I am reading this for Modern Noir, and it fits that square quite well.
Rowling is have a rollicking good time exploring the various conventions of the mystery novel. The London setting is a strength, and, as always, her characterizations are solid gold. The mystery is less than riveting, but it's engaging enough that I don't really care.
I enjoyed The Cuckoo’s Calling so much, like being reacquainted with Strike and Robin, that I wanted to read the third book in the series, Career of Evil, right away. Bingo came calling, though and since I knew it’d fit perfectly I hung on….by the shards of my nails!
Career of Evil picks up pretty soon after Cuckoo’s Calling with Robin preparing for her impending wedding to Matthew, her fiance. Strike’s P.I business is doing well, he’s got a good number of clients and is finally beginning to make traction. All that comes crumbling down, though, when Robin receives a package in the mail which contains a severed leg! His business begins to feel the strain as people see him as being connected with the killer. Strike has 3 possible culprits in mind, so he and Robin begin investigating them.
This was my favourite book in the series. I really liked Cuckoo’s calling because it built on Strike and Robin’s relationship, but this one went a step further. What’s most important here is what’s not said between the pair as they spend an increasing amount of time with each other. Their relationship becomes deeper and with that comes another dimension, exacerbated by a crisis between Robin and Matthew. I did feel there was a certain completion to their relationship at the end, so maybe the next book will focus more heavily on the case they’re investigating.
As always with JK Rowling aka Robert Galbraith, every conversation, every character, every plot development is meticulously thought out and therefore has an authenticity it’s hard to find elsewhere. I know I say a lot that characters are very believable and authentic, but with JK Rowling it’s of a higher degree than most other books. She doesn’t overload on details, gives just enough and weaves it through a narrative which is hard to put down.
Like the second instalment this one is quite grizzly, so bear that in mind if you pick it up.
I’m on the library list already for the next instalment (which isn’t even out), but seeing as I’m waaayyyy down I think it’ll be a while before I get to it. I’d be more eager to read it if I thought the relationship between Robin and Strike was going in a new direction, but I don’t feel that. In a way this book felt like a line was drawn under their relationship. I’ll still read it, though…eventually.