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Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike Novels) Hardcover – October 20, 2015

4.4 out of 5 stars 2,284 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"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.

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Product Details

  • Series: Cormoran Strike Novels (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 497 pages
  • Publisher: Mulholland Books (October 20, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316349933
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316349932
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.6 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,284 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,002 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By JB on October 29, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Another good addition to the series. There's a lot to like about Career of Evil but, unfortunately, a few major shortcomings. Without spoiling anything, this time out our hero is trying to nab a serial killer with a taste for dismemberment. It might be one of three suspects Strike has a history with, or perhaps another unknown killer. The plot has been detailed by others at length, so I'll just offer some thoughts about the pluses and minuses:

The Good:
- 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...

The Bad:
- 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.
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Format: Hardcover
Robert Galbraith (AKA, J.K. Rowling) has done it again with this third book in her excellent Cormoran Strike series. This time, the story ensues when Cormoran's assistant and detective-in-training, Robin Ellacott receives the severed leg of an unknown woman in a package delivered to the office. Cormoran and Robin begin their hunt for the killer, but it's hard to know at times who is the hunter and who the hunted. A ruthless killer is out there, and Cormoran's life is not the only one on the line.

This story is wonderful blend of suspense, humor, an intrigue as Cormoran and Robin continue their subtle dance as detective and assistant; and perhaps something more. At the same time, tension between Cormoran and the police investigating the crime continues as, unfortunately, his past successes in solving crimes have highlighted their failures.

The best thing about every one of these books is that Rowling brings her great gift of storytelling to a new realm of fiction. The characters are vivid, the plots intricate and believable. The worlds Rowling builds are so well woven, you feel yourself pulled into the story. You become one of the characters. To me, it seems the "Harry Potter" series was just the opening act for one of the most gifted writers of my generation..
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Format: Hardcover
`Career of Evil' written by J. K. Rowling (not anymore) hidden under pseudonym Robert Galbraith is the third novel in Cormoran Strike series that continues to bring the exciting adventures of great pair – the unusual London private detective Cormoran Strike with turbulent history and his sidekick, a woman who is much more than Cormoran’s secretary, Robin Ellacott.

The first thing that needs to be said for regulars - `Career of Evil' is so far the best installment in series. Either seen from the perspective of good guys that are becoming even more profiled characters, or villains that are not flat characters, but more than ever complex and terrifying persons that will make you think about the book long after the last page is closed.

The story starts as usual –the Big Bang from the page 1 when package is delivered to Cormoran’s office containing severed leg of unknown woman. Soon we are going to find out few more secrets from Cormoran’s dark past, mainly of his mother Leda Strike who is obviously connected with this morbid incident. Or at least it seems because of common motive - lyrics of song called "Mistress of the Salmon Salt" by band Blue Oyster Cult, a title that Strike's mother had tattooed on very intimate place is found as note inside the package.

Cormoran could think of four men that are part of his troubled past, each of them horrible in their own way. But though it may sound straightforward to eliminate one by one until coming to the true suspect, this severed leg will be trigger for many things from distant past to present that are coming to surface, even the question are Robin and Cormoran more than just colleagues?

J. K.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I do not like slasher-psycho-thrillers, and that is absolutely what this book is. Robin is constantly in danger of falling prey to a machete-wielding psychopath. Enough severed body parts figure in the story to keep the reader constantly on edge. Had I known that this book would be such a departure from the first two books in this series, I never would have purchased it.

The plot is convoluted in the extreme, the several unseen suspects are hard to keep straight, and Robin’s continuing subservience to the odious Matthew (her fiancé) is tiresome and out of sync with what we otherwise know of her character. I put the book down in either boredom or disgust several times. It took me weeks to finish it, which I eventually did more out of curiosity about where the author was going with it, than out of any feeling of being compelled by interest in the plot or the characters.

On the positive side, the plot reveals some important information about Robin’s history that helps to explain her otherwise inexplicable devotion to Matthew. These developments open up the possibility that Robin will resolve her frustrating relationship with Matthew, but, sadly, the story does not deliver on that promise.

The clue that finally provides the key to the slasher’s identity is so obscure that only a specialist in the flora of Cornwall could reasonably be expected to have noticed it. The mystery is solved by an out-of-the-blue brainstorm, rather than developing from any careful detective work. This is dangerously close to the dreaded "Deus ex machina" and is distinctly unsatisfying to this reader, who likes his mysteries to be solved by means of investigative skills.
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