Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

Book: Career of Evil
Author: Robert Galbraith
Series: Coroman Strike
Genre: Crime Fiction

Summary: 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…
Career of Evil is the third in the series featuring private detective Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin Ellacott. A mystery and also a story of a man and a woman at a crossroads in their personal and professional lives.

Robert Galbraith is the pseudonym of my queen, JK Rowling. She chose to write the Coroman Strike novels under a pseudonym so that she would have the opportunity to write without the hype or the expectation, and make it all about the work.  By the time I got around to reading these novels, Galbraith’s secret had already come out and I knew that I was getting ready to start a new book from my literary idol.  But I went in with a very clear intention of keeping these novels completely separate from the Harry Potter series, and that was made much easier by the fact that Rowling’s and Galbraith’s stories were so different.  From here on out, I’m going to review the book with no mention of She-Who-Will-Not-Be-Named and keep Robert Galbraith as a separate and unique author.

I really enjoyed the first two books in the Cormoran Strike series, mainly because I like the characters and enjoy the developing friendship (and more?) between Strike and Robin. After finishing the second book, I was excited for the next book in the series.  But I was ‘put it in my library hold list and wait until it’s available‘ excited and not ‘run out and buy it right this second!’ excited.

Career of Evil was a real roller coaster for me.  The highs were great, keeping me turning the pages as fast as I could (metaphorically, since I was listening to the audiobook). The lows were not necessarily bad, but they just weren’t very exciting. I thought the premise was excellent and the introduction to the book had me absolutely hooked. This book had a lot of backstory for the two main characters, and I liked learning more about these people who I’ve really come to like over the course of the last two books. The ‘will they or won’t they?’ dynamic was much stronger in this instalment of the series than its predecessors, and it really felt like it was building toward I’d been waiting for since book one.

While the book started out strong, I found myself getting lost in a few parts, owing in large part I believe to the sheer amount of names and characters introduced as part of the investigation – three different suspects, the police officers, witnesses etc. Somehow the suspects all got muddled in my mind and I had a hard time keeping track of who was who and how each one related to Strike’s past.

While I loved the writing of this book and the story was interesting, I still found myself feeling ‘gosh this book is long.’ The pace was perhaps a bit slow for a crime novel and occasionally I felt that it was being dragged out a bit more than was necessary.

Overall, I enjoyed the story. I think the premise of this one was my favorite in the Strike series so far, however the execution was perhaps my least favorite of the three.

I will also mention that the audiobook was fantastically done, the narrator did a great Coroman Strike. However I wonder if listening to this book rather than reading it added to my confusion of all the characters.


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