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Author Topic: Did you Solve the Murder Mystery in Full or in Parts Yourself?  (Read 1672 times)

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October 20, 2015, 08:09:13 PM

Evreka

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Did you Solve the Murder Mystery in Full or in Parts Yourself?

Do you have as Striking a Detective Eye as Cormoran himself?

So, were there any point in the book where you just went "Of course! That's how it happenned!"? Did it play out the way you thought it would from that moment onwards? Or are there any particular pieces of information in the book that you could kick yourself over not reading right...? How much did Jo surprise you?

Come share your reading experience with us!
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October 25, 2015, 12:16:30 PM
Reply #1

Evreka

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Granted, I've only read it once, I may be missing things that others have got, but were there ANY hints that a reader could get?! I failed to notice them at all, if there are indeed clues. Have anyone else found any clues whatsoever that could lead us to even begin to formulate theories of our own?

Or maybe there is, and it's just my inability to keep straight tabs on Laing and Brockbank that confuses things. For some reason, I kept mixing them up. At second thought we might have had a few hints on who it was... but I fail to see how we could have followed Cormoran's train of thought...

What did you get right while reading it?
« Last Edit: October 25, 2015, 12:23:12 PM by Evreka »
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October 27, 2015, 09:08:14 PM
Reply #2

HealerOne

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I was beginning to suspect the killer when he talked about a place that "IT" didn't know about. Along with that the subsequent change in the flat being occupied about the same time. That was really the only clue that came to me. I sort of was leaning towards his stepfather as the killer. I guess I was influenced by Strike's hatred of him.

I've worked with psoriatic arthritis patients and I have never seen it 'burn out'. It can be very devastating and crippling.This was before the use of all the wonderful new drugs they have to combat arthritis now. I suppose it can happen but I have never seen that.
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November 03, 2015, 02:45:25 PM
Reply #3

Conchie

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I must say the moment the chapter where Strike visited the sister of the slain girl was done… my money was on the correct person, but I didn't remotely guess the twist to this identification.     I think everything goes back to the chapters told from the killer's perspective and how he clearly is living with a woman he resents and calls her IT.    He has to keep IT happy, he has to keep telling IT he loves her.   That on it's own narrows down the suspects. Strike's step dad was a cruel brute who treated the poor skinny soul he lived with like dirt and was massively physically abusive to her, so no way was it him.     He wasn't keeping anyone happy !!  That left Brockbank and Laing.   Brockbank of course was living with a girl and her two kids and Laing, as we are told was living on his own in a flat that he never seemed to come in or out of, and very debilitated with illness.  You can imagine how the readers minds are therefore geared towards Brockbank, but this is where the genius of Galbraith comes into play and the wrong footing.      A person who is good at stepping back and looking at what we are given and analyzing the evidence might also start thinking hard about Laing's flat… where the curtains never open, where they can never spot him coming in or out, in spite of days on surveillance.     Wouldn't it dawn on a smart person that this is therefore not a primary residence…. this is some kind of bolt hole that's just visited, and if thats the only place they can trace him under his own name, that it stands to reason wherever his main residence is, he is under a different name.     It's easy to say in hindsight that as a reader we should have copped this.   Only readers with very good memories would have also retained the surname of the poor soul who lived next door to Laing's ex in Scotland who was robbed and subsequently died. That would have set alarm bells going off as well.    But Hey ho… isn't it the fun of the experience, to be shocked and surprised when the conclusion comes.        Now speaking of conclusions…… the last chapter…. hell… the last sentence….. how could she leave us hanging….. thoughts please !!!!    Has Robin married the twit or not.    How could a man standing there stony faced in front of his stony faced bride go further with proceedings when it's Strike's presence that brings on her beaming smile… and her I DO is directed at Cormoran.       I don't think I'll last a year before we find out !!!
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November 03, 2015, 09:12:27 PM
Reply #4

Evreka

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Welcome to DS, Conchie:)

I must say the moment the chapter where Strike visited the sister of the slain girl was done… my money was on the correct person, but I didn't remotely guess the twist to this identification.     I think everything goes back to the chapters told from the killer's perspective and how he clearly is living with a woman he resents and calls her IT.    He has to keep IT happy, he has to keep telling IT he loves her.   That on it's own narrows down the suspects.
I guess one can say that it narrows the suspects down, but not necessarily. While you are right about how badly the stepfather treats his woman, she clearly loves him and maintains the opinion that he loves her. So she might still have been IT.

