Onto part three (apologies for the lack of a post last week, exams got the better of me)! This time the quote is “Maybe one day it will be cheering even to remember these things.” Which is again from Virgil’s Aeneid. It seems like a strange quote, and yet quite profound in that given some time/perspective something that once was thought terrible or not that grand, will be remembered quite fondly. Not sure of the relevance of the quote yet again, but it’s nice enough. This part is just building us up, not all that much action.
Robin remains for a second week after having a few interviews for other less exciting work. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s giving those interviews minimal effort, she seems to like working here too much. And Strike receives the police report, after his handy tip-off, but there’s not that much we hadn’t learnt previously, only a few little things. Just that Tansy’s story keeps changing, is she lying, or was she too high to know the truth? And Duffield who was hidden with a wolf mask half the night. Then Porter says that Lula was not quite herself and going to leave everything to her brother. Bit odd. Then she was ringing Tony Landry numerous times on the day of her death, again odd. I remain quite suspicious of the alarm repair man who didn’t sign out.
Strike visits his sister, Lucy, and doesn’t share his breakup. Which is quite understandable, you don’t always want the sympathies, comments and endless ‘How are you’. But Strike really isn’t sociable, he sneaks off to watch the cctv footage not much to see really just blurry figures. His nephew enters and is excited by his new toy soldier from Strike. His mother doesn’t approve of him playing with his uncle instead of the other kids. I don’t see it as that big an issue, a nephew and uncle playing should be encouraged rather than frowned upon. But I guess there’s an expectation at a party, especially your own, and sometimes it’s more about pleasing other people than yourself.
We finally get a name for Lula’s friend: Rochelle Onifade. She has certainly been quite elusive. Of course, she could be a suspect, she was too caught up in the small taste of the ‘high life’ that perhaps she wanted more, and Lula wouldn’t give it to her. Though, that’s a rather terribly cliqued suggestion.
Another death threat, and we get the story behind it. A man, who hired Strike, thinks Strike (who found out his wife is toying with him making him think she’s having an affair) is his wife’s lover. The joys of being a detective. Robin has a job offer but doesn’t want to take it, not surprising really. Especially considering she’s off with Strike on some more detective work. This time, to a high end fashion store, Vashti, and my goodness, the fact that people pay thousands of dollars for one piece of clothing (which they’ll probably wear once) infuriates and saddens me. But, it was nice to see Robin come into her own, she’s clearly a natural at detective work, as she manages to get information out of the store girls about Lula’s last visit on the day of her death. She was on the phone to someone, and she was begging them to come to their house that night. Was it Duffield or someone else?
Okay what is with Strike drinking “Doom Bar” every time he goes out. Sure a man has his favourite drink, but what an odd name. Is that really some foreshadowing or some sneaky publicity (because it’s a real thing) or maybe we’re finding out that what JK’s favourite drink is. Strike meets by Tony Landry, who seems to have purposely made Bristow late, and he does not approve of Strike and his investigation. Though I did enjoy Strike purposely pissing Tony off. Tony believes that Bristow is “highly strung” and that Charlie (his brother’s) death deeply affected him and Lula’s death topped it all off.
Bristow arrives, and Tony and him both seem so guarded about his (Tony’s) last visit with Lula, when Bristow was supposedly there too. Though, they didn’t talk to one another or acknowledge each other, which is quite odd. Is there perhaps something else going on here? I mean it is quite odd that Tony came from his conference to the house, and then drove all the way back, that’s quite a trip. And Tony completely ignored Lula’s many phone calls, why? And Tony is also a complete bigoted racist, clearly he’s here to be a character that we all hate, perhaps to try and place suspicion on him.
Bristow gives Strike Lula’s laptop, who then gives it to a technician friend, Spanner. And it’s to him that he divulges his break up, because he knows that Spanner will tell everyone else, and at the same time won’t make that big a fuss (because of course everyone who works with computers are anti-social). And that night, Strike gets a message, Charlotte wants to talk. This makes Strike very suspicious of her and makes him analyse what the hidden message from her words mean. It’s most certainly clear that he is by no means over Charlotte, and that likely they weren’t a good match. It leads into a story of how the pair met, and it didn’t really start well, because Charlotte wanted to punish her boyfriend at the time for some transgressions, so she went to the wrong party, and just waited for a guy, and used him to make her boyfriend jealous. Sure, a relationship developed, but it wasn’t a relationship founded on very much.
Since Strike was thrown by Charlotte’s message last night, it means that he forgot to set and alarm so does not wake, making for some slightly awkward times with Robin. But she proves herself again by finding Rochelle, which is where Strike goes. Finding her when he gets to the hospital where Rochelle has an appointment, is tricky, but eventually he finds her. She is quite suspicious of him, which is frankly unsurprising. And when Rochelle talks you can see JK’s love for written accents, she did it in Harry Potter with Hagrid and Madam Olympe Maxime, and in The Casual Vacancy with Krystal Weedon (sure other authors probably do this as well, but JK certainly has a penchant for it). We learn that Lula was quite suspicious of journalists listening in on phonecalls (again reminiscent of the News of the World phone hacking saga) and was suspicious of those around her and that they were leaking information to the media. Apparently she tested everyone, and only Rochelle was the only one who didn’t leak, which is why Lula gave her a phone, which Rochelle seems quite protective of, just like the jacket which is from Vashti, and unbelievably beyond her pay-packet (as well 99% of people). When she leaves she’s soon on the phone to someone, telling them that Strike was asking questions. Does that make Rochelle an accomplice? Is she protecting someone? And why does she think she’s not in danger from the murderer?
Lucy drops by concerned about Strike, and it’s clear she did not like Charlotte. It is interesting to see what friends think about your partners once they have broken up, and how their tune changes. Lucy tells Robin about their mother, and how she died of an overdose, and that Strike was never convinced it was an accident. The origin of his detective work?
We’re moving closer now to finding out who the killer is, the question remains whether or not they will strike again or if the body count will remain at a solitary one.