Everyone loves a good mystery novel, especially when it features an intelligent crime with an even more intelligent criminal. It’s sort of by the wayside that all the detectives seem to be required to have nearly unbelievable names, as in the case of the hero of Career of Evil, who trades under the moniker ‘Cormoran Strike‘ if you can believe it. Despite its unusual nature, it’s actually quite a good name, and he is borne up well by his erstwhile assistant Robin Ellacott, who also happens to be his sidekick and confidante.
The story begins in the most gruesome of ways, when poor Ms. Ellacott opens an package she never ordered only to find that it contains the severed leg of a woman. Not something that would inspire anyone to do anything other than scream, Robin is fortunately able to bring the matter to her employer, Cormoran Strike, and the two of them set off to find out who or what is behind this disgusting delivery.
Unfortunately for them – and for the victims – more body parts begin appearing, and it’s all the two can do to prevent the police from arresting the wrong person for the crimes.
Despite (or perhaps because of) his impressive name, Cormoran Strike is one of the more uniquely appealing detectives to appear in print in many years. Sardonic, witty, and incredibly clever, Career of Evil is the third novel that stars him, and hopefully there will be many more. The last secret to reveal is that Robert Galbraith is actually a pseudonym for J. K. Rowling, the world famous author of the Harry Potter series. The Cormoran Strike novels are her first foray into mystery novels, and she manages to make the transition with consummate ease, creating a character rich in depths and hidden resources, both clever and appealing all at once.