Title: Career of Evil
Series: Cormoran Strike, #3
Author: Robert Galbraith
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Release Date: October 20th, 2015
Format: Audiobook, narrated by Robert Glenister
Length: 492 pages | 17 hours, 59 minutes
Source: Borrowed from my local library
When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman’s severed leg.
Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible – and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality.
With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take matters into their own hands, and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them…
Despite the fact that this book is HUGE, I couldn’t stop listening to it every day. This is now my favorite of the Cormoran Strike novels. The mystery is good- high stakes, little to no author projecting (and, of course, a few red herrings), multiple “bad guys” you want to see punished, and direct personal danger to Robin, so near-constant tension. Also, some chapters are told from the perspective of the antagonist, and I enjoy mysteries where that is well done. This one leans more toward the thriller side of the spectrum, as there’s a serial killer aspect.
But beyond the mystery, this was a great book for the development of Robin and Cormoran’s relationship, and greater insight into their personal lives. I’m not a big fan of the “man and woman are in this book, therefore they must become lovers” trope, so I want to assure you that’s not what’s happening here. It’s far more complex and nuanced. As we know from the previous two books, working with Cormoran offers Robin a safe space to pursue a career dream, and feel valued and valuable for her innate skills. And working with Robin keeps Cormoran from burying himself in work to avoid life. Robin’s absolute ponce of a fiance assumes there’s sexual tension between them, because he’s an immature prat who lacks imagination. Previously, I despised Matthew (the fiance). This book gives us a bit of a character arc for him, but I still think he’s making Robin miserable and she deserves better.
And, as always, there’s an exploration of London and areas of Britain (the seedier and the poorer sides) that lends authenticity to the story. This story ranges even further than the previous one (The Silkworm) did, and it brings an element of realism into the story.
I’m keen to see where Galbraith/Rowling takes Robin and Cormoran’s working relationship after this! Sadly, the fourth novel isn’t published yet (at least it’s finished, though), so I’ll have to be patient.
I’m a coffee-fueled, hobby-addicted bibliophage who makes cruelty-free mineral eye shadows (inspired by novels). I’m usually in front of a screen (writing, reading, or gaming), but I’ve been known to emerge for geekery, good food, and dark chocolate.