22 May 2016

Review: CAREER OF EVIL, Robert Galbraith

  • this edition published by Sphere in 2015
  • author also known as J.K Rowling
  • ISBN 9-780751-563580
  • 494 pages
  • source: my local library
  • Also available on Amazon for Kindle
  • Cormoran Strike Book 3
Synopsis (Amazon)

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...

A fiendishly clever mystery with unexpected twists around every corner, Career of Evil is also a gripping story of a man and a woman at a crossroads in their personal and professional lives. You will not be able to put this book down.

 My Take

Newspaper reports about the arrival of the severed leg have the effect of almost killing Cormoran Strike's detective agency. And then there is the fact that the parcel was in fact addressed to Robin, not to Strike. Strike reports the package to the police and they begin an intensive investigation.

Robin and Strike have just two cases to occupy them, and both require surveillance. Strike is anxious to find out who the severed leg belongs to and who has sent it to him. He has some idea that the cause is embedded in his past in the military police but tracking down the four suspects is not easy. One of them is a man he knows well, his own stepfather, while the other three all have reason to hat Strike.

Simmering in the background is Robin's impending marriage. Her fiancé Matthew is convinced that Robin and Strke have a relationship going and then Robin finds out that Matthew has something to hide. Strike also has a new girlfriend but he is beginning to question where that relationship is headed.

We often see the narration from the point of view of one of the suspects who is not necessarily the serial killer, and it is hard to decide who it is.

I found this book a time consuming read. That is partly because it is long, and partly because it is densely written. There is lot of new background material which fleshes out both Strike's and Robin's characters. A lot of it feels "off topic" but at the same time is giving the central characters a lot more depth. The novel manages to maintain the tension right to the end. I am looking forward to the next in the series.

My rating: 4.6

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