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Its true, at least for me, that great characters are enough to make a good book great. In this series and most especially in Career of Evil the two msin characters were so charasmatic and engrossing for me the mystery, good as it was, mattered little.
It seems I have a constant following of folks who fail to find my reviews helpful. I dont mind, in fact I understand. I don't type well and most of these reviews are written via my iPhone. On the other hand listener reviews are extremely influential to my choices of books. So if you dont get anything else from this, know Career of Evil is well worth your time.
Cormeron Strike and his assistant/partner Robin run a defective agency in London. Their relationship creates a synergy where the sum is greater than the parts. The romantic and professional tensions between the two overwhelm a gritty and clever mystery. That is not a bad thing. I found myself on edge regarding their relationship more than figuring out the mystery. But as I think about it, it was indeed a great story.
Robert Glenister is remarkable again. Every voice is distinct and his timing is impeccable.
You don't need to read this series in order, but you really should read at least one of the three books by Rowling.
157 of 167 people found this review helpful
I generally stay away from mysteries that tend to the gritty and violent, preferring a "cozy" or something set safely in the past. It was mainly out of curiosity on the whole Rowling/Galbraith thing that I tried The Cuckoo's Calling. I fell in love with both Strike and Robin (a heroine with my name!). I thought the narration was terrific, and Robert Glenister manages especially to capture Strike and make him relatable even though he's totally unique. His missing leg is an interesting challenge, as he can't outrun or outfight every one on strength alone. He has to use his considerable brain power. He also has emotional scars that contribute to his defensiveness and sometimes offensiveness.
In the 2nd book, The Silkworm, the setting is one that Rowling must have known, the book publishing world, and there's some dark humor. We get a lot more hints about Robin.There is some pretty dramatic violence but it's one scene. In this 3rd book, we find out even more about Robin as well as some other parts of Strike's past. Some people complained about the length of the book, but the 18 hours flew by for me. I even cleaned out my basement, which I had been putting off for months, because I could listen at the same time.
There were 2 main things that bothered me about this book. It starts with the point of view of the murderer, which is often the case with a mystery. But those chapters return regularly, interspersed with the story, I guess to give a sense of menace. And this murderer is very gruesome. I would have preferred not to hear so much from him. The other thing is that Robin, who shows more talents in every book, including this one, at the same time acts like an idiot girl in a horror movie who goes into a haunted house, while the audience is yelling "NO, don't open that door!" A minor quibble is the somewhat abrupt ending. Although I really liked the final scene, I would have liked a bit more debriefing, as I had some questions about what things were deliberate or chance.
61 of 71 people found this review helpful