finished reading

This fifth installment of the Cormoran Strike series is quite a departure from the previous ones.  The mystery is a cold case with a large cast of characters that rotate through the story.  And there are multiple sub-plotlines that don't always resolve.  I was a bit distracted by the different social commentaries woven into the subplots.  And the social references--like the 2014 Malaysian air crash don't move the plot forward in any way I can discern.  

The best parts were Cormoran and Robin Ellacott's interactions.  The development of their relationship is authentically palpable.  They are people I want to root for.  And want to be friends with.

Overall, the resolution is clever and satisfying.  

From the publisher:

Private Detective Cormoran Strike is visiting his family in Cornwall when he is approached by a woman asking for help finding her mother, Margot Bamborough — who went missing in mysterious circumstances in 1974.

Strike has never tackled a cold case before, let alone one forty years old. But despite the slim chance of success, he is intrigued and takes it on; adding to the long list of cases that he and his partner in the agency, Robin Ellacott, are currently working on. And Robin herself is also juggling a messy divorce and unwanted male attention, as well as battling her own feelings about Strike.

As Strike and Robin investigate Margot's 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. And they learn that even cases decades old can prove to be deadly . . .

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