There’s nothing about Robert Galbraith’s Cormoran Strike series that would obviously indicate that Galbraith is actually J.K. Rowling, but my reaction to it ended up being weirdly similar: The first book was trashy, but just good enough for me to bother finishing it; the second book was clearly better, if still not actually good as such; but before you know it, I’m just tearing through them and it doesn’t even really matter if they’re good, because I just want to find out what happens next.
I can’t really explain it; it’s not like the writing is sparkling or anything—it’s fine, it’s there, it works. The characters are pleasant, but not really jumping onto my list of favorite fictional characters. And the story itself is paint-by-numbers TV detective/PI stuff, the basic plot you might get from any generic CBS cop show episode. Objectively, it’s nothing special, but… I’m tearing through them quickly and want more.
(Although—and this is lightly spoilery—I also want Rowling to knock it off with the “will they or won’t they” bullshit; when the series started, it was clear that the protagonists were coworkers and friends, not romantic partners; the more she flirts with their potential relationship, the more aggravating it is.)
If you happen to be taking an airplane flight somewhere, load these up on your phone before you go, because they’re basically perfect for the purpose.