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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 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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Gretchen SLP on 08-24-16
Elizabethan Revenge Tragedy In Contemporary London
I loved this second volume in the Cormoran Strike series only slightly less well than the first, but only because of a few slightly implausible story elements in the final moments of the book. Otherwise, in some ways, Silkworm is an even grander achievement than its predecessor, Cuckoo's Calling. Here, Rowling draws on her extensive knowledge of Elizabethan and Jacobean revenge tragedies (gleaned during her studies in English literature) as she crafts the most literary detective fiction you've ever read. Non English majors will learn a lot about Renaissance drama, and English majors will be seriously impressed. I'm eagerly downloading the next volume in the series as I write this. I recommend this book to all mystery fans, with only one caveat: A strong stomach may be an asset during a few descriptive passages about the crime scene.
Bechdel test: Pass.
18 of 20 people found this review helpful
By Tracey on 06-26-14
Made Alligator Alley fly by
I started this book the day before a business trip to Florida and found it hard to put down outside of business hours. I was so happy to have this well-crafted mystery to help the miles melt beneath my wheels; otherwise the hours I spent on the road wouldn't have been so pleasant (although, I learned one needs cruise control with such an involving tome, otherwise the speedometer frequently tips 80.)
"The Silkworm" (Rowling's 2nd mystery under the nom de plume Robert Galbraith), continues with the character development begun in "Cuckoo's Calling" of Cormoran Strike (war hero, illegitimate son of a rock star and struggling PI with one prosthetic leg, courtesy of the Afghan theater) and Robin, Cormoran's temp secretary turned Girl Friday/Dr. Watson.
I love that Galbraith/Rowling makes Cormoran a bit misanthropic and surly and not some unrealistic, noble hero. His imperfections make him all the more likable.
And the icing on the cake -- a twisty mystery with multiple plot arcs, replete with engaging characters.
Rowling proved to the world that she can write YA fantasy -- well, she has proven to me she can write mysteries irrespective of which name appears on the cover.
And the narrator, Robert Glenister -- PERFECTION! His range is incredible despite is deep voice, he manages not to make the women sound campy (like some male narrators do.) I plan to search for books narrated by him so I do not have to wait until the next Robert Galbraith novel appears.
The worst part is I have started and stopped several books since I finished "The Silkworm" -- it is a tough act to follow.
85 of 98 people found this review helpful