Private detective Cormoran Strike is financially struggling, reduced to sleeping in his office after breaking up with his girlfriend. Then he is asked to investigate the headline-making death of supermodel Lula Landry. The dead woman's brother tells Strike he believes the death was not a suicide, as the police labeled it. A personal connection to the family of the dead woman, as well as his pressing debts, motivates Strike to accept the case against his better judgment. Strike delves into Lula's complicated web of relationships, including a friend met in rehab and a charming rock musician boyfriend. He is helped by his temp, Robin, who finds herself intrigued more by private detective work than by the respectable career she her fiance wants her to pursue.
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Best part of story, including ending:
Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling. This book shares with her Harry Potter novels Rowling's ability to easily evoke a strong sense of place and to create sympathetic characters.
Best scene in story:
The scene where Strike visits Lula Landry's flat offers several clues while still maintaining a tone of suspense and mystery.
Opinion about the main character:
Strike's rueful thoughts about his own life imbue the book with a sense of humor, preventing it from becoming just another thriller involving "famous" characters.