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Friday, 13 May 2016

Review: Career of Evil, Robert Galbraith.

The third instalment in Galbraith's (Rowling's) hugely successful crime adventure packs a rather more grisly punch than its predecessors, starting from the very off. In fact, there are several significant changes that Galbraith has made which, while staying true to our favourite characters, steer the story in a different way to keep things fresh and interesting.

The most significant of these is the use of point of view in the villain, the mysterious man who starts the story by explaining how much he enjoyed his recent kill, and proceeding to stalk Robin (not deemed worthy enough for him to address by name - she is simply The Secretary). All we know for a while is that this man has a vendetta against Strike and aims to wound him through Robin.

The other significant direction is that we learn far more about Strike's and Robin's past. Their histories become essential to the story itself, although - certainly when Strike is having his flashbacks - they can consume the narrative.

Entering the psyche of the killer is, like you would expect, fascinating and disturbing. Rowling said she had nightmares while researching this novel, and it is no surprise.

Pretty soon, the killer is narrowed down to three suspects, and what you appreciate at the end is how it kept veering towards one of the three at certain points. It certainly kept things tense as each of the three eventually got ruled out and the identity of the murderer discovered.

Robin, who came more into her own in "The Silkworm" makes this story as much about her as it is Strike. Her talents, the impact her personal history has on the story and how it unfolds, and her relationship with Matthew, are plumbed to more satisfying depths and you appreciate even more the badass she is.

"Career of Evil" takes a much darker turn in this fantastic series, both in tone and content, and certainly leaves you longing for more of Strike's and Robin's adventures.

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