Thursday, December 24, 2015

What we're reading: Crime Fiction

I was so excited to get hold of Career of Evil, Robert Galbraith's latest Cormoran Strike novel, this past weekend! I was a big fan of the first two books in the series and have been looking forward to the next chapter in the lives of private detective Cormoran Strike and his able assistant, Robin Ellacott.

A courier on a motorcycle delivers a box to the detective agency, addressed to Robin. She thinks nothing of it; she's in the throes of planning her wedding, and has ordered several things shipped to her at work, for convenience' sake. But when she opens the box expecting it to be cardboard instant cameras for the reception and instead discovers a severed woman's leg, things get serious rather quickly.

Cormoran believes that one of four men from his past as a military policeman has targeted Robin in an effort to get to him. When the police discover that one of these four is a mobster who has a history of cutting off body parts, they focus on him to the exclusion of the rest; it becomes increasingly clear, however (at least to Cormoran and Robin), that he is not the perpetrator, so they start an investigation into the past and present lives of the remaining three. But whoever is stalking them is also committing more horrifying acts, so if they're going to solve this mystery, they need to get a move on! Also, Robin's wedding to Matthew is looming...

This book was awesome. All my plans for the weekend went out the window (Christmas shopping? what's that?), and instead I sat and read until I finished. These Cormoran Strike books are not for the squeamish--the fact that some describe them as "crime novels" rather than "mysteries" is both telling and appropriate. But the characterizations are so strong, the interactions so fascinating, and the details so well crafted that I wasn't put off by the gory details. Another good one. The ending, however, killed me. What's next for Cormoran and Robin?

The other two books in this series are The Cuckoo's Calling, and The Silkworm. And in case you didn't know, Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling. She also wrote a book called The Casual Vacancy, which I heartily disliked; but Cormoran Strike has more than made up for that, and all is forgiven!

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