“Life had taught him that a great and powerful love could be felt for the most apparently unworthy people, a circumstance that ought, after all, to give everybody consolation.”
This may actually be my favourite instalment so far.
The opening of Lethal White is fraught with tension and Robin’s wedding day is far from ideal. A year later, in 2012, London is about to host the Olympics. Although they have become partners, the unspoken bond between Robin and Strike is somewhat strained by the former’s marriage and it is by working together on their latest case that the tension between them is eased.
When a clearly distressed young man comes to Strike’s office and asks him to investigate the murder of a child our duo find themselves navigating the complicated politics of London: from a group of self-proclaimed communists who wants to strongly opposes the Olympics to two powerful families who work in the Parliament.
Whereas the previous instalments shone a light to the modelling and publishing industry, Lethal White is rooted in Britain’s political sphere: class divide, corruption, sexual harassment, blackmailing, murder…these all add up to a labyrinthine mystery.
There is a certain grittiness to the world depicted in this story: people are selfish, violent, cowardly, capable of saying and doing abhorrent things. Yet Galbraith doesn’t present us with a wholly bleak reality: there are moments in which even the most horrible of individuals is shown in an emphatic light.
Galbraith’s wry humour presents us with a sharp social commentary in which the line between good and bad is repeatedly blurred.
In spite of this novel’s length, I was never bored. The dialogues crackle with a combination of humour and tension, while a sense of growing unease accompanies Robin and Strike’s investigation.
My rating: ★★★★★ 5 stars