Review Blog

Jan 08 2016

Career of evil by Robert Galbraith (AKA J.K. Rowling)

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Cormoran Strike, bk. 3. Hachette, 2015. ISBN 9780751563580
(Age: 18+) Recommended. This is the third book in the Cormoran Strike series, but can read as a stand-alone. This book continues story of Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott who work as Private Investigators.
The story explores a range of relationships: Cormoran with his mother (now dead), Robin with her fiance, Matthew, and the complicated relationship shared by Robin and Cormoran. Cormoran is also strongly connected to the three suspects in this murder mystery: Donald Laing, Noel Brockbank, and Jeff Whittaker. And these relationships underpin the plot of the book. An interesting addition to the relationships is that of Shanker to Cormoran and Robin. Shanker has a pivotal role in the book, exuding the virtues loyalty and honour from behind an unkempt and very smelly exterior.
The relationship between Cormoran and Robin is deftly examined throughout the story, and is the glue that holds the plot together.
Relationship to self is also explored in an interesting way through including Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID) in the plot. This disorder causes sufferers to seek to have an otherwise healthy body part amputated. Here the story presents two very opposing views and gives the reader opportunity to learn more about the personalities of Cormoran and Robin.
The tone of the segments written from the point of view of the killer in the story is extremely gruesome, to the point of excess at times. There is an unevenness to the writing that leaves the reader confused at times. The very obvious hints in the story, as to who the suspect really is, are seemingly missed by Robin and Cormoran, and this doesn't fit with the impression otherwise generated for the reader: that Robin and Cormoran are a tight team, missing nothing. There is, however, some very welcome relief throughout the story in the form of black humour, such as Cormoran's remark upon the delivery of a leg by courier, 'And it's not even my size.'
Musically knowledgeable readers will enjoy the references to Blue Oyster Cult and the song lines that are from this group that open each chapter of this captivating book.
Linda Guthrie

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