As for the flat no one enters or leaves, I was alternating between thinking he was inside, but to sick to wander about, or that he was, in fact, living elsewhere at least part of the time.

Wouldn't it dawn on a smart person that this is therefore not a primary residence…. this is some kind of bolt hole that's just visited, and if thats the only place they can trace him under his own name, that it stands to reason wherever his main residence is, he is under a different name.     It's easy to say in hindsight that as a reader we should have copped this.   ...
   
In hindsight, this does stand out, but as these men are all pretty volatile and deceiving, it doesn't actually point to any one of them.

Only readers with very good memories would have also retained the surname of the poor soul who lived next door to Laing's ex in Scotland who was robbed and subsequently died. That would have set alarm bells going off as well.

This, however, feels like a gigantic clue, of course it's a bit of a "coincedence" that they happen to have the same name... Although we had no real reason to suspect why Ray would have wanted to try and frame Cormoran. So, again, I think this is a far clearer clue in hindsight.

Even when Robin during surveillance runs straight into Laing and we later learns that the murderer has come very close to her that day, we can't rule the others out for sure, as she has earlier in the day bumped into another man at another place.


But Hey ho… isn't it the fun of the experience, to be shocked and surprised when the conclusion comes.   
Yes, but I also love to have the chance to figure things out myself, however small that chance is.

I don't know if you've read other books by Rowling, but one of the amazing qualities with the HP books is that they actually contain clues (and red-herrings) that make it possible (but highly unlikely) that you could figure certain things out ahead of time. Mostly, one tends to pick up on them in hindsight though, but even so, they are there... And I wish these books too, have such clues that could point you in the right direction.
   
But maybe there are... maybe I'll see them if I reread the book. :)


Now speaking of conclusions…… the last chapter…. hell… the last sentence….. how could she leave us hanging….. thoughts please !!!!    Has Robin married the twit or not.    How could a man standing there stony faced in front of his stony faced bride go further with proceedings when it's Strike's presence that brings on her beaming smile… and her I DO is directed at Cormoran.       I don't think I'll last a year before we find out !!!
Unfortunately - I am no fan of Matthew - my take on it is that she married Matthew, but also that she does so in spite. More of my thoughts on the relationships between the characters are here.
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November 05, 2015, 08:02:10 PM
Reply #5

RiverSpirit

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Well, yet again I was totally clueless! I am yet to pick a murderer. Shows that I'm no detective.

Galbraith never gives up the answer easily. The subtleties that lead us to the guilty party, the tiniest piece of the puzzle is always the information that I miss. At no point did I have the slightest clue and that is what is so great about these books!
  
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November 24, 2015, 12:02:28 AM
Reply #6

paint it Black

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I never have much faith in my ability to solve the crime in these stories; I am usually content to just go along for the ride.  However, as I get deeper into the story, I do find myself trying to put the clues together.  ::) I think I picked up on some of the red herrings, like the possible connection between Kelsey's involvement with the church group and Brockbank's church-going habits, the fact that Brockbank (at least once, but I forget exactly where) does refer to Strike as "Cameron", and the fact that Kelsey's parents were killed in Spain and it was mentioned that the mobster (Malley) was there at some point.  Also, when the killer saw Strike's temp (before we readers knew that it was Alyssa), he mentioned that he liked dark women, and since we know Brockbank was living with one, we know that's what he likes.

