I finally got a chance to read the third book in J.K. Rowling’s Cormoran Strike mystery series and it didn’t disappoint. It was definitely the strongest of the three. Robin felt like a lead character, there was some good character work, and the mystery was complicated and interesting.
Private detectives Robin and Cormoran are doing pretty well for themselves at the start of Career of Evil. They’ve built a business that’s actually making money and are working at the top of their game. Then, Robin gets sent a body part. Obviously they’re both shocked and the police and media circus get involved, throwing their lives into total chaos. There’s an evil bastard out there somewhere, killing women and severing body parts. Strike quickly narrows the field of suspects to three sadistic people from his past.
This novel feels more balanced than the previous two. Maybe it takes Rowling a couple of books in a series before finding her stride? I think book 3 of the Harry Potter series is a huge jump in quality from the first two as well. Career of Evil has a more detailed structure with the narrative jumping from Strike to Robin to the unnamed killer with ease. Having chapters from the killer’s perspective was genius. He’s so creepy and evil, but Rowling kept me guessing until the very end.
I’m not persuaded that Rowling can write a convincing love story to save her life. The weakest part of this mystery is easily the growing attraction between Strike and Robin. I’m not against them getting together, but oh my god, I am so not invested in it. What I AM invested in is Robin getting the hell away from the scrub in her life she calls her fiance. Matthew is the wooooorrrsssssst. He’s basically the Umbridge of Robin’s life. Dump the motherfucker already, Robin.
Anyway, this mystery series just keeps getting better and better. Is it groundbreaking? Maybe not, but it’s well written and if you like mysteries, you’ll probably like these.