Thursday, November 26, 2015
Book Review: Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith
Author: Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)
Enjoyment Rating: ****
Content Alert: this is a VERY adult book, readers spend a lot of time inside the mind of a serial killer, possibly the most disturbing book I've read in a long time
Career of Evil, the third tale of private detectives Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott, begins with Robin opening a package containing a woman's severed leg. Press coverage surrounding the event threatens to sink the business, and Strike becomes convinced that someone from his past sent the leg to exact revenge. With no other cases on their docket, Strike and Ellacott, follow the paths of several men who used to know Strike, in hopes of finding the killer before he hits closer to home.
I recently listened to an episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour in which Barrie Hardymon interviewed JK Rowling about writing the book. The episode is worth a listen (it's pretty short), and it touches on a lot of the things I felt while reading the novel. First of all, we spend lots of time in this book inside the mind of a serial killer, which is a deeply uncomfortable place to be. I don't get icked out by much of what I read, but there were times when I wondered if I wanted to finish this book. Ultimately, I'm glad that I did, because I'm a firm believer that we expand our worldview when we learn about points of view that are different from our own, but this was a very difficult book to read sometimes. Also, I was glad that Hardymon and Rowling talked about the sexism in the book. The side story in the book deals with Robin's upcoming wedding, and if you've read either of the first two books, you probably recognize that Matthew, Robin's fiance, is someone she's with more out of comfort and a sense of duty than because she really wants to spend the rest of her life with him. Rowling talks about Matthew's subtle sexism, but I'm equally interested in Strike's subtle sexism. Career of Evil is fast-paced, expertly plotted, and really thoughtful, and while it was definitely for me, I know that it's not for everyone.