#CBR10Bingo: Award Winner (LA Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller 2013 and an Anthony Award for Best Audio Book in 2014)
Supermodel Lula Landry topples from her third floor balcony and cracks her head open on the snow-covered pavement far below. Strangely, the paparazzi that were surrounding her apartment building earlier in the evening were nowhere to be seen when it happened. After careful investigation, the police rule the death a suicide, although the tabloids have all manner of conspiracy theories, the most popular being that she was murdered by her equally famous boyfriend. Lula’s adopted brother disagrees with the police’s verdict and is willing to pay a large amount of money to Cormoran Strike, a private detective and war veteran.
As Strike has recently broken up with his girlfriend of many years and is literally living in his office, knowing full well that he’s about to have to declare bankruptcy, the case comes as a bit of a lifesaver. Nevertheless, he’s not sure that his new client isn’t delusional, and nobly tries to pass on the case to begin with. Lula’s brother is adamant, and Strike is persuaded to look into the death, quickly discovering that there are things that the police seem to have missed and a lot of conflicting stories surrounding the event.
Along as an assistant, Strike has Robin Ellacott, as temporary secretary sent by an agency (because he forgot to tell them he couldn’t afford anyone anymore) who turns out to be a lot more skilled and efficient that any of his previous ones. She’s just got engaged to her long time boyfriend, who can’t really see why Robin wants to keep working for Strike when she has a lot of other attractive job offers available. Robin seems to really enjoy her forays into investigating and gathering information, however, and while Strike is initially doubtful about even having her in the office (where they both pretend that it’s not obvious that he’s sleeping every night), he comes to really value her help.
I don’t suppose it’s much of a spoiler that Lula didn’t, in fact, commit suicide. It wouldn’t be a very good, or especially long, book if she did. PI checks if police’s theory is correct. It is. The end. No one would bother reading that, no matter how famous the author was.
Full review on my blog.
Bingo #8: (Cannonballer Says!: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, This is the End: Magic Triumphs, Award Winner: this, Birthday!: All the Crooked Saints, So Shiny!: My Plain Jane)