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Editorial Reviews

A work of crime fiction from a master writer, The Silkworm is Book 2 of the Cormoran Strike series, written by Robert Galbraith and with a captivating narration by English actor Robert Glenister. The literary genius of its author comes through in this suspenseful thriller audiobook with a plot weaved with unexpected turns and characters the listener will truly empathise with. Detective Cormoran Strike is hired to solve a mystery but it’s not the clean work of a hired assassin as first suspected, it’s of a cold-blooded, vicious killer. This book keeps you captive until the final word. Available now from Audible.
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Publisher's Summary

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, she just thinks he 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 realises.
The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were published it would ruin lives - so there are a lot of people who might want to silence him. And when Quine is found brutally murdered in bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any he has encountered before....
A compulsively listenable 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.
Please note: This audiobook contains explicit language
©2014 Robert Galbraith Limited (P)2014 Hachette Audio
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Critic Reviews

“A damn good read … It’s a book to gulp down, and although Rowling may now be a bona fide Olympic-opening-ceremony-level celeb, the skill with which this book is written tells you as much as its subject-matter does that writing is the core of her life. 5 stars.” ( Telegraph)
“A pacey detective story… a tightly stitched updating of the classic tale of the dishevelled but brilliant private dick, smattered with references to 19th-century French literature and pre-Levenson sleuthing tactics, alongside well-realised characters... moreish” ( Independent)
“‘Strike felt a sudden weariness wash over him. What was this mania to appear in print?’ But no such question arises about JK Rowling’s second career as a crime writer. She’s really hitting her stride here.” ( Evening Standard)
“‘Writing as Robert Galbraith has been a pure joy,’ Rowling has said. So has reading him…. The last line of The Silkworm, which will lift the hearts of readers who have come to love its deeply sympathetic characters, offers the prospect of more of that joy both for her and for us.” ( USA Today)
“Astutely observed, well-paced and full of Rowling's trademark acerbic wit, The Silkworm thoroughly engages as a crime novel. But it might be even more enjoyable to read between the lines in search of what Rowling has to say about fame, publishing, and the modern writer's life.” ( People)
“Why is ‘likable’ the first word that comes to mind upon finishing The Silkworm? Surely, that has something to do with Rowling’s palpable pleasure in her newly chosen genre (the jig may be up with her Robert Galbraith pseudonym, but the bloom is still on her homicidal rose) and even more to do with her detective hero, who, at the risk of offending, is the second husband of every author’s dreams.” ( Washington Post)
“Rowling’s fans will find the novel - which isn’t in stores until next Thursday - worth the wait.” ( Daily News)
The Silkworm is a deeply satisfying work of crime fiction, more complex and darker than its predecessor. Yet Rowling has a lot of fun, too, especially in her knowing depiction of the incestuous worlds of publishing and the media. She also brings London to life in all its grimy glamour” ( The Australian)
"One of the most unique and compelling detectives I've come across in years." (Mark Billingham on The Cuckoo's Calling)
"Just once in a while a private detective emerges who captures the public imagination in a flash. And here is one who might well do that... An auspicious debut." ( Daily Mail on The Cuckoo's Calling)
"The novel is the work of a master storyteller." ( Daily Telegraph on The Cuckoo's Calling)
" The Cuckoo's Calling reminds me why I fell in love with crime fiction in the first place." (Val McDermid)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Jane on 07-10-14

The second in this series did not disappoint

Book One, The Cuckoo’s Calling, deftly, convincingly, introduced detective Cormoran Strike and his offsider, Robin (of course). The Silkworm smoothly continues this narrative and with a new ‘case’, though referring to, and building on, the previous one.

This time, the contrast between Robin’s unwavering decency, echoed ponderously by her tedious fiancée, and Cormoran’s life-induced cynicism and capacity for the self sacrificing pursuit of social and legal justice, is further underlined by characters who take these two to the seamy, low life, indecent under-belly of society.

This side of life got to be bit much for me! I’m not a fragile flower: I was just edging on the bored because involving the reader in vile humans can edge towards the gratuitous – and Galbraith was coming pretty close to that line, much closer, I suggest, than in Book One.

