The Running Grave by Robert Galbraith: A review

This is the seventh entry in Robert Galbraith's (a.k.a, J.K. Rowling's) Cormoran Strike series. It has evolved into the Cormoran Strike/Robin Ellacott series as the two are now partners in the detective agency. In this entry, it is primarily Robin's story as she goes undercover to try to find out more about a dangerous cult. 

That cult is the Universal Humanitarian Church, a religious cult operating in the Norfolk countryside. The cult has attracted a young man named Will who has become completely enthralled and committed to its activities. Will's father engages the detective agency to find out what is going on and try to extract his son.

On the surface, the UHC appears to be a benevolent organization doing charity work among the poor, but when the detectives dig below the surface, a different picture emerges. That picture is a lot darker and more sinister with a series of unnatural and unexplained deaths.

So Robin infiltrates and becomes a part of the cult to find evidence of what's happening while Strike monitors as best he can from the outside.

And what about Robin and Strike's personal relationship? Well, that continues to evolve as well. Not to put too fine a point on it, they are in love with each other but neither admits it to the other. They barely admit it to themselves. Robin has continued her relationship with Murphy, the police detective, but that isn't going very well. Murphy is extremely jealous and possessive. Strike, meanwhile, is still involved with Charlotte but that relationship comes to a sudden and definitive end in this book so we'll have to see where he goes, romantically speaking, in the future. 

Galbraith seems to be building toward something here but it's hard to say just what. How would a romantic relationship affect the partners' working relationship? Would they be able to sustain a romantic/working relationship? Perhaps Galbraith is pondering that question as well as she plans entry number eight in this series. I look forward to seeing how she answers the question. I'm sure it will make for interesting reading!   


  1. Cults are always so oddly fascinating to read about...both in real life and in fiction. This mystery sounds like a good one!

    1. It was. I even debated with myself about possibly awarding it five stars but, in the end, I settled on four.

  2. Whoa it seems dangerous that Robin infiltrates a cult. yikes. They sure are moving slow on the relationship front. I figure maybe by Book 12 .... something will happen between them. :-)

    1. I suspect Galbraith doesn't want to mess with what has been a successful formula for her, but we'll see. Anyway, I'm hooked on the series so I'll keep reading!


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