“Strike knew how deeply ingrained was the belief that the evil conceal their dangerous predilections for violence and domination. When they wear them like bangles for all to see, the gullible populace laughs, calls it a pose, or finds it strangely attractive.”
I finished Career of Evil within the first 24 hours, which is always my favourite way to start off Bookstravaganza. I picked a lengthy book for my first read, but I knew it would be engaging.
As many of you probably know, Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling. “Galbraith” writes detective novels about Cormoran Strike, an ex-SIB (Special Investigations Branch) military investigator who lost a leg in Afghanistan and became a private eye, and his accidental-temp turned partner Robin Ellacott. Career of Evil is the third(and my favourite!) Cormoran Strike novel and Rowling’s fourth novel for adults.
Now, let’s address the obvious here: I am a gigantic J.K. Rowling fan. I mean GIGANTIC. I grew up on the Harry Potter books. I have the four house banners hanging over my bed. I made my own Butterbeer cork necklace. I have a massive Harry Potter tattoo on my arm. I have tickets to go see her new stage play in London next summer. I could go on. And it’s not just her HP work I love! I was a big fan of her first adult novel, The Casual Vacancy (you can read my Bookstravaganza review of it here!), even when a lot of people weren’t, and I’ve been devouring Galbraith’s books as they come out.
So no, this is not an objective review in the slightest.
That said, I think anyone could love Galbraith’s books. I’m not a huge mystery fan—some of my favourite authors do write mystery, but the genre itself holds no special appeal for me—but I know enough to say that Galbraith’s novels really hold up. He plays with all the right tropes, twisting them around just enough to be doing something interesting and new while still keeping to genre convention.
While Strike and Robin tackle all sort of mundane investigative jobs, the three novels focus on the seediest and creepiest cases, the sort of storylines you might find on Law & Order or Criminal Minds. These books are not for children, and Career of Evil especially so. This time around, Galbraith gives us a smattering of chapters from the killer’s perspective. At the start of the book, this was simply cool. By the end, it was so goddamn creepy. The whole book really makes you feel the weight of the violence being committed, breaking down the comfortable distance you as a reader set up by knowing that you are reading fiction. I loved that uncomfortable, spine-tingling feeling, but if that’s not your jam, maybe don’t read this before bed like I did.
Career is definitely the best Galbraith book yet. Strike and Robin have been such real and engaging characters even from the very beginning, but Career is just as much about their personal storylines as it is the mystery (which, by the way, is who sent Robin a woman’s severed leg in the mail). The balance and interplay between the main plot of the mystery and the longer story of these two characters is spot on in Career in a way it never quite was in the first two books.
Okay, that’s more than enough rambling from me. There’s so much more that I could say, but I have books to read! I’ll just end by saying that if anyone else has read Career of Evil and wants to chat about what the fuck that fucking ending is supposed to mean holy shit?!?!?!???!?!?!?, let me know.
Books read: 1