Oct 21, 2015

Book Review–Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith


Career of Evil is the third Cormoran Strike novel.  I wouldn’t call it a series but I do think there’s some tangible benefit to reading them in order – if only to see the main characters development in sequence.

Don’t let this put you off grabbing it in the airport lounge, if you are looking for a good solid read on a long haul flight; it’s a thoroughly engrossing read.

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...


I don’t regularly read crime (I do enjoy the genre in TV & Film) but that’s more a result of the type of reviewer I have become.  I’ll read anything that’s well written.

And Career of Evil, is exceedingly well written and paced as one might expect from Rowling.  The delivery of the story is smooth but what I really enjoyed in Career of Evil, beyond the problem solving goodness of a well written crime thriller, was the choices in character development.

I imagine in a field as well dug over as Crime Fiction, that it’s hard to not rehash plots and types of killers, so the only real area for freshness is in the characters and the drama/ tension that exists between them.

I particularly enjoyed Robin’s (Cormorant’s Assistant/Partner) story arc, indeed I feel as though Career of Evil ended up being more about her than Strike.  I don’t want to give too much away but I did feel that Rowling made some very good choices that showed Robin to be a character with psychological depth.  There’s quite a few places where I felt Robin’s character could have slipped into stereotype, but Rowling’s choices present  Robin with a good mix of vulnerability and strength that make her feel solidly fleshed out and real.

Career of Evil is a clever, well paced Crime Thriller that should keep you glued to the page.  You’ll love the characters (especially if you have read the other two books) and this character development paired with smooth delivery of a well articulated crime thriller will have you hankering for the next one.  It’s no surprise that there’s a TV series in the works.

The review copy was provided by the publisher.

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