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Author Topic: Are You Still Mystified?  (Read 1116 times)

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November 27, 2015, 11:10:05 PM

paint it Black

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With Strike's stunning revelation of the double identity of the killer in Career of Evil, the clues begin to fall into place for us readers as the story comes to an end.  Even though Cormoran seems to have all the answers, were there still any loose ends for you at this point?  Do you have any lingering questions about the case, or are there some clues that you may have missed? :crabbegoyle: I have a few, so I thought we could all share ours here and help each other out...


What is most unclear to me is the timeline of the relationship between "Ray",  Hazel, and Kelsey.  Whom did Ray meet first, Hazel or Kelsey, and which sister did he manipulate in order to get close to the other?  Did he find out about Kelsey first, and choose her as a victim, and made his way into Hazel's life to get close to Kelsey?  Or was it his good fortune that the lady he conned into a relationship had a sister who wanted her leg removed, so he could shape the murder to wound Cormoran?  (Really, he could have killed any girl and sent the leg to Strike...)  It would have been helpful if it was stated how long Ray and Hazel had been together; if it was, I missed it.  They seemed to be a fairly established couple to me.

The killer to me seems to have dual motivations: to get revenge on Strike and to fulfill his murderous compulsions (which are beyond his control).  To me, his compulsion to kill often overpowers him, so I'm wondering... how could he manage to create and execute this elaborate scheme to eventually kill this one victim (Kelsey) just to get back at Strike?  How could he control himself and not kill Hazel or Kelsey earlier?

Every time we see Laing (or someone reports having seen him), he's using crutches.  When we see Ray, he doesn't use them, nor do we see them in his house.  How does he pull that off?  It's one thing to hide knives in your jacket or a hat in your pocket, but where do you hide a pair of crutches?  Does the killer ever refer to crutches in his POV chapters?

Early on, everyone seemed to agree that the motorbike courier was likely the killer (the fake plates pointed to someone who obviously knew they were committing a crime).  Why then did Strike not ever follow this clue and investigate which of his three prime suspects were most likely to have access to or have the skill to ride a motorbike?  I kept ruling out Laing because I thought he was probably too disabled to ride one.

Why didn't Strike ever try to contact Kelsey's therapist or the youth pastor to ask if she'd mentioned a boyfriend, especially after her internet pals told Strike they'd seen the "boyfriend" on his motorbike?

Ok, those are my loose ends.  Thanks in advance if you can help tie them up for me!  :thumbup:


Are there any mysteries about this book that are still unsolved for you?  Let us know and we'll see if we can help!  :sherlock:



Cuppa is discussing Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman.  Please join us!
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January 30, 2016, 07:48:50 AM
Reply #1

Eva Hedwig

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Quote from: paint it Black
What is most unclear to me is the timeline of the relationship between "Ray",  Hazel, and Kelsey.  Whom did Ray meet first, Hazel or Kelsey, and which sister did he manipulate in order to get close to the other?  Did he find out about Kelsey first, and choose her as a victim, and made his way into Hazel's life to get close to Kelsey?  Or was it his good fortune that the lady he conned into a relationship had a sister who wanted her leg removed, so he could shape the murder to wound Cormoran?  (Really, he could have killed any girl and sent the leg to Strike...)  It would have been helpful if it was stated how long Ray and Hazel had been together; if it was, I missed it.  They seemed to be a fairly established couple to me.

I guess he had been searching for suitable victims in internet forums and met Kelsey as a perfect target and elaborated his plan for both sisters. – first step would have been to involve in the church activities as Ray,  than present himself to Hazel as a nice heroic guy who also was able to manage a loopy teenager.  It would have been easy to engage with both of them within short time, because he knew loads of details about their lives before he actually met them in person.

Quote from: paint it Black
The killer to me seems to have dual motivations: to get revenge on Strike and to fulfill his murderous compulsions (which are beyond his control).  To me, his compulsion to kill often overpowers him, so I'm wondering... how could he manage to create and execute this elaborate scheme to eventually kill this one victim (Kelsey) just to get back at Strike?  How could he control himself and not kill Hazel or Kelsey earlier?

I do think that the killer had complete control over his live and actions.  He was manipulative, observant, perfectionist, utmost sadistic, very patience and especially an opportunist.  He was not overpowered by his compulsions but waited for the “perfect time” to act in every single case and also knew when and how to withdraw.  Kelsey’s disappearance was well planned and he behaved moderately nice to Hazel. He needed her as an alibi and knew she wouldn’t tolerate violent behavior against her. I am sure he had planned to kill her when she was of no longer use for him.

Quote from: paint it Black
Every time we see Laing (or someone reports having seen him), he's using crutches.  When we see Ray, he doesn't use them, nor do we see them in his house.  How does he pull that off?  It's one thing to hide knives in your jacket or a hat in your pocket, but where do you hide a pair of crutches?  Does the killer ever refer to crutches in his POV chapters?

He lived there during some years and would have known the best hours in which he could enter and leave his department without being noticed.

Quote from: paint it Black
Early on, everyone seemed to agree that the motorbike courier was likely the killer (the fake plates pointed to someone who obviously knew they were committing a crime).  Why then did Strike not ever follow this clue and investigate which of his three prime suspects were most likely to have access to or have the skill to ride a motorbike?  I kept ruling out Laing because I thought he was probably too disabled to ride one.

I am glad that Strike didn’t dismissed Laing as a suspect because of the motorbike issue. Imagine all the additional atrocities he would have done if he maintained himself undiscovered for another year or two.
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