Three novellas linked by a Portuguese village, overwhelming grief, and chimpanzees. The third story is spellbinding. The second story is macabre and wThree novellas linked by a Portuguese village, overwhelming grief, and chimpanzees. The third story is spellbinding. The second story is macabre and worthy of a read. The first story is comic and tragic and easily fifty circling, bumbling pages too long. I persevered only because of love of the author's previous work, but I can imagine other readers abandoning this book in the first fifty to a hundred pages. My honest advice is to read story three first, then read from the beginning....more
3.5 stars Career of Evil, the third book in the Cormoran Strike detective series, centers on the developing professional partnership between Cormoran,3.5 stars Career of Evil, the third book in the Cormoran Strike detective series, centers on the developing professional partnership between Cormoran, scruffy, ex-military private investigator and Robin, plucky administrator and junior investigator. Excellent character development brings the reader to better understand our protagonists and the formative experiences of violence and loss which shape their intersecting lives. It’s wonderful to observe the intelligence and ingenuity of both characters as they unravel clues and investigate the mundane and the bizarre alike, and to see Strike appreciate Robin’s growing contributions to the business. The challenging mysteries, the unbearable suspense and the promise of justice draw me to this genre. Our protagonists may be flawed and human, but they are seeking to right wrongs and restore order.
It is important to point out this book contains a fair amount of violent and disturbing content. The author takes the reader inside the head of a serial killer, hearing his dark thoughts and witnessing his violent acts. Specific mention is made of extreme violence against women and children, pedophilia, incest, fetishes, mutilation and murder. It is a lot to take. I don’t typically enjoy reality crime shows, because I start to question despairingly whether everyone and their brother is a murderer. This book made me wonder exactly how many serial murderers could be found in Great Britain. This extreme darkness was somewhat offset by the triumphs of Cormoran and Robin and their tireless work to bring the baddies to justice and save the women and children in their clutches. That triumph is what can be so ultimately satisfying about the mystery thriller genre.
There are a few weak points that held this story to a 3.5 rating. This book, like my review, could have used a tighter edit. The story circles around three nasty suspects and their terrible acts, building tension effectively at first, but as no new information is revealed we reach a holding pattern and stall before slowly picking up pace again. The police are portrayed as slow and ineffective to a man. Even the detective that Strike has a rapport with fails to fully investigate viable leads, and the final detective in charge is a bitter foe who refuses to consider anything Strike says on principle. I wondered why Detective Sergeant Ekwensi’s elegant appearance and professional demeanor are mentioned several times but when Strike can’t get through to the lead detective he does not think to contact her instead. She knows him, she is familiar with the case, and could have been a viable advocate. Not to mention, when Strike stages the sting late in the book, wouldn’t the detective have been a good candidate to portray his assistant, rather than loose cannon Alyssa?
I especially appreciated Robin's character development in this book and anticipate her next move, police training or a return to psychology studies seem equally likely so that she can meet Strike on more equal terms. (view spoiler)[ I was surprised she seemed to go through with the marriage, we’ll see whether she actually did marry the terrible Matthew. Matthew, despite his controlling, bullying, petulance, materialism and betrayal may not be the worst when compared to the evil men that populate this book, but he is obviously not the supportive, loving partner and champion that Robin deserves. (hide spoiler)] Looking forward to learning how Cormoran and Robin's personal and professional relationship develops in book 4. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more