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Career of Evil (A Cormoran Strike Novel) Paperback – April 19, 2016
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"Career of Evil is the third--and best--novel in the engaging Cormoran Strike private detective series. . . . [Galbraith has] invented a serial killer for the ages, one who chills us from the book's grim but riveting opening. . . . This perfectly paced mystery is packed with surprises, all of which play out with flawless crime-fiction logic."―Jocelyn McClurg,
"Hugely entertaining . . . This gifted storyteller has taken full command of the new turf. . . . Career of Evil succeeds powerfully on its own terms."―Lloyd Sachs, Chicago Tribune
"Strike and Robin are just as magnetic as ever."―Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
"Another triumph . . . Its darkness is mitigated by its sparkling protagonists."―Kim Hubbard, People
About the Author
Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling, bestselling author of the Harry Potter series and The Casual Vacancy. Career of Evil is the third book in the highly acclaimed Cormoran Strike crime fiction series. The Cuckoo's Calling was published in 2013 and The Silkworm in 2014.
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Top Customer Reviews
- 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.
Mr Galbraith's third book appears deadline-pressured. The plot has some good parts in the way it tries to focus on some of the more evil crimes committed in the society, but otherwise the story is generally weak. There is nothing so smart or exciting in the mystery solving as to make it necessary for Ms Rowling to write.
Separately, Cormoran-Robin's do-they-really-love-each-ther-or-not drags so much that one simply loses interest while the author exhibits his (?) own bind on which way to swing for the future of the series. If he makes them partners, he might not be able to use them as crime-solving partners without throwing in domestic issues. Yet, the good author does not want to disappoint the readers. This time around, the Hermione-Harry travesty is just too cumbersome for most to bother beyond a point. Cormoran Strike is no Ted Mosby (How I Met Your Mother) to keep the audience waiting for so long on his Robin.
The most disappointing aspect of the book is the actual suspense and resolution - just too straightforward and without a material twist for a book of the kind. There was no thrilling action sequence which is par for the Galbraith books but not the lack of a tale twist.
The construction of the story was pure J.K. Rowling, not unlike the last Harry Potter book, in which Harry and Hermione (and sometimes Ron) travel obsessively around England rehashing their ideas while their relationships get deeper, until at last there is a burst of action that throws the story into a different channel. Rowling does love disguises and checklists (not to mention mis-matched couples)!
I look forward to the next Strike novel. Now that the deranged-serial-killer trope and the woman-in-peril trope have been exhausted (I hope), Rowling should find a new kind of puzzle to restore the fortunes of her detectives.
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