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Career of Evil (A Cormoran Strike Novel) Hardcover – October 20, 2015
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The Amazon Book Review
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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, USA Today (4/4 stars)
"Gripping . . . A step forward for the series . . . An absorbing book, pulpy, fast and satisfying."―Charles Finch, New York Times Book Review
"Pure pleasure. . . . That's what makes these novels so good: They are clever, tightly plotted mysteries with all of the most pleasurable elements of the genre (good guy, bad guy, clues, twists, murder!), but with stunning emotional and moral shading."―Annalisa Quinn, NPR
"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
"Another triumph . . . Its darkness is mitigated by its sparkling protagonists."―Kim Hubbard, People
"Strike and Robin are just as magnetic as ever."―Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
"Sparklingly witty [and] unexpectedly moving"―Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times
"Bloody good . . . The author's trademark plotting has lost none of its propulsive readability."―Daneet Steffens, Boston Globe
"Satisfying . . . Strike and Robin are as powerful a fictional pairing as any in recent memory. . . . Galbraith demonstrates a breezy command of the intricacies of both the central mystery and of the form itself."―Robert Wiersema, Toronto Star
"A refreshing change to the genre . . . Every bit as impressive as [The Cuckoo's Calling] . . . Let's hope the sardonic Cormoran Strike is here to stay."―Barry Forshaw, Independent [UK]
"An entertaining novel . . . The denouement is violent, unexpected and satisfying."―Marcel Berlins, The Times [UK]
"A deliriously clever plot"―Christobel Kent, Guardian [UK]
"As readable and exciting as ever . . . Fans of the intrepid duo are in for some shocks."―Jake Kerridge, Telegraph [UK]
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.
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.
I would LOVE to see these turned into series of movies, or even a TV series. I think this has the potential to be as big a success as the Harry Potter series, though obviously for a more mature audience. However, I also loved the Harry Potter series, and I'm obviously not the target demographic for those novels. Given the more "adult" nature of the subject matter of these books, I completely understand the reasoning behind writing with a pseudonym to delay their discovery by the core audience of the Harry Potter series.
I simply could not read these fast enough to suit me, and much like the Harry Potter series, I feel a bit lost in the wind with no more story read at this point... but I'm hopeful that another is in the works for this series
Set in 2011 (one year after Robin has begun working for Cormoran Strike and during the time of the royal wedding), the story opens with the ramblings of a serial killer who's identity is a mystery to the reader. Robin Ellacott has been sent a female severed leg in the mail and the dynamic duo decide to hunt down this killer while the police are heading in what Strike considers a dead end. Cormoran has 3 suspects in mind and they spend the entirety of the book bouncing back and forth all 3 while keeping us in suspense until the very last pages. Simultaneously, Robin and Strike's relationship takes a new turn as Robin and her fiancé take a break to decide if the wedding will take place at all.
I loved how the author really developed Strike and Robin's relationship deeper than both the previous novels together. I was just as engrossed in this aspect as I was in the suspense of the killer. There was a really nice twist at the end involving the identity of the killer which I did not see coming; honestly, she does a great job of keeping you from knowing who the killer is entirely until she wants it revealed. I really enjoyed how the chapters were structured by breaking up the story chapters with sections of the killer's private thoughts. This is by far one of my favorite books of the year and I am anxiously awaiting the fourth novel in the series!!!
When Robin Ellacott, Cormoran's right hand woman, receives a severed leg, the stakes in the case become personal as they realize they're dealing with someone who's got a personal vendetta against Cormoran. The highlights of this book have to do with character development - not only do readers learn a whole lot more about Cormoran's past, but also about Robin's, and the way they deal with the situation is a direct consequence of how they got to that point in their lives. This book significantly grittier and at times perhaps a bit too graphic, but all the same, it maintains the tone set by previous entries and continues on the path of making the characters grow.