Reviewing Robert Galbraith’s The Silkworm

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The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (pseudonym alert) picks up a little while after the events of The Cuckoo’s Calling and once again features Cormoran Strike and his secretary/assistant Robin trying to find the missing novelist Owen Quine. His wife wants nothing more than her husband home and Cormoran decides to take on the case.

I always find it very hard to review books I love as waxing lyrical about something for x number of lines is nowhere near as interesting as pulling something apart. But I loved this book. I loved the first one and I loved the second one.

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Like the first one, this is a tightly plotted novel with an absorbing crime in the middle of it. Exactly what has happened to Owen Quine and who is responsible for it? The potential suspects were interesting and varied – most of them coming from the literary or publishing world. (I quite liked Galbraith’s take on literary authors and I wonder how much of their personality and pomposity is based on Rowling’s own experiences with authors like that. They hark on and on about the literary merit of their work – a ‘merit’ which makes their work largely unreadable at least according to Cormoran and Robin).

When Quine vanishes he leaves behind an anxious wife and a mentally disabled daughter, both of whom miss their husband/father greatly. He also leaves behind a manuscript for his next book, his self-proclaimed greatest work, Bombyx Mori which is causing huge issues in the publishing world. People are recognising them in the work and lawsuits are flying about all over the place. Into this mess step Cormoran and Robin and like the first book, things do not run smoothly for them in trying to solve the case or in their personal lives.

I like the importance their personal lives play in this story – it adds an element of realism to the whole thing (not that the crime itself is unreal – grotesque, yes but not unreal) and it develops both Cormoran and Robin really well. We meet their friends, more family members and the both achieve milestones in their romantic lives – one finally lets someone go and the other admits how important something is. Galbraith weaved the more personal scenes in with the other scenes seamlessly, something I was really happy with.

The book is set in London and it’s a character in these books. Dark, damp and covered in snow. Galbraith’s knowledge and description of London is amazing.

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Read this. You have to read it. It’s really good. And if you haven’t read the first book then you have to read that too.

Also the day this book was released was the day I went to Waterstones Piccadilly for a book event. I was in the right place at the right time and managed to get my hands on a signed edition of The Silkworm. Definitely one of the coolest things I will ever own.

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