The third of the Cormoran Strike series delivers more on this delightful formula, proving that JK Rowling is more than just Harry Potter.
I’ve been a fan of these books since the first one – all of which I have listened to on audio. Cleverly plotted and engaging, Rowling has managed to create relatable, loveable characters in grizzled detective Cormoran Strike and his would-be partner Robin Ellacott.
Career of Evil reveals a lot of both characters’ pasts, and concentrates on the developing attraction between the two. It begins when Robin is sent a severed leg in the mail with song lyrics from the Blue Oyster Cult – which just happen to match a tattoo Strike’s famous groupie mother had. Strike determines that the package is actually an attack on him, and he, Robin and the police begin investigating various shady characters from Strike’s past.
In the meantime, Robin’s relationship with Matthew becomes tense as her interest and skill in detective work increases. One night she reveals to Strike (and thus to readers) that she was raped and left for dead in her university days, explaining why this sharp and intelligent woman is working as a temp. She had wanted to be a forensic psychologist all along. This also explains the concern her loved ones have for her working in this kind of field.
Her split from Matthew draws her closer to Strike, but eventually their disagreements about the case and her role in their partnership drive a wedge between them. We end on somewhat uncertain terms about their future. And on tenterhooks for the next book. Fortunately Rowling is pretty prolific under this pen-name, and we can expect another Robert Galbraith towards the end of next year.