- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 17 hours and 54 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Hachette Audio UK
- Audible.com Release Date: October 20, 2015
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0156TRU84
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Career of Evil: Cormoran Strike, Book 3
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- Robin, one of the most interesting and likable characters JKR has ever created, co-stars in the novel and her identity is superbly defined
- Strike's backstory is addressed in more detail, and it's very compelling
- The settings are vividly depicted, with excellent descriptions of sites all over seedy and posh London and Northern England
- Heavy topics like rape, child abuse, and mental illness are thoughtfully considered and woven into the narrative without being overly preachy
- The relationship between Robin and Strike continues to develop in a complex, unpredictable way
- The dialog is consistently excellent and realistic
- Much less emphasis on Strike's disability, which plagued the last novel
- The reveal, unlike the first two novels, is not an endless explanatory monologue -- it's thankfully short and sweet
**These positives far outweigh the following negatives, definitely making Career of Evil a worthwhile read. Nevertheless...
- Many of the characters are one-dimensional. While Strike and Robin are increasingly depicted as complicated, multifaceted protagonists, most others are portrayed without any significant depth. The bad guys are REALLY bad; the victims are hopelessly innocent, others just occupy space. Some, like Matthew and Whittaker, are cartoonishly described and Detective Carver is, to put it bluntly, Vernon Dursely
- Someone needs to pluck up the courage and let the author know she needs an editor. The book is downright plodding at times.
- The basic premise of the plot is forced and improbable (BIID? Really?)
- Each chapter leads with lyrics from a Blue Oyster Cult song. These lines figure into the story (sort of), but this silly gimmick gets old fast
- The violence (and there is quite a lot) is gratuitously over the top, as if JKR is determined to identify herself as an adult writer
- The comic element featured in the first two novels is largely absent in the third
- The book features intermittent passages shown from the killer's perspective which are eye-rollingly bad. I hate to say that but it's true. Think of every serial killer you've ever seen in a movie or read about in a book, and that's the stereotype you get -- right down to the killer's referring to a woman as "It" a la Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs. These sections are so subpar, so cliched, and so unimaginative that it's hard to believe that JKR wrote them. I suppose they are included to give the narrative an additional angle but, rather than compliment the story's trajectory, they dumb it down.
Despite its drawbacks, Career of Evil is a very good read. Slow at times, but enjoyable. As said above, the positives outweigh the negatives. In particular, the maturing of Robin's and Strike's characters is a leap forward. I wouldn't be surprised if this book is regarded as the most popular one in the series so far, although the hyper-violent yet cliched serial killer may be off-putting to some.
Unlike the previous books, with this one the crime revolves around Strike. The personal nature of the crime gives us a means into learning more about Strike and his early years with his mom Leda. Coupled with what you have learned previously in the prior books, you get a more complete picture of how Strike got to be where he was now, both professionally and as a person.
The same can be said with Robin. I have enjoyed reading the evolution of her character through these 3 books. She has become more than what you initially thought of her upon first meeting her in The Cuckoo’s Calling. As you read through the books, you get a more insight into who she is, especially with this installment and eventually, like Strike, you become aware of how much of an important role she’s played. In Career of Evil, you get a clear picture of why it seems Robin worked so well within Strike’s world.
It’s that aspect of the story that made Career of Evil really enjoyable for me. The series doesn’t work if Strike and Robin weren’t compelling and complicated characters and the fact you get to learn more about them in this installment than in the previous books makes this book more character driven. It enables us to learn more about the pair and develops their relationship further, so by the end of the book you’re wondering how the dynamics are going to be with the next book. The writing is great with a good pace that quietly grabbed me and kept me hooked. I’m looking forward to what Galbraith has in store next for this duo.