The Three Suspects

The first episode of Strike – Career of Evil aired last Sunday. The second episode is at 9pm tonight on BBC One. Here is an overview of what we know about the three suspects so far.

Niall Brockbank

Brockbank is an ex-soldier who was arrested by Strike in the SIB for being accused of raping his daughter, Brittany Brockbank.

After being punched hard in the head by Strike, Niall blames him for his continued problems with seizures.

Since no evidence was found and Brittany reversed her original statement, claiming it had just been a joke, Niall wasn’t charged.

Strike claims that Niall had threatened to cut off Brittany’s legs if she spoke a word of what he’d done to her. Due to frequent seizures in numerous jobs, Niall moved to London where he is now living with a girlfriend and her two children.

Using the phone number that Holly Brockbank gave her, Robin calls Niall, which doesn’t end well: “Do I know you little girl?” is his creepy signoff.


Donald Laing

Laing was another ex-soldier who Strike arrested, this one for tying up his girlfriend and abusing her.

He was sentenced to sixteen years but was out in eight. Strike and Robin visit a house in Corby where Laing previously was living with a woman called Lorraine McNaughton.

Lorraine reveals to them that Laing had stolen her mother’s jewellery and taken off to London. She also mentions that Laing had suffered badly with psoriatic arthritis. Strike suspects that he also probably murdered the elderly neighbour across the road from Lorraine.

Strike finds Donald Laing’s donation page, supposedly raising fund for his arthritis treatment.


Jeff Whittaker

Whittaker was Leda Strike’s second husband and was once Cormoran’s step father.

Strike thinks it was Whittaker who injected her with the dose of heroine that led to her death.

It was when Strike’s mother passed that he left Oxford University to join the army.
The severed leg in the post also came with a note: lyrics from Leda Strike’s favourite song by Blue Öyster Cult, something Jeff Whittaker would know all about, with it also being Leda’s favourite band.

We find out that Whittaker is living in Catford Broadway, where Strike bumps into him coming out of his flat and into a van with a young girl.

Whittaker mocks Strike and, after Strike punches him in the stomach, makes a threatening cutting gesture across his neck.

You can read our interview with Matt King, who is playing Jeff Whittaker, here.

Episode 2 of Strike – Career of Evil airs tonight at 9pm on BBC One.

Here’s a detailed synopsis for episode two from the BBC’s website:

Strike visits several London strip clubs in order to find out more about one of the murder suspects, Niall Brockbank.
Robin’s relationship with Matthew has hit a low point and she questions her commitment to marriage. Her mother arrives in London to talk her round, convincing Robin to spend some time at home in Masham.
Strike begins to narrow his list of suspicions – but, according to an angry Wardle, his investigating is ‘meddling’ with police business.
The killer continues to taunt them, with Matthew finding a severed human thumb in the kettle. Robin returns to comfort Matthew and provides Strike with Brockbank’s address.
Without Strike’s knowledge Robin allies herself with Shanker, paying him to take her to Brockbank’s home to question his girlfriend Alyssa –  inadvertently putting herself in danger.


(High quality images from