EVEN in its very last paragraph on page 926 there is a titbit that throws back to page 10 by way of bonus for getting so far. Probably this whole saga is going to be just too big for little screen TV and too long for a one-off film, so maybe the Strike agency will have to become a series, a Netflix blockbuster, Hawaii 50 for 2020, if it is to transfer at all.
The who, what, where, why, when are probably just too much to condense. The various sub plots, red herrings plus the rest of the agency agenda and the personal innuendoes are not going to fit. It is the kind of story telling where the novel as a format is supreme. This is a defence of The Novel, as art.
Is it too long? Other crime dramas rarely have been given this level of depth and texture, the characters, major and minor, are not paid the respect they get here, the story telling is metronomically on message. Complex, yes but you are always confident that you know where you are and who you are with and why.
Clerkenwell, London in the 1970s smells like this. It is old London before it was gentrified, investigated by modern people who are internet and text savvy but not without their own cares, modern day worries. Much of the geography survives but the social classes and people who inhabit them have changed. The office in Denmark Street was the original tin pan alley, it still has music shops but not sheet music which was once its mainstay. And in a similar way it feels like Strike and Robin’s old relationships are also from a previous era, their comradeship feels like they are feeling their way into a new modernity. There is cultural generational heft.
A fabulous read, barn storming detection, even some pithy social commentary and (whisper it carefully) a suspicion of a love story perhaps, even, maybe, possibly…definite implications anyway. Must read. Lockdown essential.