I read The Cuckoo’s Calling, The Silkworm, and Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (a.k.a. J.K. Rowling) within two weeks, and my initial opinion was pleased. I wanted to convince others to read the book so that we could discuss! Yet I knew that if I wrote the review right away I’d be praising it for its immediacy—the need to keep turning the page to see who’d be emotionally or physically hurt next. I was thrilled by the books in a way that I hadn’t been in a while, mostly because I have a habit of reading non-fiction books where I already know the outcome. However, I chose to wait to write my review because I wanted to see what stuck with me: 1. The graphic description of the murder scene in book two . 2. Robin Ellacott.
The main character of the book is Cormoran Strike, a disabled ex-military investigator going through a bad breakup with some made observation skills. Strike is growly and needs a steady income, but his character growth is pretty stunted. The transformation that I sought I ending up finding in another character. I am fascinated by his assistant Robin Ellacott, who happens to stumble upon her dream career due to a mistake at a staffing agency. Ellacott has a lot of Hermione Granger-esque traits, namely because none of the mysteries would be solved without her. Of course, she rarely gets the credit she deserves. Considering that many of the investigations deal with crimes against women, I look back wishing that Robin was the main character. Galbraith gave us some insight into Robin’s emotions, but I wanted to hear her mind at work, processing these crimes in both analytical and emotional means. Strike’s style is very abrupt—volia! I have solved it (with the ego of Sherlock), whereas I feel that Robin’s pace would have been more exploratory, evaluating the facts and the societal truths. Most of her internal dialogue focused on her jealous boyfriend, and Robin’s poignantly recounts the instance when she was raped in college. I just know there’s more for her to say, and I want Galbraith (and Strike) to let her have control of the investigation. I, an amateur mystery reader, just wished I could have learned from Robin’s amateur detective experiences as she navigates a world outside of the Human Resources space she planned on occupying.
Overall, I enjoyed these books, and I look forward to the next one in the series. I only hope that the books give Robin a center focus.