Author: Robert J. Galbraith/J.K. Rowling
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company, October 2015
On this third visit with detective Cormoran Strike and his secretary Robin Ellacott was, overall, a dark and gruesome one. It begins on a pleasant note, updating us on Cormoran and Robin. Cormorants paid for Robin to take a class on investigation and overall the business is doing well. Robin is in the final preparation for her wedding.
And then — an amputated leg is sent to the office which sets off a “series of unfortunate events.” Although the package is addressed to Robin, clues inside this box indicate that someone wants to ruin Cormoran. They work with the police to help them figure out where the leg came from. Because of the nature of the clues, Cormoran is convinced this is someone from his past. He begins, with Robin’s help, to track down four men from who are, in their own way, truly evil.
It’s an interesting journey following all the clues and twists and turns necessary to locate the four men who have, in a sense,disappeared. I liked how both Comoran and Robin got various people to talk with them and help them find the men as well as clear out an abundance of clues.
Most of the time the reader is following Cormoran and/or Robin. There are times, however, when it is the voice of the unknown evil guy and his thoughts are not good ones. As the story winds down and the various clues add up, I knew who this evil person was. I didn’t feel good about solving the mystery as I usually do when reading an Agatha Christie mystery. My emotions were different. I felt horror and anger. How could people this evil be allowed to live in society and prey on women and children? (Yes, I know it was just fiction.)
Based on what I just said you may find this odd: It was a treat to read this novel. Really. It’s so well done in spite of the grisly nature of the crime. Some of the passages were so gruesome, but I found it impossible to stop reading. I really get why readers love J.K. Rowling. She is indeed a master storyteller. I’m hesitant, but I will recommend this series to you, if you can handle seeing the seamier side of life.
At the end of the novel is a little note from the author prior to her personal acknowledgments. Here’s how she feels about this novel.
“I can’t ever remember enjoying writing a novel more than Career of Evil. This is odd not only on account of the grisly subject matter, but also because I’ve rarely been busier over the last twelve months and have had to keep switching projects which is not my favorite way to work. Nevertheless, Robert Galbraith has always felt like my own private playground and he didn’t let me down on this occasion.”