I really like how piece by piece we learn more about both Cormoran and Robin's background stories. Robin rather dominates this book (in a good way I think), even though the crime and plot is centered around Strike's past. We just get a lot more from Robin this time around as she plays a central part and needs to find her own way. We learn so much of her past and I genuinely loved every single page of it. This is such a dark book in so many ways (some of it is absolutely gruesome), but there are also some much needed respites and patches of joy and warmth and hope, and it's just so excellently put together.
I've been debating with myself whether this book is a 4 or a 5 star read. While mostly I want to give it 5 stars because it's really good and well written and I love the characters, I just lack the WOW factor that usually springs me up to 5 stars. I've given poorer books than this 5 stars, because an element in them got me really excited or happy or whatever. While I loved every minute reading this book, that just didn't happen. Does that even make remotely sense to you? It barely does for me. Basically what I think I'm trying to say is that, regardless of stars, this is a brilliant book and probably the best of the series so far. Rowling as Galbraith writes great stuff and I genuinely enjoy reading his/her crime novels.