Like many other folks who read The Cuckoo’s Calling, I eagerly awaited the publication of the sequel, The Silkworm. As soon as I could, I pre-ordered it on Audible.com and checked my account at least hourly on release day to see if it was available yet. It seemed to take forever but, eventually, I was able to download it to my tablet and get to listening.
Before I go any further, here’s the book’s blurb from Amazon:
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.
Sounds good, right? I know! And it was good. Very good. I want to say right off that I love Cormoran Strike. In some ways, he’s such a tragic character. With the exception of his now thriving private detective business, his life mostly sucks. He’s alone, living in the attic flat above his office, he has near constant pain and troubles with his leg, which he lost from the knee down while in the Army, and he seems to be noticing his assistant, Robin, in ways that he probably shouldn’t be. But business is good and Strike has taken on a case that he actually cares about when he decides to help Mrs. Quine find her wayward husband.
I’m not going to get into the story itself much because I think the blurb does a great job of letting you know what the book is about. What I will say is that, with few exceptions, all of the characters were interesting and unique. These didn’t feel like cookie-cutter, two-dimensional characters just filling space on the virtual page (I listened to the audio book, remember). They each felt genuine, if sometimes over the top. But knowing a few intensely narcissistic authors personally who would have fit in with those in the book, it still felt within the realm of possibility.
For the most part, I couldn’t stop listening. There were several portions of the book that I listened to more than once because didn’t quite get what was going on. This happened almost solidly during the sections describing Quine’s book, which was bizarre and disturbing, just as his death was bizarre and disturbing. Galbraith (JK Rowling) can write some twisted shit. Seriously. And I loved it. I spent much of the book moving between one character to the next as I thought I had the murderer pegged. Yeah, I was wrong every damn time.
I cannot wait until the next book in the series is published. I hope she’s nearly done with it because I want more of Strike and Robin. But not Strike and Robin together. I don’t want to see Cormoran happily in love. Not with anyone. I’d be fine with having him unrequitedly in love, though. I know that’s very selfish of me but since he’s pretend, I don’t feel too badly about it. I love tragic Cormoran Strike. I can’t even imagine him with a happy home life to go to at the end of the day. Nope, can’t see it.
What I want you to take from this rambling review is this: I enjoyed this book immensely and highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a dark thriller with great characters. Great and awful characters.
You can download a sample or purchase The Silkworm by clicking here.