In Career of Evil, Robin’s role as Cormoran’s assistant is in jeopardy, when she receives a gruesome package in the post. The world-weary detective thinks the sender of the parcel is trying to get to Strike through Robin, and advises her to go home and stay there. But Robin Ellacott is not a girl who’s easily put off by the sight of blood. However, the violent attacks on women that follow force Robin to relive a pivotal event in her own past, increasing her vulnerability.
Cormoran has three candidates in mind for the attacks, all men who he has crossed in the past. Strike’s previous career in the Army Vice Guard, and the circumstances surrounding his mother’s sudden death, all come to play as he investigates these men. Events take a serious turn when another young woman is found dead, brutally attacked in a dark alleyway in central London. The killer has to be stopped and Cormoran thinks he’s the only person for the job. Together with Robin, whose personal life is simultaneously combusting, they travel the length and breath of Britain in an attempt to find out the murderer’s identity.
This third novel in the Cormoran Strike series is the best yet. The relationship between Strike and Robin is almost as intense and intriguing as the complicated hunt for the violent killer. In Career of Evil we get a deeper insight into the two main protagonists, and this, as well as the ‘will they, won’t they’ nature of the relationship makes this reader long for the next instalment in the series.
In the acknowledgements, J K Rowling says that she’s never enjoyed writing a novel as much as she did Career of Evil. This shows. The prose is effortless, with beautiful and evocative descriptions of the places Robin and Comoran visit in trying to establish the killer’s identity. I particularly enjoyed the way Rowling sketched Edinburgh, with its ‘soot-black buildings’, ‘the spires and rooftops of the black and gold city’, and the ‘darkly forbidding’ castle.
Want to see more posts like this? Sign up for my newsletter here.