Career of Evil: Part Two Rounds out This Summer’s Best Mystery Series’ Run

Wow. Just wow. Having read Career of Evil, I thought I was prepared to experience the televised retelling of Cormoran Strike’s darkest mystery yet. I was wrong. Very, very wrong. Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger’s portrayals of Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott breathe more than just new life to characters I’ve already fallen in love with. 

The second half of C.B. Strike’s Career of Evil provides a solid ending to the gory mystery plaguing Strike and Robin, with the pair figuring out Donald Laing was behind the killings; creating a fake identity and terrorizing Kelsey (the deceased owner of the leg) before setting his sights (almost successfully) on Robin herself. 

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The conclusion of the mystery was satisfying, but the sheer terror I felt well before the hour concluded, when Robin was attacked by Laing was worse than when I read it on paper. Holliday Grainger’s portrayal feels so real, and the stakes are even higher, even knowing that she makes it out relatively unscathed.  

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What truly made this hour shine was the chemistry between Strike and Robin (read: sexual tension bordering on “oh come on, just get together already”), the heartbreak both endured as Strike cast Robin off after her attack, and knowing smile Robin flashed Strike at the alter as she said “I do” to Matthew; I’m remaining ignorant to this fact and believing she said it to Strike and Strike alone, not her cheating-controlling-fool of a fiancé she was standing next to. 

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Though Robin believed that Strike kicked her off the case because of her reckless behavior — which she displayed throughout the entirety of this mystery — that led to her getting attacked by Laing, it was hard not to see that he did it out of love and love alone, protecting the only good woman he’s had in his life probably ever. That was made all the more clear by his rush to get to Robin’s wedding; bruises and band-aids and all. 

Though the three mysteries throughout C.B. Strike’s first season were solid, full of twists and turns and villains that would make Sherlock shiver, the true tour de force behind the series has been and will remain to be the chemistry between the two leads; something I cannot wait to see when they come back for more. 

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Unfortunately, the latest book, Lethal White, doesn’t hit shelves until September, so who’s to say when we’ll see Strike and Robin grace our screens once more. 

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