I must say the moment the chapter where Strike visited the sister of the slain girl was done… my money was on the correct person, but I didn't remotely guess the twist to this identification....
I didn't make the connection at the time, but I did go back and re-read this chapter before the killer was revealed, and I could tell that the key to it all was within.  I didn't succeed in putting it all together, though!  ;D It seemed like Ray had a good alibi and there seemed no reason to doubt that he was an ex-firefighter.  There was the fact that he worked nights, though....   :hmm:

I didn't really think that Whittaker was the killer; as Strike said, he didn't seem the type to get into details like song lyrics, he was just too feral.

...That left Brockbank and Laing.   Brockbank of course was living with a girl and her two kids and Laing, as we are told was living on his own in a flat that he never seemed to come in or out of, and very debilitated with illness.  You can imagine how the readers minds are therefore geared towards Brockbank, but this is where the genius of Galbraith comes into play and the wrong footing.      A person who is good at stepping back and looking at what we are given and analyzing the evidence might also start thinking hard about Laing's flat… where the curtains never open, where they can never spot him coming in or out, in spite of days on surveillance.     Wouldn't it dawn on a smart person that this is therefore not a primary residence…. this is some kind of bolt hole that's just visited, and if thats the only place they can trace him under his own name, that it stands to reason wherever his main residence is, he is under a different name.     It's easy to say in hindsight that as a reader we should have copped this....
As for the flat no one enters or leaves, I was alternating between thinking he was inside, but to sick to wander about, or that he was, in fact, living elsewhere at least part of the time....
I thought the same thing about the flat, that Laing was too ill to leave.  When Robin runs into him, he does appear disabled, and he wasn't expecting to see her so it was not an act just for her benefit.  One thing leaning against Brockbank though is that in all of the killer's rants about "IT", he never mentions any children in the picture, and it looked like Brockbank was probably living with his girlfriend and her kids.

Another thing that threw me off was that Strike identified the location of Laing's flat by recognizing it in the background of Elin's real estate brochure, therefore I got the impression that it was in a fairly well-to-do neighborhood.  But the killer's lair was described as being a dump, so I thought it wouldn't be near any place that posh Elin might live.  Overall I think I might have had an easier time of trying to solve the case if I were at all familiar with London's neighborhoods.

I've worked with psoriatic arthritis patients and I have never seen it 'burn out'. It can be very devastating and crippling.This was before the use of all the wonderful new drugs they have to combat arthritis now. I suppose it can happen but I have never seen that.
I don't know a lot about this disease, but I too would not have expected it to just "burn out".  Laing's disability is mainly what kept me from seeing him as the killer.  He seemed too disabled to ride a motorbike or to overpower his victims.

A few obscure clues that I failed to put together: Strike described Ray as smelling of camphor, and the killer at one point mentioned going out to buy vapo-rub (which has camphor as a main ingredient); Ray is described as "bald" --- I took this to mean that he had male pattern baldness and had lost much of his hair, not that he had a shaved head -- but it was mentioned that razors were in the killer's lair.  There was no way I (or anyone but Cormoran!) was going to get the clue about the sea holly!

Only readers with very good memories would have also retained the surname of the poor soul who lived next door to Laing's ex in Scotland who was robbed and subsequently died....
Yup, that wasn't me! ;D It was a common last name as well, so it wouldn't necessarily stick on one's head, nor might it have been odd to see more than one person with it, but of course the author could choose any name for her characters and does not do so randomly!  And Strike even spells it out for us that it was surely Laing that robbed the old lady neighbor.  :headbang:

In my attempts to locate the killer, I kept looking for someone other than the 3 main suspects, since none of them seemed to fit completely.  It seemed perhaps too easy for Galbraith to feed us the killer right from the start, however I suppose we readers wouldn't gain any clues unless Cormoran was actually investigating them as the possible killer!  No one else came close to fitting the profile though, so in the end I figured it was Brockbank or Laing, but probably Brockbank.  O well!

Cuppa is discussing Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman.  Please join us!
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