Career of Evil

Narrated by: Robert Glenister
Series: Cormoran Strike, Book 3
Length: 17 hrs and 57 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (15,562 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A disturbing package leads Detective Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin Ellacott to investigate four dangerous murder suspects in this “magnetic” British mystery (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times).

When Robin Ellacott opens an unexpected delivery, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman's severed leg.

Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but just as alarmed. He suspects that four people from his past could be responsible - and any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality.

With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike has essentially ruled out, 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 J. K. Rowling’s highly acclaimed series featuring private detective Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin Ellacott. A fiendishly clever mystery with unexpected twists around every corner, Career of Evil is also a gripping story of a man and a woman at a crossroads in their personal and professional lives. 

©2015 Robert Galbraith (P)2015 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Robert Glenister is the man in this fine performance of Robert Galbraith's (aka J.K. Rowling) most recent detective thriller. Having narrated the first two books in the series, Glenister knows the main characters...." (AudioFile)

What listeners say about Career of Evil

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great Characters Mean Everything

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.

220 people found this helpful

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I love this series . . but . .

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.

113 people found this helpful

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The best one yet

Although more violent than the first two in the series, the development of the characters is superb. We learn a lot more about Robin's background in this book.

The mystery was wonderfully done and I didn't figure it out although it is fair play. Many will enjoy the references to Blue Oyster Cult rock lyrics.

The narration of the audible book was fantastic.

I couldn't imagine reading this book without having read the first two in the series and would recommend the books be read in order.

76 people found this helpful

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Only Great Things to Say About this Listen

Wow! I can't believe I have just devoted 18 hours to one audio-book, and now I wish it was longer. Let's face it -- J.K. Rowling (aka Robert Galbraith) is one of the most entertaining authors on the planet. The narrator, Robert Glenister, does an amazing job throughout the series with each character's voice. He really gets it.

Speaking of characters, they have been so well developed that I feel like I am watching a story in my head rather than listening to one with my ears. I know audio-book lovers will know how rare that is, but when it happens, the experience is perfect. This book is the third in the "Cormoran Strike" series. You have to listen to them in order to get the full effect. Fortunately, all of the books are very good. I do admit, this one is my favorite so far. I hope Rowling never tires of writing about Cormoran and his assistant, Robin.

Regarding the mystery, I thought I had figured out the solution a dozen times and still didn't get it correct in the end. There were plenty of clues, I just was not clever enough.

34 people found this helpful

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Another fun read by "Robert Galbraith"

I have to say that these get better and better as they go (this was my favorite of the series so far). Cormoran and Robin are getting more and more likable and, since the threat/mystery came closer to home in this case, they (and you) are more invested in the outcome. The twists were plausible (although I should warn readers who are new to Galbraith that there's a definite--but enjoyable--cartoonish quality to all these stories so expect some exaggeration both in the character development and in the plots). Until the end, you are guessing who the murderer is right along with them and the resolution is quite satisfactory . Definitely reading the next one when it comes.

17 people found this helpful

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Not my favorite of the Strike series, still good

I've finished all the Strike Novels in a week's time now and maybe some distance will help me in ranking all of them. I like this one, I thought it was still very good but it might be my least favorite of the series. Again not that it was bad, I do think however having chapters from the point of view of the killer distracted a bit. Personally I would have preferred just Cormoran and Robin's POV

19 people found this helpful

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This book should come with a content warning

What did you like best about Career of Evil? What did you like least?

I am a huge fan of J.K. Rowling's pseudonym Robert Galbraith, and I have listened to the first two books more than once. This book, however, I struggled to get through this one. I think it's irresponsible on the publisher's part not to disclose that this book is entirely about rape, physical abuse, domestic abuse, and child molestation.

What begins as a slightly more than run of the mill murder case quickly becomes a treatise on how bad men can be and the various ways women respond/are victimized.

While on the one hand the narrative has been crafted to be the antithesis of every serial killer book in which victims are forgotten in the thrill of the chase and the true horror of how a killer hunts is never truly understood, on the other hand the book goes too far, seemingly delighting in taking the reader through every possible option to stifle and humiliate the characters.

Please don't misunderstand me, the book is as good as the first two, but to not disclose the fact that readers will be subjected to 17 hours of rape and abuse (in specific detail, often) is irresponsible. If you, like me, are a rape or abuse survivor, read with caution. This book is incredibly triggering.

66 people found this helpful

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J.K. Rowling needed a good editor

This review is for the first 4 books in the "Strike" series. The stories in the first 2 books were just OK...but Strike was a great character and I had hoped the next 2 books would improve as far as story line. I have been very disappointed and am done with this series. Yes, there are many substories and misdirections, but that's not the problem. The problem is...the books are boring. Halfway through both Book 3 & 4, I stopped caring who "did it" and couldn't believe I still had over 10 hours of listening to this dribble. Agatha Christie had many substories and misdirections, but her mysteries were engaging from beginning to end. I do want to commend Miss Rowling's on her desire in Book 3 to explain how a sexual assault can affect a person their whole life. I thought her efforts were very successful.

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Okay if you know the series. Predictable.

Not one to write a long review but here's my thoughts: after listening to a story for 17 hours I'd like to have an ending that is a punch line, not predictable. This is beyond predictable at every turn and NOT a stand alone book. End leads to others in the series or I would not have purchased. Good narration.

2 people found this helpful

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I've put it down

Can someone tell me, can I move on to Book 4 without finishing this book, and not be at sea? I adore this writer - be it Rowling or Galbraith - but there is so much violence here - and a terrifying character and possibilities right off the bat. I could put up with the gory in Silkworm as it was so bizarre. But I think I am not going to pick this one back up. Galbraith's voice is a very masculine one - which is probably one of the reasons for the nom de plume. It is her literary voice and the 2 main characters that I love. I care about them and they are compelling. And this narrator is fantastic!

2 people found this helpful