Book Review

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

Career of Evil, the third novel in Galbraith’s Cormoran Strike series, sees the private investigator and his assistant Robin investigating a case that starts with them receiving a severed leg by courier.  Convinced that the motivation behind the crime is personal, Cormoran and Robin begin to investigate a number of unsavoury characters from Cormoran’s past.

As the police begin to focus on an individual that Cormoran is increasingly sure is the wrong person, they begin to focus on the other suspects to prevent further crimes being committed.

I love this series.  All three novels – The Cuckoo’s Calling, The Silkworm and now Career of Evil – have been beautifully written, and are extremely well plotted.  With unexpected twists at every turn, this has become one of my favourite crime series, and I’m really hope that there are more to come.

I love the slightly strained relationship between Cormoran and Robin.  There are undertones of sexual tension between them that make their relationship interesting, although they both strive to maintain a purely professional relationship.  But, they are becoming friends, and the line between their professional and private lives is starting to become a little blurred.  I think it will be really interesting to see where this goes.

One particular aspect that I was pleased to see addressed was the constant battle between Robin and her fiancé Matthew.  The constant tension between them – caused largely by his displeasure over her choice of career and his dislike (jealousy) of Cormoran was becoming a little tiresome, and so I was glad that things come to head in this novel.  I won’t tell you the outcome – but I was glad that this didn’t just continue in the same vein as the previous two novels.

Career of Evil is, I think, the first in the series to have chapters told from the perspective of the perpetrator.  I thought that this added something new, and it’s great to see the author doing things differently and keeping the series fresh – something that it isn’t always easy to do with a crime series.  And, if you think that seeing things from the bad guy’s perspective might reveal who that person is, don’t worry, it doesn’t.  Career of Evil kept me guessing to the end, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

For the fourth book in the series – please let there be a fourth book in the series! – I’d like to see Cormoran and Robin working on a more equal footing.  I think that Robin has shown that she has her own set of skills, and is capable of operating as his partner.  This move from assistant to partner is starting to occur – Robin does take on more investigative duties in this novel – but there’s still a sense that she’s an assistant doing a little extra, rather than working as a partner in her own right.

If you’ve read and enjoyed the first two novels, Career of Evil is just as good, and the personal element to this case gives it a slightly different vibe to the first two.  If you haven’t read any of this series, what are you waiting for!?  I can’t recommend them enough.


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