CAREER OF EVIL in the third book in the Cormoran Strike series written by J. K. Rowling under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith. Strike investigates when a package delivered to Robin Ellacott, his secretary-cum-partner, contains a severed leg. He is certain that the crime is somehow linked to his past, and there are four people he thinks could be responsible.
Galbraith’s third novel is a brilliant continuation of the series. The mystery is superbly constructed, with Galbraith maintaining both the mystery of who the perpetrator is whilst at the same time allowing the reader chilling glimpses into their head. At the same time we follow Strike and Robin as they search for the culprit and continue on with their lives – with Robin’s wedding to Matthew growing ever closer.
CAREER OF EVIL balances the mystery of the novel with the lives of Strike and Robin brilliantly – Galbraith focuses on neither aspect of the plot too much, and at the same time keeps the story feeling cohesive. I thought the mystery aspect of the novel worked well, and I actually enjoyed the fact that we’re presented with four possible suspects, because we’re still kept guessing. As such, the focus on Strike’s and Robin’s lives really helped to balance out some of the horror of the crimes. It also served to let us know a bit more about both characters than we have previously.
The characterisation in the novel is done brilliantly. Galbraith introduces some interesting new characters, as more of Strike’s and Robin’s lives appear on the page. Wardle makes a return in this book, and I enjoyed reading his interactions with Strike. Matthew, of course, also makes a return. I thought it was interesting to learn a bit more about both Strike’s past, as well as Robin’s. I enjoyed the way Galbraith wrote Robin’s relationship with her mother. As the blurb says, Robin and Strike are at a crossroads – how and why they’re both at a crossroad, I don’t want to delve into too much because of spoilers – and it’s interesting to see how both characters react to it.
If you are a fan of crime novels then this series will be something you enjoy, with CAREER OF EVIL being the most graphic book in the series so far. If you have enjoyed the Cormoran Strike series so far, then you will definitely enjoy this one too. CAREER OF EVIL is a great addition to the series, and I look forward to seeing Strike’s adventures in future books.
Review first published on The Flutterby Room.