Troubled Blood (Cormoran Strike #5) by Robert Galbraith

‘A forty-year-old cold case beckons ….’

Private Detective Cormoran Strike is in Cornwall visiting family when he is approached by a woman whose mother, Margot Bamborough, went missing forty years earlier in 1974.  Can he help her?  He is intrigued.   Can the agency that he and Robin Ellacott are partners in solve the case after so many years, when the police had no success?

Cormoran and Robin are each struggling with personal challenges.  Cormoran’s aunt is terminally ill, and he is travelling between London and Cornwall to spend time with her.  Robin is in the throes of a messy divorce.  The agency is working on several different cases, and Cormoran’s absences need to be accommodated.  There are some other personal and personnel issues as well.

But back to the forty-year-old cold case. There was a serial killer operating in the area around the time that Margot went missing: could he have been responsible?  And why was the first policeman to investigate the case so obsessed with astrology and tarot cards?

I really enjoyed this novel (yes, all 900+ pages of it).  It is a complex, sprawling story with a few twists.  There are personal issues as well as case-related surprises to negotiate. And the ending?  It worked for me: I now want a sixth instalment in the series.  It can’t end here.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith