Humans killed opportunistically, for advantage and in defense, discovering in themselves the capacity for bloodshed when no alternative seemed possible; but there were also people who had drawn up short, even under the most intense pressure, unable to press their advantage, to seize the opportunity, to break the final and greatest taboo.
I really enjoyed the first book of this series and was really looking forward to reading this one but I have to admit that I did enjoy the first book in the series more than I enjoyed this one. I still enjoyed this book but it felt like there wasn't the same spark to the partnership between Strike and Robin and there were parts of the investigation that just became dull at times.
Strike and Robin are back in this installment and while they are still working together their partnership seemed different this time around. The main reason that I felt their partnership was different was because of Robin's fiance Matthew. Matthew is not supportive of Robin's job (it basically seems like he isn't supportive of her) and can be a downright jerk. Matthew is holding back Robin and she couldn't see that her dishonesty with Matthew was holding her back until Strike tells her. I was just dying for her to finally get rid of Matthew but unfortunately Robin still hasn't opened up her eyes. I am glad that Robin and Strike really cleared up some misunderstandings towards the middle of the book so that their partnership was back to normal then. I want Robin to dump Matthew so that she can have someone that will support her, I wouldn't mind if she and Strike would then have a relationship but I would be a bit wary at that because it could ruin their partnership.
I really enjoyed getting to see Strike interact with his friends and also with his half-brother Al. Reading about his friends and his half-brother really opens up Strike's life more to readers. I was also glad to see that he didn't fall for any of Charlotte's tricks. Charlotte is no good for him and I think he finally realizes it.
There are many suspects in this book who could have murdered Owen Quine and they all have their reasons as to why they would kill him. I tried to guess who it was and ultimately did not guess the correct person. I think that because there were so many suspects that the investigation dragged on and that is why I find some parts to be a bit boring. The parts that discussed Quine's books were not boring but interesting and at times weird. I don't think that if Quine were a real author that I would have read his books because they seem way too outside of my comfort reading zone.
I thought it interesting that J.K. wrote a book about an author and discusses the publishing world. There are a lot of quotes about authors and readers that I thought were interesting.
Overall I did enjoy this book but found the first book to be a bit better than this one. I would recommend this book if you've read the first book in the series and enjoyed it. I look forward to reading more of this series.