the series advances their relationship, although I will say that – unlike the seventh Harry Potter book, which ended with Harry, Ron and Hermione married to the loves of their lives – we seems far from a definitive end to the saga.

Things certainly don’t look good from Strike’s point of view at the start of the book, as Robin has a seemingly successful relationship with Ryan Murphy, the CID officer she met in the last volume (and a man much more beautiful than Strike). , who – in a description so familiar that it has acquired the status of a Homeric epithet – is once again described here as “a Beethoven with a broken nose”).

Rowling was never afraid of alienating readers by displaying the unreconstructed side of her hero, manifested here in Strike’s amusing and bitter diatribes about things like Murphy buying theater tickets: “it suggested a degree of dangerous effort. Eight months into their relationship, (Murphy) surely should have stopped pretending that he preferred watching a play to having a nice meal followed by sex.

Lonely and desperate, Strike allows himself to be comforted by a horny and crazy lawyer, improbably named Bijou, with unfortunate consequences. Unfortunately, he doesn’t know that Robin detects in Murphy an unfortunate level of similarity to Matthew, her jealous and overbearing ex-husband (this is the reddest of red flags – few writers have ever displayed such naked hatred for one of their creations. like Rowling did for Matthew).

Despite all of this, and as Strike tries to deal with harassment from his crazy ex-girlfriend, Charlotte, his fragile relationship with his long-lost sister, and the dementia diagnosis from his adoptive father, Ted, the duo has the time to make some effort. detect. They are hired by Sir Colin Edensor, a retired civil servant, to investigate an organization called the Universal Humanitarian Church, which has recruited his son Will and is stealing money from his trust fund. Robin agrees to go undercover as an eager recruit to the UHC base, a farm in Norfolk.


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