The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

"The whole world's writing novels, but nobody's reading them."

JK Rowling shocked the literary world when she revealed that The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith, a hit in its own right, was actually written by her. I finally got around to reading that novel earlier this year, and I immediately regretted waiting so long to read it. Rowling's penchant for detailed plots and riveting characters filled that novel. I vowed not to wait nearly as long to read the next installment.

The Silkworm finds private investigator Cormoran Strike in a much better place than the previous novel. After successfully breaking a high-profile case, Strike's business is booming. The war veteran turned detective has seen a steady stream of clients and income. Still, Strike's personal life is anything but perfect. His assistant Robin is set to marry a man who vehemently disapproves of her working with Strike. Robin has failed to get the two men in her life to meet each other, let alone come to an agreement on her own wishes. Robin longs to take her job with Strike to the next level, but fears what this decision could do to her impending wedding.

As the pair struggles to adjust to the realities of their personal relationship, another high-profile case presents itself. Leonora Quine, wife of the bestselling novelist Owen Quine, has tasked Strike with locating her husband. Owen has disappeared before, but now he's been gone for an unusually long time. Immediately preceding his absence, Owen was on the verge of finishing Bombyx Mori, his latest novel and self-proclaimed magnum opus. Strike learns that Owen's peers in the literary world were less than thrilled about the novel. It was said to make some not so subtle allusions to various people and their dirty secrets. Does the book contain something worth making its author disappear over?

While The Silkworm is never as engrossing as its predecessor, it still fires on all cylinders. The characters from top to bottom are each well drawn and believable. Strike and Robin see their relationship pushed to the next level as they learn to grapple with success while facing the curious literary world that Owen Quine was a part of. I've read some complaints that Rowling spends too much time describing small details that don't end up adding to the story as a whole. I see these descriptions as Rowling building her world, and never felt like they bogged down the pace or detracted from the suspense. I continue to be impressed by Rowling's writing and can't wait to read the next novel in this series.

For more information, visit the author's website, Amazon, and Goodreads.

(2017, 39)

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4 Responses to “The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith”

  1. I still haven't delved into this series but I did read her other book-for-adults: The Casual Vacancy. It was absolutely, completely depressing. Didn't expect that! I hear this series is really good.
    Rebecca @ The Portsmouth Review

    1. You're not the first person to tell me The Casual Vacancy was depressing. This series has some dark moments, but it is all surrounded by some good humor too!

  2. Now you have added two books to my list. I was hesitant to read her fist, but will do so.

    1. They are totally worth the read. I'm looking forward to reading the third novel soon.


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