I didn’t realize it had been almost three years since the last Cormoran Strike book, Career of Evil. I actually ended up reading recaps of the books on Wikipedia because I knew it wouldn’t be easy to jump right back in and Rowling thankfully started right where the last book stopped, but then jumped forward a year.
During that time I happened to look on Goodreads (here we go again), not to read the reviews of this, but to see whether I should read The Wind Through the Keyhole. I wanted to know if I should read it in its rightful place between book four and book five or after I’d read the series and I was SHOCKED to find that people were sharply divided over this book.
I’m starting to see why people really like this series. I’m only two books in now (with pretty big gaps between the books), but I get it. And even with that crappy film adaptation—so far nothing in the first two books was in the film really—I’m being drawn in.
I’m struggling to write reviews of this as I’ve taken to heart what King writes in the forward that this is one long book/story broken across quite a few books. It’s some how barely moving forward but taking massive steps at the same time. This picks up not long after The Gunslinger and plows steadily forward. I’m still not sure I have any idea what’s going on, and I have no idea where it’s going, but so far I’m enjoying where King is taking me.
Since the last two Harlan Coban novels I read I’ve wanted to read this one, but I’ve just been lazy. This has been sitting on my shelf since April 2016, which isn’t too bad for me. I picked up a copy of this after Cathy at 746 Books mentioned it was her favorite when I read my first two Coben books. I was not disappointed.
These types of books, like many romances and many mysteries, are a dual edged sword for me. When I read them they are wonderful page turners full of action and adventure, but 7-10 days later most, if not all, of the details fade away into oblivion. This isn’t a bad thing, but it’s also not a great thing especially if you’re looking for a bit of disposable entertainment.
This is not the first time I’ve read this. I have seen the film adaptation and I have read this multiple times. There are no surprises in this for me, and yet there I was sitting on the train with tears rolling down my face trying not to make that horrible noise when you can’t breathe, but you have to breathe or you’re going to choke on your tears. I clearly need to read this every few years to remind me of my humanity.
I have vague recollections of Matthew Shepard’s murder and the media circus that ensued in the late ’90s, but I do remember staying up late secretly watching the HBO adaptation (IMDB link) as a Junior/Senior in high school. It was a defining moment as a young man coming to terms with my sexuality. It didn’t really scar me or anything, but it definitely made me realize the “don’t ask, don’t tell” with which my family and most of my town it seemed operated under was just as easily broken as the “live and let live” as that in Wyoming.
I’m going to go ahead and say it, this was better than Gone Girl. There, now let’s get on to my actual thoughts on this novel.
As with the few Harlan Coben novels I’ve read and even the few J.K. Rowling Cormoran Strike novels I have to ask WTF these people eat/drink/smoke to make them come up with these stories! I know a lot of them are based on some evidence of truth, but really some of these, especially this one, are some dark dark stories.
I had very little expectations going into this one as it’s been sitting on my shelf for a little over two years. I purchased it just after finishing Gone Girl and after I realized a little later that I wasn’t as much of a fan as it seemed everyone else was of that one, I put off reading this one and I’m a little disappointed I did so. There were enough differences between the two and this one I just liked more because I guess it was less psychological and more murder mystery.
I’m not going to lie. I am very surprised I made it all the way through this one. VERY surprised. If you’ve followed me for a while you’re aware I’m not the biggest fan of self-published works. I took a chance on this one, because the author reached out to me about a review copy*, but I was a bit overwhelmed at the time and asked him to check back in and he did so very politely. So I figured the least I could do would be to give the book a go.
The reason I don’t read self-published novels often is because they usually haven’t been through a full editing process. Some have had some sort of editing, but most haven’t had the full process (developmental, content, line, copy and proofreading). Unfortunately for this novel, if it did go through the full process, I couldn’t tell and that sucks because the story had a lot of potential and I could tell that as I forced myself to keep reading.