Career of Evil

Career of Evil

Book - 2015
Average Rating:
Rate this:
When a woman's severed leg is delivered to Robin Ellacott, her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, looks into his past to determine who is responsible.
Publisher: [New York] : Mulholland Books/Little, Brown and Company, [2015]
ISBN: 9780316349932
Characteristics: 464 pages ; 25 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
sapl3 Apr 09, 2020


This third book in the Cormoran Strike series hits a very gruesome note. When a package is addressed and delivered to Robin at Strike’s office, it is revealed to be the severed leg of a young woman. Strike is certain that one of three persons is responsible for this possible murder, the least being his former stepfather, Jeff Whittaker. Foreshadowing of the disturbing events to come is done chapter by chapter with quotations from the many songs by the heavy-metal rock band, Blue Oyster Cult.

As Strike pursues the suspects on his list, Robin takes the initiative to explore related avenues, which expose her to great danger.

I could do without the gory details of the many and various body parts that are hacked off and the methods that the killer uses to bring down his victims, often recited to us in the first person. To me it’s a bit too “over the top” – almost to the point of being gratuitous violence.

What I do like is how Galbraith (J.K. Rowling) fleshes out the characters of Strike and Robin, describing their respective back stories. There’s no doubt that Robin is the star in this novel. She’s become more confident and assertive in both her private and professional life, and we are now able to understand why these things have been so difficult for her, given what we now know of her history.

I’m anxious to see where the story goes from here as the surprises at the end of this novel have the potential to push it forward in many directions. Cormoran and Robin are quite the team and I look forward to reading more of them, but with less gore to their cases!

Feb 11, 2020

I have now read the Cormoran Strike novels, numbers 1, 2, and 3, in order. Career of Evil. (number 3) is definitely my favorite because of the character back stories that emerge, the dialogue, and the chapter epigrams from Blue Öyster Cult song titles and bits of lyrics. All of these are creatively combined into the story which has so many gruesome details that it gave me nightmares.

But, since the last paragraph was a cliffhanger segueing delightfully into number 4 of the series, I immediately checked out that novel from the library and read the prologue. Then I slept better.

We discussed this novel at Igo Mystery Book Club on February 5, 2020.

Hillsboro_JeanineM Jan 28, 2020

This is Not a cozy mystery. The three plus suspects are some nasty dangerous individuals. Galbraith does a fine job of keeping you guessing. I thought I had figured it out but she fooled me. The development of Robin's character and her relationship with Cormoran Strike is also well done.

knitsewrainbow Oct 14, 2019

Best one yet! Galbraith takes a gory turn with a little more blood and guts and TONS more suspense. By now we know Cormoran and Robin well enough that it is like sitting down with old friends and the world Galbraith creates is fully realized.

Aug 06, 2019

This book was not a worthy followup to the first book of the series. One problem is that Rowling's ghoulish delight in getting into the mind of a stalker / mutilator is really disturbing. But my main criticism is that I was looking for a mystery story, where the reader gets clues along the way, and when presented with the solution, can see how it all makes sense. This was not a mystery story in that way; there just a lot of investigation and then suddenly an answer. Very unsatisfying.

May 16, 2019

Great Book a real page turner,

If you like a good mystery/thriller you will love this book

I hope that J. K Rowling writes some more Striker series wish I had found them earlier

A series so make sure you start with the earliest one...

Jan 17, 2019

Despite the fact that this book is HUGE, I couldn't stop listening to it every day. This is now my favorite of the Cormoran Strike novels. The mystery is good- high stakes, little to no author projecting (and, of course, a few red herrings), multiple "bad guys" you want to see punished, and direct personal danger to Robin, so near-constant tension. Also, some chapters are told from the perspective of the antagonist, and I enjoy mysteries where that is well done. This one leans more toward the thriller side of the spectrum, as there's a serial killer aspect.

But beyond the mystery, this was a great book for the development of Robin and Cormoran's relationship, and greater insight into their personal lives. I'm not a big fan of the "man and woman are in this book, therefore they must become lovers" trope, so I want to assure you that's not what's happening here. It's far more complex and nuanced. As we know from the previous two books, working with Cormoran offers Robin a safe space to pursue a career dream, and feel valued and valuable for her innate skills. And working with Robin keeps Cormoran from burying himself in work to avoid life. Robin's absolute ponce of a fiance assumes there's sexual tension between them, because he's an immature prat who lacks imagination. Previously, I despised Matthew (the fiance). This book gives us a bit of a character arc for him, but I still think he's making Robin miserable and she deserves better.

And, as always, there's an exploration of London and areas of Britain (the seedier and the poorer sides) that lends authenticity to the story. This story ranges even further than the previous one (The Silkworm) did, and it brings an element of realism into the story.

I'm keen to see where Galbraith/Rowling takes Robin and Cormoran's working relationship after this! Sadly, the fourth novel isn't published yet (at least it's finished, though), so I'll have to be patient.

Jan 01, 2019

Another example of J.K. Rowling’s failure to transition from juvenile fiction to adult books. Again, no real plot/narrative, only tedious dialogue.
Even the likeable characters could not make me want to finish this book.
There is a certain nastiness about this book, quite shocking, gruesome at times.
Oh how I wish P.D. James was still alive and writing good mysteries.
Ah well, it’s back to reading all her books again. Ruth Rendell too!

Nov 03, 2018

We Used To Have Such Good Times Together -- The Everly Brothers, "So Sad"

I enjoyed the first two Strike books, but found myself wishing this one would end sooner. Book Two's chapters were headed with obscure quotations from obscure (at least to me) books. This one had chapters headed by quotes from songs by Blue Oyster Cult - also obscure to me (like many, I suspect "Don't Fear the Reaper" is the only song of theirs to come to mind.) My favorite mystery book (Rim of the Pit by Hake Talbot) had such quotations at the head of each chapter, but they were germane to the chapter's content - although some were probably fabricated for effect.

The chapters narrated by the mysterious killer stalking Robin quickly grew tedious, took you out of the main story line, and were skimmed by me after a while. The evolving relationship between Strike and Robin kept my interest, but his obsession with his former antagonists almost grew tiresome. I would have preferred a more straightforward plot where the two main characters concentrated on solving the mystery, not chasing all over Britain looking for possible culprits who had a hateful grudge about Strike.

The ending wrapped things up (sort of, left a few things up in the air), and I suppose the next book in the series will fill in "what happened next" adequately, since this one sort of left you hanging.

VaughanPLDonnalee Jul 10, 2018

I like the Cormoran Strike books, written by J.K. Rowling under the name Robert Galbraith, very much. I really like the characters of Cormoran and his partner Robin. They are complex, interesting characters with a fascinating relationship. The mysteries are good and intriguing, with sufficient twists and turns. The books are well-written and engaging, but long and leisurely paced, so if you prefer short, fast page-turners you may find them too slow. The crimes in this particular book are quite gruesome and nasty, so this book may not appeal to all readers. These books do not have the fun and fantasy of Harry Potter at all, but Rowling has created new, complex and compelling characters and I'm looking forward to more books in this dark mystery series.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability
Feb 19, 2018

delaneyk thinks this title is suitable for 20 years and over

Dec 04, 2015

rpavlacic thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Nov 09, 2015

jescar82 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at YLPL

To Top