I liked this one much better than the first. I think it flowed much better and wasn't as slow. Although I listened to this one (mostly) whereas I read the first one. So I'm not sure if that made a difference. Even though I didn't guess the killer this time I felt that the explanation for whodunit didn't come out of left field with a bunch of evidence that apparently occurred offscreen like the first book. And we were kept in the loop of Strike's thought process more, though there was still a lot of secret-keeping from the reader. I also felt the characters were much more dynamic.
I couldn't decide between a 3.5 and 4 star rating but rounded up because I loved this audiobook narrator. He is absolutely the best I've heard so far. His voices are so delineated and precise. I loved the voice he created for Strike.