Summary: A year after Robin was nearly killed by a serial killer, both Robin and Strike are still trying to figure out how to work together and deal with their respective relationships, and attraction to each other.
I think Lethal White is the best book of the series so far. Robin is really the central character, although Strike is certainly present. Galbraith/Rowling has finally stopped trying to make the crimes more lurid and allow the focus to be on the main characters and not the bad guys.
Lethal White was probably a bit long if you were reading primarily for the mystery. But I don’t read mysteries for the mystery, I read them for the characters, and this is a book that is primarily focused on character development. Robin is suffering PTSD from nearly being killed by a serial killer in the previous book (on top of her earlier rape and other near death experiences). This book has her going undercover multiple times and allows her to grow as an investigator.
Strike is still pretty much Strike. His leg is his main limiting/humanizing feature. If not for a prosthesis, he would be nearly a superhero. And while I do get annoyed with how often his leg hurts in the book, I think this is the only way to really show weakness.
Both Strike and Robin have their own romantic relationships. Early in the book (told mostly in flashback) Robin and Matthew get married, just days after Robin nearly died at the end of the last book. Matthew is no more fully developed in this book and I think that is a weakness in the development of the books. At this point he has opposed Robin’s career in four books and there isn’t much more to him. Strike’s early relationship to Charolette that was over in the first book, but continues to have ramifications, is still present here. In think that the Charolette and Matthew that were in this book were different than the previous books. But what is attempting to be shown is how Robin/Strike have changed and how Matthew/Charlotte have not. I am not sure that completely works, but the handling of it by the end is probably appropriate.
I have mostly listened to these books in audiobook from my local library. The narration is good and I have been engaged throughout the series, although I do not think this is a series I would ever re-read. I like Robin and Strike, but the crimes of the first three were pretty grisly. The crime here is significant, but not grisly in the same way and I could see myself re-reading it.
I am glad that Rowling has continued to write. She will not make the same amount of money as she did from the Harry Potter books, but this is solid writing and I look forward to the next book in the series.