Book Review: Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (5/5)

31 Jul

I waited a long time to read this. I’ll continue to tell myself it’s so I wouldn’t have to wait too long for the fourth book to come out, but in reality, it’s because I didn’t want to bother with an audiobook on CD. It bugs me to have one just in the car. I have a short commute to work and I do most of my listening while running which means CD audiobooks take me a very long time to get through. I was finally ready to enjoy this one, though. And I’m so glad I did.

Cover image via Goodreads

Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike #3) by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling)

Other books by Galbraith reviewed on this blog:

The Cuckoo’s Calling
The Silkworm
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I and II by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, Illustrated by Jim Kay
Harry Potter y el orden del fenix by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter y el misterio del principe by J.K. Rowling
Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling
Very Good Lives by J.K. Rowling
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling

Summary from Goodreads:

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…

I felt the last book was really building to some relationship drama between Strike and Robin and this book did not disappoint! The killer involved was a great mystery as well. I was guessing the whole time who the guy could be and I was even questioning men like Wardle because I knew it would be someone we’d already met and I wanted to be ahead of Strike for once. I’d written the real killer off a long time before for similar reasons to Robin, but I really enjoyed figuring out what was going on.

The one thing that confuses me in the whole book is Robin and Matthew’s relationship. I don’t get why she keeps going back to him. Honestly, I don’t know if I could if my husband was as terrible as Matthew. Other than that, I loved the characters even more than in the last book and I can’t wait to see what Galbraith does with them from here. It’s going to be a very different dynamic in their relationship now.

I adore Robin. I love her even more now that she’s talked about his history a little more. She’s a very strong character and I feel like she’s finally learning how to be strong on her own because of her job with Strike. Again, if she hadn’t stuck with Matthew, I think I’d like her more, but I can see how she’d want to continue with the relationship. In all honesty, it was the easier decision. I hope that’s not why she did it, though.

I related to Robin more than I’d like to admit, but in a way that I think most married people can. I got cold feet for a bit during my engagement. There, I said it! I was 23 and getting married to someone I’d known since I was 14. I don’t think it’s unusual to second guess a life-changing decision for a minute before you make it and I know my husband and I had a few conversations that helped me feel reassured we were making the right decision. Though we had nothing as big as Robin and Matthew’s trust issues to deal with, yikes!

J.K. Rowling
Image via The Telegraph

The investigation of the three men was great, but I really enjoyed the chapters from the killer’s point of view. It helped me guess along which was fun. One of the complaints I’ve had with this series is that you can’t try to figure out the murderer along with Strike because some things are kept from the reader. Having the chapters from his view helped me feel closer to the answer and once it was revealed, I felt like I should have figured it out! Not from Strike’s evidence but from something in one of those chapters. I thought this was a good addition to the book structure.

I’m repeating this a lot, but Robin staying with Matthew kind of bothered me. She’s strong and gutsy in work, but it doesn’t carry over into her personal life and it frustrates me. I wonder if this will start to develop going forward in the series. She seems a bit committed at this point, though!

The audiobook I listened to was narrated by Robert Glenister, the same man who narrated the first two books in the series. I think he does a great job with the books. He easily slips into an American accent when needed and I think (though I’m no expert) he does different accents for the British characters depending on where they’re from. None of it seems oddly forced and I really enjoyed listening to him read this book!

Robin’s revelation about her past was a big part of her character development in this book. I liked what Galbraith was saying about Robin being seen as more than the victim of her circumstances. Knowing that Rowling is a feminist and rather outspoken, this was a consistent message with what I know of her. Robin didn’t talk about what happened to her because she was seen as a victim and some saw her as inviting what happened to her. I think that happens a lot with rape victims and I think Rowling addressed what Robin went through well.

Writer’s Takeaway: I can’t get over how much I liked the chapters from the killer’s point of view! It added just enough dramatic irony that I stayed more engaged than I otherwise would have. For these hard-to-solve mysteries, it was great. Especially because the clue that gave it all away was something I, as an American, would never have picked up on.

I enjoyed this story a lot and I’m now eagerly anticipating the fourth installment. Five out of Five stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
Career of Evil by Rober Galbraith | A Captivating Thriller or a Huge Disappointment | Whimsy Pages
“Career of Evil – Cormoran Strike #3” by Robert Galbraith | Mike Finn’s Fiction


8 Responses to “Book Review: Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (5/5)”

  1. Laurel-Rain Snow July 31, 2017 at 11:34 AM #

    Since I’m not a Harry Potter fan, I haven’t tried any of these Galbraith books, although I do admire J.K. Rowling…and realize that it’s not her writing that holds me back. I just don’t like fantasy or magic. She, however, is brilliant.

    I love mysteries, though, so…I’ve been ready to take this series on, and I gather that I should start with the first book. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


    • Sam July 31, 2017 at 5:47 PM #

      I hope you enjoy them! There’s no fantasy or magic in these at all. They’re very grounded in reality, even if it’s graphic and almost too real, haha. Enjoy!


  2. BibliomaniacEzza July 31, 2017 at 10:09 PM #

    i understand what you mean by the whole Matthew and Robin relationship. I too just cannot understand why she keeps going back to him, I was so happy and glad she broke it off with him but then completely gobsmacked when she went back to him again! And the ending left me feeling so-so because if you’re not sure whether to be with someone and you would rather do something else isn’t that a huge sign that the relationship might not be your cup of tea. I really hope J. K. Rowling can ease the tension regarding this weird triangle relationship that Robin have with Matthew and Strike for me in the next few books. For some reason I prefer the first book rather than this one but I still enjoy it nonetheless.


    • Sam August 1, 2017 at 12:43 PM #

      I think the tension with Robin’s romantic relationships will run through the whole series. I really liked the first book but I’m not sure I could pick between it and this one. I wasn’t a huge fan of the second book. Happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      • BibliomaniacEzza August 1, 2017 at 11:55 PM #

        i just hope she leaves Matthew (or maybe miraculously he has a change of heart and personality), he just doesn’t fit her although i am interested in how their marriage will affect her work dynamic with Strike. Yeah second book was a tad bit confusing for me to really like.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. siderealday August 2, 2017 at 2:05 PM #

    I really need to read these books!! I’ve only heard good things about them, especially as the series progresses. Hopefully I’ll get around to it soon.
    (I hope you had a nice vacation, by the way!)


    • Sam August 2, 2017 at 6:42 PM #

      I had a great vacation, thank you. I didn’t like the second one very much, which may be why I delayed reading this one so much. But the first one was great and things picked up again in this 3rd book. Happy reading!



  1. Book Review: Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling) (4/5) | Taking on a World of Words - March 19, 2020

    […] Calling (Cormoran Strike #1) The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike #2) Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: