Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is another fascinating, engrossing mystery/thriller in the Cormoran Strike book series. This time, Private Investigator Strike and his partner Robin tackle a 40 year old missing person case of a woman that is a suspected victim of a notorious serial killer.

Strike’s Aunt has been diagnosed with cancer and while he is visiting her he is met by a woman asking him to take on the case of her missing mother. Her mother was a doctor in a small practice in London and the woman was a baby when it happened. Her mother went to work, was supposed to meet a friend for drinks after, but disappeared without a trace. The detective that was initially assigned to the case thought she was the victim of a serial killer stalking young women in the area, but when the killer was apprehended he denied killing her and the police found no evidence connecting him to her disappearance. That detective had a mental breakdown and the detective that took over for him failed to solve the case.

Given a year to try to solve the case, Strike and Robin start from scratch retracing the detective’s footsteps, trying to find witnesses, most of whom were dead, or evidence that the police may have missed. Despite the roadblocks and dead ends, Strike and Robin slowly start to make a modicum of progress. As they inch their way toward an answer, Strike is dealt blow after blow in his personal life that interferes with his ability to devote his full attention on their burgeoning business. Robin steps up her leadership in their business, enjoying the additional responsibilities.

Don’t let the 944 pages of this book scare you away. It reads quickly and won’t feel like a book that is almost 1000 pages. I liked that Strike and Robin’s relationship continues to grow, despite its snail-like pace. There are other cases the duo are handling despite the main one, which are interesting subplots in the book. Even with all of this, the book did meander and seem a bit bloated at times, but since I love this book series so much, I can forgive it.

If you like this series, you won’t be disappointed. I’ve just finished this one and I can’t wait for the next book in the series.