Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike #2) by Robert Galbraith

The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike #2)


Private investigator Cormoran Strike returns in a new mystery from Robert Galbraith, author of the #1 international bestseller The Cuckoo's Calling. When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days--as he has done before--and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives--meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced. When Quine is found brutally murdered under bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before... A compulsively readable crime novel with twists at every turn, THE SILKWORM is the second in the highly acclaimed series featuring Cormoran Strike and his determined young assistant, Robin Ellacott.


The Silkworm is the second book in Robert Galbraith's Cormoran Strike series, The mysterious author of The Cuckoo's Calling is no longer a mystery. Most everyone now is aware that Robert Galbraith is really a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling, the beloved author of the Harry Potter series; a series that introduced many to the magic that reading can bring and create, including myself.

The Cuckoo's Calling was a good book, I preferred it over Rowling's Casual Vacancy. The Silkworm, however, was fantastic. How could it not be, considering it was written by the ever-reigning queen of writing, Rowling herself? Now, I know I might be sounding a bit bias, so I will tone it down just a tad. I did not just enjoy this novel because Rowling wrote it and I told myself I have to love everything she writes no matter what. No, that is not the case. If I had been living under a rock my whole life, and had never heard of J.K. Rowling, never read a book by her, and I read this one, I would still love it. 

The Silkworm begins months after Strike, the main character, solves the case of Lula Landry's death. I will not go into details about that particular case because if you had not read the first book, it will spoil it. Strike rides on the fame of solving that case for a few months, but eventually receives only cases dealing with unfaithful spouses wanting to catch their lover in the act, or divorcees. Then Strike meets the wife of the author Owen Quine who asks Strike to find her husband, for he has been missing for quite awhile and does not want to involve the police. Soon though the case becomes darker than he ever imagined as Strike and his secretary, Robin, are drawn deep into the scandals of the indie publishing world. 

There are several characters introduced throughout this novel. Most of which are deemed as a suspect to the crime committed to Owen Quine. Since there are so many characters, it was really hard for me to pin down the actual criminal, which is a good thing, in my eyes. An author writing a detective/mystery novel would want their readers to have trouble figuring out who is guilty. They would want readers to jump back and forth between characters: "This person did it!" "No wait, she is definitely responsible." "Or maybe it is him..." Robert Galbraith/Rowling had me guessing and pointing fingers throughout the entire novel, something I applaud.

The writing in this novel was strong. The characters were just as strong. There are many authors out there who have stellar writing abilities and can compose brilliant plots with twists and turns galore. However, some of these same authors lack the ability to create character development. Characters need to grow as a story goes on; they need to feel like real people, someone readers can relate to. A character who never grows or changes, is a dull character, and not very much loved. In The Silkworm, Strike and Robin both grow as characters and develop. They overcome hardships, change and adapt to their situations in life. 

I look forward to reading more about Strike and his cases. Also, anything else Rowling decides to cook up. I recommend this series to mystery lovers, and just about anybody else as well. There is some gore involved, just as a warning. It is also an adult series so readers may come across language and such that they would never find in Rowling's Harry Potter series. 


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