Narrator: Robert Glenister
Series: Cormoran Strike #3
Published by Hachette Audio on October 20, 2015
Length: 18 hrs 3 mins
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When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman's severed leg.
Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible - and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality.
With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take matters into their own hands and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them....
Career of Evil is the third in the highly acclaimed series featuring private detective Cormoran Strike and his assistant, Robin Ellacott. A fiendishly clever mystery with unexpected twists around every corner, it is also a gripping story of a man and a woman at a crossroads in their personal and professional lives.
Career of Evil is good, let me say that first off. The mystery, even with its limited suspect pool is engrossing and the episodes from the killer’s point of view are disturbing. The characters are well-drawn and I am invested in their personal stories, in addition to the crime-solving aspect, thanks to having read the previous two in the series. And I do think this is a series where it helps to read them in order.
But I didn’t particularly enjoy Career of Evil. If it wasn’t a series I like, with people, fictional though they might be, who I care about it, I probably wouldn’t have read it, or at least not finished it.
First, I just don’t like serial killer books. I read a lot of mysteries, but I avoid that particular trope. I think it has something to do with motive. Revenge, anger, greed, jealousy, need to protect oneself or one’s secrets, are all understandable, their normal feelings taken to extreme. Serial killer, at least in most fiction, derive a sexual satisfaction from the killing/trophies that is just too twisted for me. Add in pieces from the killer’s point of view and you can usually count me out.
Most of the book centers around violence against women, both in the present day (2011) and in Robin’s past. I’m sorry, I know that talking about rape is important for many reasons, but I don’t like reading about it, and I don’t like when it’s used to explain someone’s actions. This installment features Robin prominently, which I would have thought would be a good thing, but she just annoyed me eventually. Yes, her past was horrible, no I don’t expect her to get over it, but this is a mystery- I didn’t need all the drama.
But, I kept listening. It’s kind of like that wreck you crane your neck to see even though you don’t really want to. The narrator did a good job. He told the story well, conveyed the dark humor that underlies a lot of Strike’s conversations and thoughts. He was just British enough for me and he distinguished all the characters well, without any of the women sounding too manly, something I’ve been running into lately.