God bless J. K. Rowling aka Robert Galbraith’s productivity! Cormoran Strike is back with a new case in Career of Evil. It’s a third novel in this grumpy detective’s series (after The Cuckoo’s Calling and The Silkworm) and it perfectly fits into the scope of the term “page-turner”.
An overweight ex-military policeman Cormoran Strike who have successfully solved a couple of famous cases and left the Scotland Yard in fool’s shoes, still runs his agency and works together with his secretary and partner Robin. With no long preludes, Robin gets a package addressed to her on the way up to her office from a courier on a motorbike and instantly freezes in shock with unwrapped female leg in the box. Allusion to Strike’s amputated limb? But why the leg was addressed to Robin?
Immediately Cormoran makes a list of the haters keen to threaten his life and destroy his career. Meanwhile the police chases the wrong lead, the detective initiates his own investigation around three primary suspects, one of them being his stepfather and the other two related to his previous military career.
Simultaneously Strike understands that now Robin is in extreme danger and wishes she stays away from the investigation. However, Robin shows her strong will and persistence to stay on board and help Strike to untangle this murder mystery. Though the reader knows that the killer is already following her around.
The relationship between Strike and Robin has been a side plot in the first two novels, balancing on the verge of partnership and romance. Career of Evil elaborates this duel of emotions to the highest peak. Robin is not getting on better with her fiance Matthew who constantly depreciates her job at the agency and gets paranoid about Strike. And with just a couple of months left till her wedding Robin finds out that Matthew has been sleeping around with their friend while she was going through a very tough period of her life trying to recover after rape. Furious and distressed Robin decides to cut off with Matthew, and this makes Cormoran feel really better, though he’s determined to maintain strictly professional relationship with Robin (not to mention that he’s dating a beautiful rich TV star).
The whole buzz around those two partners reminds of a silent hide and seek of mutual feelings. Not sure whether it is really necessary to a criminal plot, and it obviously betrays Robert Galbraith actually being a woman. Even the female crime novelist Agatha Kristi wouldn’t have appreciated the entire chapter dedicated to describing Strikes feelings towards Robin.
On the other hand, the detective story is cleverly twisted. Each of three Strike’s suspects might be a potential serial killer with his own dreadful story and with his own grudge over Cormoran. However, it is not my intention to disclose anything more.
As all of J.K. Rowling’s novels have been turned into movies before, having in mind the widescreen movies of Harry Porter and mini TV series of The Casual Vacancy, Cormoran Strike is also waiting its turn to air on BBC1 in The Cormoran Strike Mysteries. Though with the speed Robert Galbraith produces his (her) novels, no one’s sure, which will come out first – the movie or the fourth crime novel in the sequel. And there will be the fourth, no doubts about that.