When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman's severed leg.
Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible - and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality.
With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take matters into their own hands, and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them...
A fiendishly clever mystery with unexpected twists around every corner, Career of Evil is also a gripping story of a man and a woman at a crossroads in their personal and professional lives. You will not be able to put this book down.
In J.K. Rowling’s third crime novel, writing under the pseudonym, Robert Galbraith, Comoroan Strike, an ex-army officer and his assistant Robin Ellacott, a wannabe detective, are hot on the trail of a serial killer. The Strike novels have certainly taken a darker turn as Galbraith’s themes include: paedophilia, serial murder and Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID). In the opening pages of the novel, Robin receives, addressed to her, an amputated female leg. Horrified by the discovery, Strike is forced to contemplate the demons of his past and as the police investigation begins, so does Strike’s own quest to discover who is responsible for sending the leg.
In Strike’s third outing, Rowling continues to show off to the world her excellent story telling techniques. I was hooked from the opening pages of the novel and I loved the detail that she puts in, especially into the minor characters as well. This says to me, that the author truly cares about the world they have created. We learn more about Robin’s past and character which I think will continue to play heavily on her as the series progresses, revelations about her past will, in my opinion, shock Galbraith’s readers. In Robin’s own personal life there are tensions as her own relationship with her partner, Matthew, comes under strain. Robin faces some pretty tough times in this novel as well as contemplating the fact that she is on a serial killer’s hit list. Strike’s past is also further explored in this novel and we learn more about what he got up to with the army before he set up his private detective agency which makes for interesting reading.
One of the things that surprised me whilst reading the novel was reading about the Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID), a mental illness that make people believe that they should be disabled. This was interesting to learn about as it was something that I had never come across before. This particularly touches a nerve with Strike who was blown up whilst he was serving in the army and had to have one of his legs amputated. Meeting people who suffer from this illness face to face and talking to them does not sit well with Strike.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, the tension kept me turning the pages and the ending left me feeling very satisfied. I’m already looking forward to reading Strike’s next adventure. Carer of Evil is out now.
Publication date: 20th October 2015
Print length: 512 pages