| Spoiler warning!|
Plot details follow.
| Robin Ellacott|
|Also known as:|| • Rob (by brother Martin)|
• Sandra (mistakenly by Strike)
• The Secretary (by The Shacklewell Ripper)
• Venetia Hall (alias)
|Occupation:||Strike's assistant/informal partner|
|Friends/Family:|| Linda (mother)|
Matthew Cunliffe (husband)
|Home:|| Lower floor of a semidetached house in Clapham|
Ealing (Career of Evil)
Masham, Yorkshire (born and raised)
Robin has long strawberry-blonde hair and blue-grey eyes. She is light-skinned, tall and good-looking.
Robin was born and raised in Masham, North Yorkshire, and is one of four siblings. Her uncle owns a farm where her Highland pony Angus lived when she was twelve. Her family owns an old chocolate Labrador called Rowntree.
One of the earliest and most vivid memories of her childhood was the death of her older brother Stephen's dog, Bruno.
She majored in psychology in university but dropped out and never completed her studies.
The Cuckoo's CallingEdit
Robin arrives in London three months after the death of Lula Landry. She moves with her boyfriend Matthew to the lower floor of a semidetached house in Clapham. He proposes to her the night before her first day in her new job as the temporary secretary of Strike, who she is then unaware is a private detective. She arrives in the building in time to see an emotional Charlotte leaving the office in a rush, after fighting and breaking up with Strike. Strike chases after Charlotte, but knocks Robin over with the door as she ascends to the office stairs, accidentally catching her by grabbing her chest.
Despite initial awkwardness between the two, she competently performs many tasks during his investigation of the death of Lula Landry. She researches many suspects and witnesses, repeatedly foils the suspicious temp agency that provided her with her secretary job by pretending to be an Australian woman called Annabel, fakes being his sister (using the same name) to get information out of employees at clothing store Vashti, and visiting the Georgian building in which Lula Landry lived.
Matthew is initially unhappy with her extension at Strike's office, since he expects her to get what he would consider a proper job elsewhere, but he appears to grow more accepting of Strike as the investigation continues. After Robin has a successful job interview for the Human Resources sector of a media firm, she is reluctant to leave her job as a secretary for the private detective.
At the conclusion of the investigation of Lula Landry's death, she stops Strike from possibly killing client John Bristow, and ultimately chooses to keep her job, offering to work for Strike at a rate he can afford. The issue of her salary is referenced throughout the trilogy, with Strike appreciating Robin's dedication and skill, and regretting not giving her a pay rise.
The Silkworm Edit
Robin looked up to her battered, massive boss because of his character and was offended when she was not permitted to be with him inside his interviewee's house.
Robin forced Matthew and Strike to meet. Strike sought her "bright gold head" and sat down alongside her. The two men did not get along very well. Matthew despised Robin's job as a secretary to Strike and the fact that she did not make very much money. At home, she often fought with Matthew and slept on the sofa.
Strike was reading Elizabeth Tassel's disturbing version of Owen Quine's Bombyx Mori. He was at a very disgusting part when Robin arrived. Just then, he found her very beautiful, contrasting with all the gore that he was reading.
Although Strike insisted her to take time off the day before Matthew's mother's funeral, Robin insisted upon driving him to his interview in the snow. It was there they got into an accident and Robin saved their lives by driving expertly. When they finally did get into the interview, Robin wasn't allowed to take part in the interview between the two men and was rather offended.
At the very end of the book, Strike secretly kissed the back of Robin's hand. Therefore, intriguing romantic tension is pumped up in Career of Evil between Strike and his beautiful young assistant.
Career of EvilEdit
At some time before the start of the book, Robin and Matthew moved to another flat in West Ealing.
Robin breaks her engagement to Matthew, revealing to Strike that it is because he reluctantly admitted to having had an affair with Sarah Shadlock, his friend since university. She also reveals to Strike that the reason she dropped out from university was because she was raped by a man in a gorilla mask around 8 o'clock as she was walking back from her friend's halls of residence. Robin's attention to details (remembering his vitiligo and fixed pupil) was apparent even then as her testimony led to the capture and incarceration of her rapist.
