Let’s begin with the fact that I picked up the book after the world discovered that Robert Galbraith was a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling. I can’t help but think it colored my reading. For starters, Robert Galbraith was supposed to be a former special ops and spy kind of guy. Cormoran Strike, the private detective that needs to find a killer drinks, smokes, and womanizes, but not nearly as much if he had been written by a male author, which is to say he drinks to excess only once, smokes outside his office, and is exceedingly gentle with his temporary assistant, Robin. Is it just chance that the young woman with a sharp mind for investigating has the same name as Batman’s sidekick? J.K. Rowling’s forte is capturing scenes and making you feel like you can see everyone in their homespace. This story revolves around a supermodel who falls, or was pushed, from a third floor balcony. The model’s brother hires Strike because he believes she’s been murdered. The remaining characters are all Londoners and by the end you feel like you have just read a contemporary account of 21st Century England. And the mystery is terrific.