Verdict – Career of Evil

I really liked the TV adaptations of the first two Cormoran Strike books; so I was very much looking forward to seeing Career of Evil, the latest book in the series by Robert Galbraith to be made into a two-part drama by the BBC.

This time, I absolutely loved it. Even though I have read the book and know the story, it is gripping and tense. The tone is perfect and it is very well-rounded, as private investigator Strike and his partner Robin encounter their most dangerous case yet and their relationship becomes increasingly complex.

The only negative thing I can say about it is that two parts was not enough to cover the book, and I don’t understand why there couldn’t have been more. A lot is cut from the book and some parts seem a little rushed as far as the case is concerned, but the actors do an unbelievable job to make their characters so likeable and relatable given that so much is crammed into two hours.

What is it about?

Robin is making plans for her upcoming wedding when she receives a package containing a severed leg. This begins a murder case for Strike and the police, and he comes up with three potential suspects who he feels are evil and vengeful enough to commit such a crime.

One is child abuser Noel Brockbank, another is convicted murderer Donald Laing, and the other is James Whitaker, who Strike believes killed his mother. However, as the identity of the victim is revealed, Strike becomes a potential suspect and loses clients as a result.

Meanwhile, Robin finds out fiancee Matthew had an affair while she recovered after being forced to drop out of university. This leaves their relationship strained, and she puts herself at risk as the killer is clearly targeting her in order to get to Strike.

As the case unfolds, Strike and Robin’s working relationship is tested to the limit, as Strike aims to clear his name and track down the killer.

Changes from the book

  • The character of Reg Carver is cut
  • The whole scene with Anstis and looking into Brockbank’s army records is left out.
  • Parts of the book are told from the killer’s point of view
  • Brockbank’s first name is changed from Noel to Nile

Verdict

I thought it was a brilliant watch, and probably the best adaptation of the books so far. Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger really capture the unique charm and character of Strike and Robin, and ensure that the drama is perhaps more about their working relationships than their actual cases.

My favourite part was the ending, where Strike just about makes it to Robin’s wedding. It is such a beautiful scene in the book, and it was realised perfectly.

Two great episodes – if only there were a few more!

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