Monday, October 26, 2015

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith review – a story with legs…

An unhealthy obsession with amputation makes JK Rowling’s third Robert Galbraith novel one for the serious crime lover

jk rowling portrait

JK Rowling: Career of Evil has been her favourite book to write – but did give her nightmares. Photograph: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters
Career of Evil kicks off (sorry) with a woman’s severed leg. It is delivered in a package to Robin Ellacott, an amiable and efficient young woman who is the new-ish assistant of private detective Cormoran Strike. You’d think it would be difficult to work out who on earth would want to send you this kind of gift. But Strike can immediately think of four people in his past who could be responsible. That is a lot of people to know who would send you a severed limb. But he is that sort of man.

Welcome to part three of the story of JK Rowling as crime writer. It’s a pretty good story in itself: bestselling writer attempts to reinvent herself under the radar and is outed almost instantly. Published in 2013, The Cuckoo’s Calling by “Robert Galbraith, a former plainclothes Royal Military police investigator who had left in 2003 to work in the civilian security industry”, was suspiciously accomplished for a debut novel and sold an estimated 1,500 copies. But Rowling’s cover was blown within weeks. Sales soared by 4,000%.

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