Title: Career of Evil
Author: Robert Galbraith
Release Date: October 2015
My Rating: 8/10 Solid
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…
The third instalment of Robert Galbraith’s ‘Coromon Strike’ series, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. Once again, we see Strike and Robin engaged in a twisted investigation, this time following the gruesome delivery of a severed leg. This book is dark from the very first page; Galbraith doesn’t hold anything back. We are gripped from the off by the creepy and disgusting villain.
Can we just take a moment to appreciate the genius that is J.K. Rowling? This book is written with so much intricacy, with every word considered and planned in such detail to keep us guessing all the way through. She knows exactly what she is doing with this kind of book, and I adore the subtlety of the hints littered throughout, as we try (and fail) to figure out this gripping mystery.
It’s difficult to review a book like this without giving spoilers, as every aspect of the story is crucial to the overall suspense and mystery. I will say, however, that there are three main suspects, all of whom could easily be the culprit. That’s the beauty of the writing. I spent the entire book constantly changing my mind between the three, due to the huge number of clever red herrings and twists.
The book follows a similar series of events as the previous two, with Strike using his bank of interesting contacts to discover snippets of information. The friction between him and the police remains, with them convinced the suspect is someone else completely.
Rather than focussing on Strike’s personal life, however, this installment mainly shows Robin’s relationship struggles. It shows her rocky relationship with fiancé Matthew, as well as detailing secrets from her past. It is here that Robin becomes more real, and is shown as more than just Strike’s sidekick. She shows both her vulnerability and strength in a way that we don’t see in the previous two books.
My only criticism, is that I wish the twist had been bigger; that it had been someone else. Unlike the previous two books, we know that it is one of Strike’s three suspect, it’s simply a case of figuring out which one. I really wanted there to be a huge curveball, with it being someone completely different. Apologies if that maybe a very minor spoiler, but it is pretty obvious all the way through that it will be one of the three.
I would probably say that I enjoyed this least of the three, however that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it. I loved it. It is such a cleverly written and gripping novel, that I would highly recommend.
If you haven’t read any of Robert Galbraith’s novels, please go and get yourself a copy of all three. I promise you will love them. Putting J. K. Rowling aside, these are still brilliant books. There really is no bias because of the famous author, and these books really demonstrate what a skilled writer she is.