Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

A fast-paced crime fiction in J.K. Rowling’s signature style.

There’s the convoluted careful planning that Rowling is famous for and her ability to carefully plant the Checkov’s gun. There were so many plot lines, and different motivations that it got a little messy but I think with Private Detective Novels, it’s all about sitting back and enjoying the process so I didn’t think about it too much, although it’s still fun trying to guess who the killer is.

And it has all the classic archetype elements needed in a Private Detective Novel; the brave layperson in partnership with the Detective, the feuding policeman jealous of the Detective’s success, multiple violent crimes, grey morals, a detective with a personal life that’s falling apart.

There were a wide variety of characters that didn’t feel repetitive despite the fact that J.K. Rowling loves introducing thousands of characters with detailed back stories. The only one that I felt like I had seen before was Robin, who I thought was quite similar to Hermione Granger, which makes sense given that they’re both essentially Author Avatars.

I did adore Shanker. He was gold. Seriously. Anyone who can be described to have “a lack of normal boundaries” can reliably provide good value to a plot line. I genuinely laughed out loud at the scene where Strike is reminiscing on Shanker’s behaviour at Whittaker’s trial (for Strike’s mother’s death):

Inadvisably allowed into the witness box to describe a maternal woman who had never touched heroin in her life, Shanker had screamed ‘That fucker done it!’, attempted to clamber over the barrier towards Whittaker and been bundled unceremoniously out of court.

Rowling’s sense of humour is hilariously black as usual, as proven by Strike’s response after Robin was sent an amputated leg:

‘A leg?’ repeated Detective Eric Wardle on the end of the line. ‘A fucking leg?’

‘And it’s not even my size,’ said Strike, a joke he would not have made had Robin been present. His trouser leg was hitched up to reveal the metal rod that served as his right ankle.

I love the Cormoran Strike Series. It appeals to my love of crime fiction and I will always be an ardent follower of anything J.K. Rowling writes (so I’m biased). It’s been written so enthusiastically and with no fear, I found it easy to get lost in the experience.

On Another Note…

  • I quite liked the juxtaposition of William and Kate’s royal wedding to Matthew and Clarice’s wedding.
  • I have very mixed feelings about Matthew. I don’t doubt that he loves her deeply and the scenes in the aftermath of the breakup were raw and touching, but there were a couple of times when I wanted to shake him and demand that he be less self-absorbed like when he SLEPT WITH ANOTHER WOMAN WHILE ROBIN WAS RECOVERING. Also, don’t mess with your girlfriend’s career prospects, what’s wrong with you?
  • I love this delightfully honest assessment on internet search histories (for context, Leda Strike is Cormoran’s mother)

His fingers hovered over the keyboard. He got as far as ‘Leda Strike nak’ before deleting, letter by letter, with an angry jabbing forefinger. There were places no normal man wanted to go, phrases you did not want to leave on your internet search history, but also, unfortunately, tasks you did not want to delegate.

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