cormoran and robin – their life and their cases

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Though Robin Ellacott’s twenty-five years of life had seen their moments of drama and incident, she had never before woken up in the certain knowledge that she would remember the common day for as long as she lived. ….
It was only when she reached the glass door on the floor above that Robin realized, for the first time, what kind of business she had been sent to assist. Nobody at the agency had said. The name on the paper beside the outside buzzer was engraved on the glass panel:
C. B. Strike, and, underneath it, the words Private Detective. ….
… she approached the engraved door very slowly. She stretched out her left hand … towards the handle; but before she had touched it, the glass door too flew open.
This time, there was no near-miss. Sixteen unseeing stone of dishevelled male slammed into her; Robin was knocked off her feet and catapulted backwards, handbag flying, arms windmilling, towards the void beyond the lethal staircase.

from: The Cuckoo’s Calling

Familial Tilts and other Twists and Turns

At the last minute Cormoran rescues Robin and a fruitful partnership may start – although then neither had the least idea about it. Robin decides to stay at Cormoran’s small agency despite of other career options, while Cormoran finds unexpected skills at Robin enabling her to tackle cases in her very own way.

Cormoran comes from a big family, some of them well-off, but he quit with their lifestyle and after years in the army he settled finally as a private detective playing on his large experience as an investigator at the force. There is an on-off relationship with a socialite, rich and spoilt, that seems to be finished now. He is at the verge of poverty – barely having enough money to maintain his office and his private life. (it’s a pity!) However, the next case flushes money into the coffers and establishes a solid reputation that attracts more and new clients. The case isn’t as simple as it seems at first glance – and there are more fatalities.

Robin lives with her boyfriend working in a well-paid position and he has just asked her to marry him. She is happy and delighted. However, life as an assistent to a private detective stresses the relationship. Even when there is a gorgeous marriage … Robin discovers that her boyfriend has had an affair and that Cormoran has some air of attraction …

… and there is the past: Cormoran lost his lower leg during an ambush in Afghanistan and cannot cope with the incident until now – finding help in alcohol. Robin was attacked and raped ears ago and cannot cope with the incident until now – experiencing panic attacks.

To start with I learnt about Cormoran Strike by the TV series and only later I read the novels – some of them. So my opinion is mainly based on the TV series … a bloody good series, entertainment at its best. As far as I can state: the episodes are very near to the novels. (Concerning the novels: we are dealing with very, very long novels filled with lots of persons and details about everything … Sometimes I found it not do easy to keep track of everything.)

When starting with series #1 you are involved in all of it – the present situation which is somewhat bone-crushing and unwinnable, the private lives of Cormoran and Robin always mixed up with the business, the cases which are tricky and complex hitting people of the upper middle class or even lower upper class (if such a class exists).

The action in each novel resp. TV season is based on solving the mystery, every now and then proving innocence when some crime seems to point to Cormoran, dealing with the personal fate for Cormoran as well as for Robin, dealing with the obvious partnerships of Cormoran as well as Robin, dealing with the relationship of Cormorant and Robin. Well, there seems to be something evolving slowly … (Definitely each of them quits their actual relationships finally – so they are open for a new start … together?)

Cormoran is a brilliant investigator who also wants to be in the middle of action, but because of his injury he’ll always come back to earth. Robin develops in an investigator who is able to pretend anybody she needs to be for caressing witnesses into disclosing secrets … Both like to break in houses if they think it’s necessary … like to bend the law … At this point the detective team starts skating on thin ice. (I asked myself: when will this unorthodox and unlawful behavior kill their business?) Otherwise it’s quite fashionable to act so as a private detective … many PI’s like to do so!

There is some action, but don’t expect wild shootouts or 007-like car chases. The lives of all characters are much more civilized. Starting points for an investigation is more like looking for a missed person, shed light on a suicide, clarify some memories out of the childhood, deal with harassment – only once it’s an attack towards Cormoran when somebody out of his past wants revenge.

There is always a flow of suspense from the beginning to the end – and you may be sure that it is never stays as easy and low key as from the start. All cases are filled with crimes, brutality, lots of selfish people, lots of people who have something to hide which turns out to be lethal … sometimes. Cormoran and Robin always have to go to their intellectual and physical limits to unravel the mess.

For me: I’m waiting for the next TV season – as I already stated … entertainment at its best!

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a faint cold fear thrills through my veins ... william shakespeare