Good evening everyone,
I’m back with a new review. I debated quite some time if I should write it at all to be honest. I’m not even sure if you could call this a review, it feels more like a rant. But I didn’t want to withhold my opinion on this book even if it’s just me complaining; and I kept procrastinating as well, something I thought I don’t do anymore after uni – but guess what, I’m still too good at it.
Cormoran Strike is back, with his assistant Robin Ellacott, in a mystery based around soldiers returning from war. 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 really wanted to like this book. Career of Evil has been on my tbr list since before it came out in October 2015. I even feel bad that it took me so long to finally read it. The whole Cormoran Strike series has been a personal favourite; reading something not-Harry Potter related from J.K. Rowling was certainly weird, but a good weird. (Psst, let’s not talk about The Casual Vacancy).
So, I have the feeling that one of the biggest problem I had with this book is how long it took me to read it. Thanks to work and other stuff, it took me about three weeks to finish it, when I normally only need a few days, a week at most for a book of that calibre.
The book is told through three different POV’s: Strike’s, Robin’s, and the killer’s. And ever since the very first chapter, when I even had to put down the book for a minute, I struggled a lot to read the chapters from the killer’s point of view. The killing acts, how he acted afterwards as well as his habit to take “souvenirs” from the victims was too gory for my taste. Now, I can deal just fine with blood and everything, but when having to read through the graphic description of someone putting a dead girl’s finger in his mouth and getting off on it, I guess I found my limit.
I wish this was the only thing that made me skip through those chapters but unfortunately it wasn’t. On top of, well, being a killer, he’s also a misogynistic asshole. So many hateful comments and thoughts on women made me feel sick, and I really hope I won’t find a book with characters like that again. I talked about this with a friend who surprised me by saying that she liked how it was so well written and researched. As a reader, I was already disgusted by these passages but she made me think about how it must have been for the author to have to write from such a view point. Kudos to Rowling for that, I guess.
I haven’t called the killer by his name for the simple reason that I don’t want to spoil anyone who still wants to read it. On another note, I did feel like the end of was kind of rushed. Throughout the whole book all those possible suspects were carefully investigated, and I had no clue at all who it could have been until it was revealed. You could argue that it was indeed kind of plot twist-y revelation but for me it was more of a “Oh btw that’s the killer. The end”.
Right now, I have to resist the impulse to finish the review with that last sentence, so I’ll just keep on writing for a few more. I really wish this book came with some kind of trigger warning or really just anything telling me what I’m about to read. Apart from the things I listed, it was a good book but that’s also what makes me feel disappointed since I’m used to much better books in this series.