This latest instalment in the Cormoran Strike series is surprisingly grim and difficult to read in places – but is still a page-turner that keeps you guessing until the very end. 

In this writer’s mind this is not a book for the faint hearted or those wanting a light hearted read. Robert Galbraith’s latest novel features plenty of body parts missing on victims and references to seedier elements of British society, to make for a grim but intriguing read.

When Robin receives a mysterious package on a normal morning at work, she is horrified to discover that it is in fact a woman’s severed leg. Although private detective Strike is less surprised but equally disturbed, it seems that there are four people from his past who could potentially be responsible.

What then follows is a story filled with plenty of twists and turns as Strike and Robin attempt to put together the pieces of the puzzle together before anyone else is murdered.

There is no doubting the fact that Galbraith is able to create fully drawn characters so specific that you can almost see them in front of your face, but the problem is that it then can make the plot seem muddled as much of the time is focused on the characters.

The interesting part of the approach of the book is that the reader is given an insight into the murderers mind – something that was not seen in the previous novels and is a refreshing approach, as we gradually realise just how close Robin and Strike are to solving the case.

Career of Evil also develops the relationship between Robin and Strike, which is slightly awkward as they try to keep things on a professional basis, with Strike in particular having to work hard. As a pairing, their attitude in the way that they handle situations couldn’t be more different – as Robin learns to her cost, but both are equal matches in terms of intelligence and quickness of mind.

Galbraith delivers in providing a  great build up of tension as well as leaving readers guessing to the outcome – even if the murderer’s reasons not being fully clear to tie everything up neatly. There is plenty of action to keep readers on their toes, particularly when it comes to Robin unwittingly getting close to a couple of the suspects.

So it is a great read for character development and gradual tension, but elements of the story tend to get lost when the focus is one the characters more than clues to solving the crime. Worth a read – but probably not by yourself at night!

Career of Evil is available to buy through Amazon now. 

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