Friday, 13 November 2015

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

Reviewer: Gillian Hamer, author of The Charter, Closure, Complicit, Crimson Shore & False Lights (

What we thought: In a word - brilliant! I have been having Strike withdrawal symptoms for many months, so it was with sweaty-palmed anticipation I awaited the release date of the next Cormoran Strike novel. And it was well worth the wait.

The opening thrill in this novel is not a gruesome killing, but the delivery, by a calm and devious murderer, of a female leg to Strike’s office, addressed to his assistant, Robin. Clearly a reaction to Strike’s own disability and a hint to unfinished history. The story revolves around three suspects who Strike believes hold strong enough grudges, and are evil enough in character, to have carried out the crime.

In this novel we came closer to the backstory of the characters than ever before, partly due to the fact that the closeness between Strike and Robin takes us there. We find out about Robin’s troubled past and why she suddenly left university, and we get a glimpse into the real horror of Strike’s childhood and his mother’s premature death.

There were the usual clever twists and turns we come to expect from Galbraith (which if you’ve been living under a stone for the past two years is actually Harry Potter author, JK Rowling) and also some excellent descriptive writing that I thoroughly enjoyed when the story took us out of London during visits to Melrose and Barrow-in-Furness in particular.

I’m quite proud to report that I guessed the identity of the killer about mid-way through the book, but was still enthralled by the author’s clever ending. And I punched the air with frustration at the cliffhanger between Robin and Strike in the final chapter which doubtless means I have several more months of Strike withdrawal symptoms to come! 

You’ll enjoy this if you like: Val McDermid, Peter James, PD James.

Avoid if you don’t like: Serial killers and gritty crime stories.

Ideal accompaniments: Fish, chips and mushy peas with a pint of Doombar.

Genre: Crime Fiction.

Available from Amazon

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