Monday, November 27, 2017

Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike #3)

25735012When 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.

*May Contain Spoilers*

I just love reading detective novels and Robert Galbraith exceeds every expectation with his book, Career of Evil, the third in the Cormoran Stike series. This installment revolves around Cormoran's past as someone is determined to see Strike taken down from his role as premiere detective. 

Though readers already know Strike and Robin pretty well, I'd say Galbraith takes it a step further in this book as we learn more about both of these main characters through their pasts. Readers learn more about Strike through the three suspects he reveals could have sent the leg and, thus, is committing the murders. Strike's mother and step-father are discussed in detail as Strike's hatred for Mr. Whittaker is bluntly demonstrated. This hatred stems from the way Whittaker treated Strike's mother and how Strike blames him for his mother's death. Both Donald Liang and Noel Brockbank are horrible men from Strike's past who both blame Strike for the way their lives turned out. Even though Noel is a child molester and Liang is severely unhinged as well as violent, Strike knows they blame him for their reputations and jail time. From these three men, Strike's past and mental state are further opened for the reader. However, I think readers will make a deeper connection with Robin in this book as something heartbreaking from her past is revealed. 

Robin's interest in detective work has never made sense to her fiance Matthew or her family. Yet, with this book, Robin's experience with sexual assault is revealed and therefore, readers will come to better understand her interest not only in detective work but in self-defense and sleuthing in general. This book also revolves around the fear of Robin being hurt as the initial severed leg is sent to Robin and not to Strike. With glimpses into the life of the killer, readers learn that his whole plan revolves around murdering Robin and disgracing Strike completely with the added hope that Strike is arrested for the murderer's crimes. This important aspect gives the entire book an air of trepidation as readers fear for Robin's every step as the killer stalks her. 

Overall, of course, the plot is engaging, intriguing, and, at times, downright disturbing. Galbraith leaves no gritty detail unwritten and the images are a bit extreme. This book kept me reading past my bedtime many nights and even inspired me to not start a new series on Netflix. If that doesn't say it's good, I don't know what will. I would highly recommend this to readers who like detective novels, the previous books in the series, or want to give a really well-written mystery a go. I'll also add that even though there were only three suspects, I did not figure out which one it was before it was revealed. Galbraith really keeps readers on their toes. 

Rating: 4.5/5 Cups

Note: Robert Galbraith is the penname for JK Rowling

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