Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Career of Evil is the third book in the Cormoran Strike trilogy by Robert Galbraith aka J.K. Rawling...and sadly also my least favourite. I wanted to love it, I wanted to give it four or even FIVE stars, but on finishing it I was left dissatisfied.
First off, there will be mild general spoilers in this review, so please stop reading NOW if you haven't read this novel and plan to. STOP NOW.
You've been warned.
In the first novel of the series The Cuckoo's Calling, we are introduced to Strike and Robin, his loyal secretary cum partner. Strike runs a detective agency, having a background in the SIB. Obviously the novel is written in a manner where we know Strike has undisclosed issues and secrets that we will probably learn as the series goes on.
The second novel The Silkworm seems to focus a bit more on the actual case rather than the intricacies of the characters and the relationships they are in. There is an unspoken interest between Strike and Robin, but it isn't acted on at all and rarely referred too. Galbraith does a good job keeping their relationship on a quiet boil. Clearly it's going to be a slow burn.
Finally, Career of Evil. I was so excited to read this book. Strike and Robin are both likeable characters. The language and quality of writing is good. Galbraith-Rawling certainly knows how to write a gripping detective story. The Silkworm has truly creepy and strange parts to it and I was hoping Career of Evil would be the same.
The premise is: a package is mailed to Strike's office addressed to Robin. It's a dismembered leg. This sends Strike down a path of trying to find who the psychopath was that sent this leg. He is convinced it is one of three bad apples from his past. Meanwhile, interspersed with Strike and Robin's narrative is the narrative of the killer that actually *is* quite creepy.
We learn A LOT about Strike's history. We learn A LOT about Robin's history. It seems as though all the character's secrets are spilled out in this book. Robin and Strike's connection go. More time in spent on the tiny possibility of a relationship. The thought lingers in the back of Strike's mind. Sizzle sizzle, the slow burn.
UNFORTUNATELY, even though it was admittedly interesting to learn more about the background of these two characters and what motivated them, at the end of the book I was left disappointed with regards to the mystery.
You see, I kept thinking in my head, 'No, she wouldn't use on of Strike's suspects...that would be too predictable and an easy route...maybe it will be someone related to the suspects or a complete snake in the grass'.
NO. There is no bloody snake in the grass!!! It simply ends up being who Strike suspected and honestly, the characteristics and mannerisms of the narrative of the killer did not in my head jive with who the killer turned out to be. I thought the narrative and the description of the antagonist was that of a much much younger person.
I did like this book, I was simply let down with the lack of effort that seemed to be put in to creating a truly shocking ending. Galbraith could learn a lot from Agatha Christie and her unparalleled writing.
3/5 and hopefully the next in the series will have a little more punch to it.
What do you think?
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