Read of the Week

Career of Evil

Robert Galbraith

Sphere

Review: Brian Joss

If you don’t know by now that Robert Galbraith is JK Rowling, the creator of Harry Potter, then you have indeed been living in La-La-Land.

Career of Evil is the third in the series featuring the private detective, Cormoran Strike, an amputee and survivor of the Afghan war, and his assistant, Robin Ellacott.

The other two books are The Cuckoo’s Calling and Silkworm (both reviewed).

Career of Evil opens when a parcel containing a woman’s severed leg arrives for Robin at their Denmark Street offices, much to her horror.

Clearly the message, whatever it is, is aimed at Cormoran because of his disability. But who delivered it?

Cormoran has four people in mind, all from his past – one of them, he suspects, is his mother’s killer, musician Jeff Whittaker, who got away with murder.

What Cormoran does know, however, is that the target is Robin, and the sender is on a mission of revenge: to destroy the detective agency after he and Robin successfully brought the killers of a model (The Cuckoo’s Calling) and a notorious author (Silkworm) respectively, to book.

In Career of Evil, Galbraith gives more flesh to Robin, and we learn why, as their wedding date looms closer, she clings to her accountant fiancé, the irritating and condescending Matthew, who really is a pain in the backside. She’s also in two minds about marrying him and his open dislike and disdain for Cormoran doesn’t help matters much.

We also begin to understand why Robin is determined to prove her self-worth and why she wants to be treated as Cormoran’s equal.

The book also examines a disorder called acrotomophilia in which sexual gratification is derived from fantasies involving an amputee and the trolls who emerge from the internet have Cormoran in their sights.

Galbraith also introduces Shanker, a long-time friend and protector of Cormoran who is sure to feature in the next book.

This gripping thriller takes many unexpected twists and turns as it reaches its climax when the killer is unmasked. And it is not who you think it is.

Career of Evil is a white-knuckle read which proves that JK Rowling’s pen has lots of magic left.