Book 394: Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike #3) – Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)

Galbraith, Robert (J.K. Rowling) - Career of EvilI was so excited this book came in early at the library. The best part about living in a bigger city is that we have multiple library systems so I wasn’t sure which one was going to come in first, but I didn’t expect either of them this fast. There were almost 200 people on the list and I thought for sure I’d signed up a lot later, but apparently not!

This is just as much a page turner as The Cuckoo’s Calling and The Silkworm and provides even more character development for Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott. It picks up not long after The Silkworm and Robin and Cormoran have seen a successful uptake in business, that is until they receive a woman’s severed leg in the mail. And then they’re off on the chase. What always surprises me about mystery novels is how little action there can be, but with a great writer it still feels action packed.

We all know I love J.K. Rowling, but what I didn’t realize was just how sick she could be! I think it shows her abilities as a writer and the expanse of her imagination. One of the things I really enjoyed about this novel were the brief chapter flashes into the killer’s mindset. The way she wrote them gave me chills.

“Nobody would ever know he’d done it; why should they? He’d escaped without detection three times now: three women dead and nobody had a clue who’d done it. This knowledge enabled him to read today’s Metro without the slightest trace of fear; to feel only pride and satisfaction at the hysterical accounts of the severed leg, to savor the whiff of fear and confusion that rose from each story, the bleating incomprehension of the sheep-like masses who scent a wolf.” (40)

I know other writers have done it, but the way she wrote the psychopathic character was so eerie. The quote above isn’t even the worst of them! Not to mention there were multiple sociopaths (yes, different word) in the novel that constantly had you guessing who the culprit was.

As I said, I really enjoyed the evolution of Strike and Robin’s relationship. I’m still not sure where it’s going to go or how far the “tension” can carry it. The ending of this novel should provide a bit of closure until a certain someone finds out about a certain something. I also really appreciated learning more about Robin’s past and her drive to become a detective, it gave her a lot more motive and strength as a character when it easily could’ve gone the other way.

If there is one thing I wasn’t too thrilled about with the book it was Galbraith’s/Rowling’s vocabulary. There’s nothing wrong with using the “$10 words” (I’m sure they’re $100 words these days), but I had to look up quite a few because I wasn’t 100% sure of the definition! I guess it’s a good thing too as I’m expanding my vocabulary.

Recommendation: I thoroughly enjoyed this one! I cannot wait for the next one. I hope there’ll be another one next year, but I won’t hold my breath. The good part is that they’re such quick reads (I read this in four sittings, less than two days) and I could easily re-read one or all of them between now and then!

Opening Line: “He had not managed to scrub off all her blood.”

Closing Line: “‘I do,’ said Robin in a ringing voice, looking straight into the eyes, not of her stony-faced new husband, but of the battered and bloodied man who had just sent her flowers crashing to the floor.” (Whited out to avoid spoilers, highlight to read.)

Additional Quotes from Career of Evil
“As he passed a spectacular viaduct to his right, he thought about psychopaths, and how they were to be found everywhere, not only in run-down tenements and slums and squats, but even here, in this place of serene beauty.” (107)

“What was she doing, going on outings with her fucking mother? It felt like mockery. Sometimes the whole world seemed like it was out to get him, to stop him doing things he wanted, to keep him down. He fucking hated this feeling that his omnipotence was seeping away, that people and circumstances were hemming him in, reducing him to just another thwarted, seething mortal. Somebody was going to pay for this.” (292)


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