Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling, and Troubled Blood is the fifth installment in the Cormoran Strike Series, a gripping mystery series that Rowling began with The Cuckoo’s Calling. By this fifth book, Rowling’s characters are very will developed, interesting people who are not afraid of telling the truth. Cormoran Strike is a tough guy, a veteran with a troubled past, but with a definite moral code and a very eclectic group of friends and acquaintances. His sidekick, Robin Ellacott, is now his partner, and in the process of divorcing a husband that we, the readers, knew was wrong for her all along.
In this episode, Strike is approached by Amanda Bamborough, whose mother, Margot Bamborough, a physician, disappeared from her clinic, in 1974. Her mother disappeared without a trace, and although the case is cold, Strike is intrigued and determined to get to the bottom of things. With 40 years since the crime occurred, witnesses have died, moved far away, changed names and slipped through the cracks. Strike and Ellacott are relentless in pursuing both leads and red herrings.
Weighing in at 933 pages, the book is a little long, but never dull. Besides the investigation, Strike and Robin have a lot going on in their personal lives, which enriches the story. The sexual tension between Strike and Robin continues, but they strive to put their friendship first. This series is so rich, there is truly never a dull moment. Only Rowling could weave this complex story and keep it moving in a captivating and intriguing way.