Once more into the deep dark brink with Robert Galbraith, that reclusive magical writer!
You just knew I was going to start again with a Robert Galbraith joke, because I am just like that.
For the Muggles, Galbraith is the penname of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. She did these books and hoped to remain anonymous, but the secret got out shortly after the first book in the series, The Cuckoo’s Calling was released.
So now we are here years later with the second book, The Silkworm, and the topic today, the third book Career Of Evil, being the latest addition to J.K.’s mystery series.
Career Of Evil features the down on his luck but getting better private detective Cormoran Strike, who is trying to keep doing his job even with all the media exposure the previous two volumes have gained him. Robin Ellacott, his sometimes secretary but mostly partner, is working cases out in the field now, and still planning her delayed wedding.
In the beginning of Career Of Evil, Robin is being followed by an unknown person, one filled with nastiness and malice. This person has a vendetta against Strike and the plans for revenge include destroying Robin. We can tell right away this person is a dangerous killer who is very mentally disturbed.
The opening salvo in this private little war is delivering a severed leg to Strike’s office and of course addressing it to Robin. This act of terror brings about trouble, not only for Cormoran and Robin, but the business as well.
Robin has slowly become used to dealing with grotesque crimes and horrible acts, but she is still not fully set for this. She works to recover and prove she can be Strike’s partner, and this becomes a theme for her through alot of Career Of Evil. Cormoran’s issue is too solve this crime and save his business. He immediately forms up three suspects, each for different reasons, and attacks the investigation with his usual intensity, sometimes bordering on pathological itself.
The twisty turny nature of Career Of Evil, with a zillion clues and characters and places and institutions, is just like J.K.’s previous novels in this series. Which means I did not figure out who the killer/stalker/maniac is, nor did I pick up the clues that helps solve the crime. But just like the previous books, it all makes sense in the end.
One word of warning for Career Of Evil, it has the same mature themes involving sex and violence and language and everything else that makes this hefty installment, like the previous two rather large books, very much earn an R rating.
Now back to Cormoran and Robin.
As the progression of investigation continues, we see glimpses of Strike’s past, from his time as a military police investigator, to more about his childhood around his now deceased mom and her abusive boyfriend. This feels as if J.K. is preparing us for the resolution of that years old murder, probably in the sixth book in the series is my guess.
Robin is busy very much as well, being in the thick of the investigation, and getting her delayed wedding on track. This brings up a bone of contention for me, which is why Robin is even with her fiancé Matthew. He has become progressively worse in attitude and behaviour and uncaringness with every book. Maybe J.K. is trying to show that Robin is settling, which is sad because our smart and entrepreneurial Robin deserves much better.
Which brings up my more major issue, that is becoming an even larger theme in these novels, is the growing attraction between Cormoran and Robin. Here it is glaring, with both parties pretty much admitting this to themselves. To say I disprove is an understatement. To me, these two private eyes are more akin to Doctor Who and a Companion. Lots and lots of problem solving and fun comradeship and occasional deep conversations are what the relationship between these two investigators should be, just like the Doctor and Donna.
Career Of Evil is a mighty massive read, and except for the two issues I have mentioned, I completely enjoyed this latest piece of excellence from the magical J.K. Rowling.
…is currently reading Star Trek Prime Directive by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens. The first Star Trek novel I have read in almost twenty years.