SoHo Adds New CB Strike Case

Sky’s SoHo channel has added the latest CB Strike mystery to its January schedule.

CB Strike: Lethal White (8.30 Mondays from January 25) is a four-part BBC adaptation of the fourth book in Robert Galbraith’s Cormoran Strike series.

Written under a pseudonym by JK Rowling, it’s about an ex-solder-cum-private detective (Tom Burke) and his overqualified PA and partner-in-crime solving (Holliday Grainger).

Their latest case takes them from the backstreets of London to the heart of Parliament and a sinister manor house in the country. Here’s the blurb:

Strike receives a visit from Billy, a troubled young man asking the private eye to investigate a heinous crime he believes he witnessed as a child. Billy struggles to remember more concrete details as he is clearly in a state of mental distress, Strike believes that he is sincere and promises to help – but the detective’s newfound fame has made covert operations difficult.

Given the paucity of original content on both SoHo channels because of Covid-19 production disruptions, it’s surprising Sky’s taken nearly six months to schedule this instalment.

But most fans will find it worth the wait, despite the Rotten Tomatoes consensus that it was “less compelling” than its predecessors.

“As ever, it does modern London very well. Or at least, old modern London. Back when it still had people in it,” quipped The Times, before adding: “It’s good, Strike. It’s a classic waiting to happen. Big fan.”

Like most critics, The Telegraph said the drama’s chief appeal was its casting.

Strike’s attraction lies in its two charismatic leads and their sizzling chemistry, rather than the knotty cases. These can feel rushed and clumsy, becoming fiddly to follow in the transition from novel to screen.

Among the drama’s toughest critics were two of the BBC’s own commentators.

“Cartoonishly bad,” said one while another reckoned: “This has fallen into the trap that many true crime shows and detective shows have fallen into, when it becomes less about true crime and more about the love affairs between the two main characters … I wish they wouldn’t do it!”

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