The most complex novel yet in a unique series by Robert Galbraith (a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling) ... Much of this massive work is pieced together via typographically reproduced tweets and messages sent over public and private channels, often with two or three conversations conducted at once. The author does a masterly job of keeping all plot elements in play and in balance, and the complications only add to the satisfaction of the mystery’s eventual solution. Sorting out the romantic dilemmas of Robin Ellacott and Cormoran Strike, however, will have to wait for a future volume.
Strong, page-turning ... Convincing and genuinely creepy ... It is a very long book – more than 1,000 pages – and while it is readable, it does not sustain that length ... The author gives an even-handed portrayal of how superfans can pile onto a creator, in a storyline that bears unmistakable echoes of the backlash against Rowling in real life ... There is a sneaking suspicion that (of all unexpected things) this book would not pass the Bechdel Test ... Yet the book is undoubtedly entertaining and often funny.
Has Galbraith/Rowling written an epic novel ranging across history and the world? No she has not ... Whole chapters consist of nothing but chat conveyed in up to three columns (or channels) per page. It is hard to read — and hard to identify with characters who can’t or won’t reveal their identities ... Galbraith plays fair with the reader, but it is easy to hide clues in a thousand pages ... So why is the damn thing so long? ... Galbraith remains a children’s writer. Each character, no matter how minor, is laboriously described.