Number of pages: 492
The third Cormoran Strike novel feels a little different than the first two. It might be because it opens with an unidentified character who is vowing revenge on Strike, or it might be just because the main case involves Strike more personally than the previous two.
Shortly into the book, Strike and his partner Robin are sent a woman's severed leg in the post; the leg has been specifically cut off in the exact manner that Strike's own leg was amputated. It all seems to be part of a plot of discredit him, and not surprisingly, it does lead to a murder victim.
What was really good about this book was that I got a few glimpses into cases from Strike's past, as he started to think about who might want revenge on him. The title comes from a song by Blue Öyster Cult song, but I started to suspect that JK Rowling was trying to hint that Strike had a "career of evil", as various skeletons on his closet were unearthed. The plot also led to the quite disturbing subject of people with a psychological condition that made them want to have a leg amputated or to deliberately have an accident that left them paralysed (my understanding is that this is frighteningly real).
The plot gave a lot of development towards Strike's relationship with Robin, who spends a lot of the novel seemingly being stalked by her ex-fiansee, who also seems to dislike Robin working with Strike. I noticed the relationship becoming particularly strained towards the end of the book, and you'll find out why when you read it.
I love the way that the characters are written, and how Rowling gives an unflinchingly gritty portrayal of modern-day London. I hope the fourth book comes out soon.
Next book: Chosen by God (R.C. Sproul)