Troubled Blood Week Placeholder Post #1: Parallels with Career of Evil. Spoiler Warning!

Starting out on publication day with a test of the ring-structure hypothesis!  If the Cormoran Strike series follows the same pattern as Harry Potter, and the many parallels of Lethal White with Cuckoo’s Calling (see here, here, and here) suggests is does, there should be many points of linkage between Books Three and Five.  All serious Strikers who, like me, are devouring the book as soon as it gets into our hands should make note of them in the comments.  Headmaster John will compile a master list later!

Spoilers after the jump!

Just to start with four big ones that jumped out at me:

  • The most obvious:  Our heroes are investigating a serial killer, just as they did in Career of Evil. A horrible, almost subhuman, predator of women, who terrorizes, tortures and chops them up into bits to be stashed way as trophies.  No vengeful families, blackmail or supposed suicides here, folks. Just lots of misogynistic gore. 
  • We also have Shanker back, assisting with his connections to the criminal world.  And even a mention of buying presents for little Zahara, meaning, remarkably, that his relationship with Alyssa seems to have lasted two years.  As far as his love life goes, Shanker’s found more stability than “Bunsen.”
  • We also have “Two-Times” back, for what must be at least the fourth time, by now.  At least he’s a steady source of income. 
  • We also have two major rows between the partners:  one after the disastrous dinner party (regarding Cormoran’s lack of appreciation for Robin, so matching up with her “fine china” ultimatum in CoE) and one where she goes into a dangerous situation after Strike warned her against it (and therefore corresponding to the Brockbank visit).  

Please add more to the comments!


  1. Louise Freeman says

    Some more:
    Ilsa’s first explicit efforts to match-make came in Career of Evil, and she tries it again here.
    Robin confided in Strike about her rape when she was drunk in Career of Evil. Here, Strike gets drunk and manipulates Robin into revealing her rape to someone she would have preferred not know.
    Robin has to look up information about unusual sexual fetishes. FYI— not to brag, but I guessed both apotemnophila and autonepiophilia would be relevant before they were mentioned.
    Killer has a dual identity and is interviewed by Strike in the false identity in the course of the investigation.
    Robin holes up in her room in Masham to avoid both grief from Matthew and annoyances from siblings in books 3 and 5.
    We see the re-appearance of Vanessa’s boyfriend Oliver.
    Strike travels by sleeper train.
    Strike and Robin road-trip in the Land Rover, and he apologizes for not being able to share driving.
    Mention of Rokeby tying up child support so Leda couldn’t fritter it away.
    Robin tries to hustle an irate Strike out of an eating establishment to avoid a scene when he blows up at a witness, but she was not nearly as successful this time as she was at the Gallery Mess with Tempest.
    Strike rescues a woman from a life-threatening situation by phone, listening to the emergency unfold on his cell, while contacting authorities on a different phone. (Robin’s knife attack in CoE, Charlotte’s suicide attempt in TB).
    Robin puts her self-defense training to good use when grabbed from behind by a disgusting pervert.
    Finally, while our Headmaster’s prediction of a focus on three male suspects to match Whittaker, Brockbank and Laing did not exactly pan out, there were three, not one, cold cases solved, and three different killers turn out to have dispatched the three suspected victims of Creed: Louise Tucker, Margot, and Kara Wolfson.

  2. Some more:

    – Undesired flowers with an unopened card left at the office.

    – Robin seeing a photo of Rokeby in a pub

    – The interview with Irene and Janice resembles the one between Tempest and Jason.

    – People changing their names.

  3. Louise Freeman says

    Great work, Beth!
    I was going to add the flowers and unopened card today, but you beat me to it! There was also a contrast: the roses died quickly, because no one ever changed their water. The lilies live for almost two weeks, because Pat tends them daily.
    Whittaker and hs connection to Satanism at least got a mention, but I am disappointed that he and Switch Levay Bloom did not turn up in the flesh.
    Strike mentions that churches are good hiding places for murderers and child molesters.  Remember where Alyssa met Brockbank?
    We also have another person named Louise, the third of the series. In CoE, it was Robin’s self-defense instructor, who led to my favorite line of the series: “But Louise was brilliant.” In LW, it was Andy’s wife. Now we have murder victim Louise Tucker.

Speak Your Mind