My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Summary: When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman's severed leg.
There was no doubt that I was going to enjoy this third installment in the series but I didn't count on caring so very much about Cormoran and Robin's relationship. I cared in the last two books but now I REALLY care. The investigation of who has sent Robin a severed leg involves three men from Corm's past, all human detritus. As such we get a lot more information on Cormoran's past, from his youth living rough with Leda and his last step-father to his time in SID. It all helps to explain more about him and his motivations. It also served to blind him fairly well to what he needed to see to solve the case. The tough ones are always the personal ones.
Robin, who was already fairly awesome, upped her awesome game here and we're treated to more about her background. Her past holds a crime committed against her and gives a wider scope to her personality. One thing was resoundingly clear, she really doesn't need to marry Matthew, I don't care if we're breathing on the culmination of all the plans we've been reading about since book one. Much of my time was spent restricting myself from jumping to the end to see if she does or doesn't. I'm not saying. I will say that Matthew continues to be a real jerk. There's a nice flip of a coin shown between the personalities of Cormoran and Matthew. (spoiler removed) It was very telling about both men and how they see Robin and I really enjoyed that. I'm just waiting on her to see.
Can I also say that there was no Charlotte sighting here and I'm half glad but honestly was hoping she'd turn up as a murder victim. Her full on crazy was not missed but I'm still annoyed with her from past books. I also was wishing for Matthew to be dispatched since he was an obstacle to the killer who had targeted Robin. Alas, no joy there either. I've resigned myself to Matthew continuing on with us but I'm going to take that to mean that when Robin gets rid of him, it'll be epic.
And I can't forget to say that the newest "addition" to Team Strike is awesome! Shanker, you can stay! I loved his backstory that explained how he and Cormoran came to know one another and I like that they've kept in touch all these years. Also, he totally had Cormoran's back when things got real there at the end.
A few stray observations before I wrap this up:
*I'm starting to expect these books to be like watching an episode of Luther where I learn about all manner of murderous deviance. Like, seriously there's abuse of corpse and then there's these killers. This one didn't top The Silkworm in ick factor but there was plenty that made me cringe.
*I found myself actually worried about Cormoran's financial situation. I need him to be more solidly liquid because it's wearing on my peace of mind. More than two paying customers at a time, please!
*I honestly didn't know if I was supposed to care that Elin was around or not but I do know that I'm not a fan of the random heart stopping, drop dead gorg, woman MM character is sleeping with that he doesn't really like just to have something to do in every book.
So 4 stars for this one & I highly recommend it. It's still early enough in the series to get in if you haven't yet. I'll be impatiently awaiting the next book.
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