In Career of Evil, Cormoran Strike and Robin are in a slump - they've not had much work lately. They only have two paying cases at the moment, both rather tedious surveillance jobs. Although postponed, Robin and Matthew are still planning to be married. When a motorcycle courier is waiting with a box at the office for Robin, she assumes it's an order of wedding cameras. It's not. It's a severed leg. Immediately, Strike can think of three people who would send him a leg. The police take note, but pursue their own leads, leaving Strike to investigate on his own time and dime. He goes into protector mode, trying to send Robin away and keep her at home. Robin struggles to make Strike see her as an equal, someone who is capable of continuing to work, someone who doesn't need babysitting. Although Strike is convinced the leg was meant as a message to him, when a toe is later mailed to Robin it's clear she is being targeted. Robin refuses to go home, preferring to immerse herself in her work, rather than deal with the ruins of her personal life.
I admit, I wasn't sure who the killer was, and was still guessing up until the end. The surprise ending kept the tension and the pace cranked up through the whole book. We learn quite a bit more about both Robin and Strike as they tell us about their pasts. We see that Strike, at least, is more aware of his attraction to Robin. His determination to keep their relationship strictly professional is part of what keeps Robin feeling so off-balance, and on the edge of being fired. Robin is unable to admit to even herself that she is starting to see why women are so attracted to Strike, let alone admit that she might harbor some of those feelings herself. Towards the end of the book, she is starting to realize that not all of her feelings towards Matthew are compassionate, and I found myself rooting harder and harder for Strike. Because, as I mentioned in my review of The Silkworm, I love Cormoran Strike.