Lethal White, JK Rowling's fourth outing as Robert Galbraith, takes place in 2012, when Britain was basking in the glory of the Olympics and Paralympics
Lethal White picks up where Career of Evil, the last Galbraith novel, ended.
With this novel, Rowling begins to display signs of following a pattern – it was at the same point in her Harry Potter series that her novels became huge, and at 647 pages, huge is one word to describe Lethal White.
Another is bloated. The central murder of the novel doesn't occur until page 281, and up until then the book meanders between a myriad of side plots and details will come together.
Rowling has always been good at details. But occasionally, Rowling stumbles into such gratuitous
overwriting that one can't help but laugh.
Galbraith's novels have always been strongest when Robin and Strike are interacting, navigating their complicated feelings for each other while on a case. Unfortunately, for much of the novel they are kept apart.
But once she and Strike are reunited, they become the Strike and Robin we love. It proves that it's the characters, not the mystery, that make the Galbraith novels worth reading.
Lethal White is full of twists and turns, and when its many threads come together, it's exciting and engaging reading. But with a bit of editing, it could have been brilliant reading.