But nothing would deter me from following the lives of these two detectives, who were more interesting.

The book was structured with the skill of a consummate and successful author (AKA Rowling).

The reader, Robert Glenister, complemented the material flawlessly: his acting was superb.

Bring on the next book in the series.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Anne on 06-27-14

Another great mystery with Cormoran Strike.

What made the experience of listening to The Silkworm the most enjoyable?

The mystery is very well developed with unexpected twists. The setting in a writers and publishers milieu was very interesting. I love the flowing style of writing and the oftentimes moving emotions of the protagonist. Will he ever learn to deal with the damage done to him by his freakish ex and the in his mind, reoccurring scene were the IED explodes?

What did you like best about this story?

The way Cormoran Strike handles his cases and him being a veteran. The development of his assistant Robin also adds to the story.

Which scene was your favorite?

The surprising ending and disclosure of the murder.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I wanted to but couldn't since it was a 17.16 hrs listen.

Any additional comments?

When can I read #3 ?

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Linda on 08-06-14

5 star rating based on quality not name

I was lured into the first Cormoron Strike story by the many estatic reviews - and I just loved it. Here was a really interesting main character living and working (rather haphazardly) in the slightly old fashioned London in which I have lived in and loved for years. When I found out that Robert Galbraith was in fact J K Rowling it made no difference to me one way or the other - although I could see why JKR had chosen anonymity. Having so looked forward to this 2nd instalment I was horrified at the appalling reviews and so appealed to my sister and niece who were physically reading the book for an honest view before I spent a credit and downloaded. 'Absolutely great' they both said - and absolutely great is the audible version. I have been listening to 'The Silkworm' until my ears have buzzed (I listen on headphones most of the time). Yes it's a somewhat bizarre plot and yes I did spot who-dun-it but that does not detract in any way from a thoroughly inventive story, great characters and however many hours of enjoyable listening. I cannot help but feel that our national pastime of shooting down anyone successful has come into play here. Go download you won't regret it!

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19 of 21 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Dragon on 07-01-14

Glenister does his level best with this one but...

I much enjoyed the previous Cormoran Strike book (Cuckoos Calling). This one also has quite a good mystery with nice clues of various kinds scattered through the book - some of them 'real' (events observed) and others more inward (e.g. the ideas and nature of a book written by the murder victim). That was an interesting idea and could have made a great story but…

The motivation and final resolution are not strong. There is also a lot of gruesome S-M stuff in the story, and in the story-within, which is somehow toe-curlingly embarrassing in a way that other authors manage to avoid in this type of fiction (c.f. various scandi-noir). The burgeoning romance really lacks subtlety (this was so much better in the first book). And the whole thing is set in a world of literature, critics and editors about which I think the author has too-strong emotional views of her own. And it is long and very repetitive (a lot of description about the hero's missing leg and prosthesis for example) and all that detail is not always internally consistent, even within-scenes.

All could have been improved enormously and probably redeemed with some serious and stringent editing. But this author doesn't seem to like editors very much.

The reading is great and Glenister does a great job with pace, voices and mood.

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37 of 45 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Jeremy on 04-29-15

An excellent follow up

If you enjoyed The Cuckoo's Calling, you'll no doubt enjoy this.

'Robert Galbraith' does a great job further developing the character of Cormoran Strike, and of course there's an excellent murder mystery! I also really enjoyed some of the observations by Galbraith/Rowling/Cormoran on people and life.

The narration was faultless and really adds to the characters.

This isn't my usual genre of books but I love this series and can't wait for the next one.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Anonymous User on 03-04-18

Another corker from Robert Galbraith

I didn’t like this second Strike novel as much as the first — it’s gruesome, but it’s still an excellent detective story. Robin and Strike really carry the reader along, and their case is saved from being overly grotesque by the fact that it’s clearly about why people behave the way they do, whether it’s the murdered man with his eccentricities, or his widow who doesn’t care what people think, or the cast of ancillary characters who each have an axe to grind. I found myself pondering this story more than the previous one, because it asks why people turn out the way they do...

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