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.
Cormoran Strike knows four people who might send him a leg. Though he quickly decides that it's really only three because one of them has been known to murder people and cut them to pieces but he wouldn't send these pieces to Strike.
That probably tells you a lot about Strike. Like, that he needs different friends.
I enjoyed the mystery a lot. Usually, I'm not a fan of crime-novels where the killer gets POV-chapters but here it worked really well because he was so utterly despicable. Often I feel that deep down the authors want you to admire the killer (at least a bit) for being so clever but here that's clearly not the case. Every single thought he has is just horrible (e.g. he constantly refers to his girlfriend as 'It') and I wanted to cheer every time something went not as planned.
Those chapters also did a perfect job of confusing the reader further and lead him on the wrong trail. In fact, there were so many surprising twists and turns everywhere in the book. Just like I love my crime novels.
The police were conveniently incompetent in just the right moments for Strike (and Robin) to do all the important work but I guess that is a necessary evil in a book about a private investigator if you want him to have some interesting cases.
The continued development of Strike's and Robin's relationship was beautiful but the Robin-Mathew drama got a bit too much for my taste. It took up a lot of space and, unlike the first two books, I failed to see anything likable in him. In the second book, he was already a jerk more often than not but when he wasn't one I could understand what Robin saw in him. Now I just wanted her to strangle him every time he did/said anything. The more he appeared, the more I hoped that he'd be gone for good in the next book.
Well and then there was the ending. I am perfectly fine with cliffhanger endings. I am less fine with endings that make you wonder if the last chapter is missing from your copy and that was definitely the latter.