She later resumes her engagement following an emotional reconciliation at home during the live coverage of the Royal Wedding. In the end, Strike arrives at Robin's wedding and she smiles when she sees him, just before she says "I do". Despite the ambiguity of the ending, it is assumed that Robin successfully married Matthew.
Following the ending of The Silkworm, Robin resumes her job having completed the surveillance and counter-surveillance training Strike paid for her. Strike also began to introduce her as his partner, allowing Robin to do more field work by herself. Robin proves that she has improved her sleuthing skills, being able to garner crucial information that even Strike himself failed to get such as the address of Noel Brockbank, one of the suspected serial killers and tracking down a person with the online username of Devotee to help with the investigation into Kelsey Platt's death. Robin also showed her immense courage as, despite being shaken up by having been sent a leg, Robin refuses to back down when Strike asks her to, and manages to convince him to let her continue her surveillance job despite being tailed by a serial killer.
Robin was able to find Noel Brockbank by talking to his sister, Holly. Strike had been following Holly by foot in attempt to reach her brother Noel, so Robin insisted that it would be more secure for her to talk to Holly, in case Holly suspected Strike of following her. Robin introduced herself as Venetia Hall to Holly. Robin was good at deception and the character of Venetia Hall played out easily in her head. Venetia Hall was a southerner who expected high respect from other people. Robin-aka the lawyer Venetia Hall- promised Holly wads of cash if she told her the history of her abusive brother. Holly, who was immersing herself in drunkenness, told the story of Noel forlornly, stressing that he abused her as they were living alone together when they were the only residents of their house. Although Robin was just joking about her name and position, she was saddened by Holly's grievances. Things between her and Matthew were difficult, and she felt much stronger having had a perspective from a person who had gone through a lot of trouble.
Robin was attacked on duty when the serial killer, dubbed The Shacklewell Ripper by the press, grabbed her from behind after she got lost and sidetracked after dark. She managed to call Strike and as the horrified Strike listened to her struggle with her attacker, Robin managed to fend for herself before the police arrived. Robin suffered from an eight-inch wound on her forearm from a knife cut and tendon damage that required her to undergo surgery. She revealed to Strike that she managed to survive the killer's attack from the self-defense lessons that she took after the rape incident as well as clicking the rape alarm. Despite her injuries, Robin was adamant to resume working and even politely refused to go back to Masham with her mother, despite having her wedding only ten days away.
The revelation that Robin was a rape victim became an issue in the book. After Strike revealed that one of the suspected serial killers was a pedophile, Robin became even more determined to track him down. She kept having nightmares about the killer's victims and kept dreaming of herself being attacked by the killer. Her determination became a point of conflict between the two as Strike was more interested in finding out the serial killer instead of saving the victims, telling Robin that she could not possibly save everyone. Robin took Strike's casual attitude on the matter to heart, and without Strike's knowledge, took matters into her own hands by calling Shanker to drive her to Noel Brockbank's home. She did this despite being physically disadvantaged due to her injuries still healing and at the prospect of stumbling upon a potential serial killer herself.
Once there, Robin wasted no time but to persuade Brockbank's girlfriend Alyssa to believe her. However, Alyssa mistook her for Brittany, Brockbank's ex-stepdaughter and rape victim and proceeded to attack her. Apparently, Brockbank warned her that someone matching Robin's physical description could come to their home and try to convince her of things he did and to never trust her. Things quickly got out of hand when during the scuffle, Brockbank returned home. He grabbed Robin but she managed to call Shanker for help. Eventually, Brockbank managed to run away and Angel, Alyssa's eldest daughter confessed to her mother that Robin was telling the truth and she was scared to tell her because he threatened to kill her sister, Zahara. Robin stayed with them until the police came and had Shanker drove her home.
When Strike learned what Robin did from Carver, the police detective handling the case, he was outraged because Carver accused him of sending Robin to Brockbank. He was also livid that Robin did something dangerous behind his back, putting her life at risk, and driving Brockbank underground. He told Robin that her actions could kill his business for good if the news leaked to the press. Infuriated, he sacked Robin for gross misconduct. Robin could not believe that after everything she did for Strike and the agency, Strike would really sack her. However, after seeing in the newspaper Strike's advertisement for a new assistant, Robin finally accepted her fate and went back to Masham with Matthew for their wedding.