The Silkworm

The Silkworm

Book - 2014
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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.
Publisher: New York : Mulholland Books, Little, Brown and Company, c2014.
Edition: 1st North American ed.
ISBN: 9780316206877
0316206873
Branch Call Number: GALBRAITH R
Characteristics: 455 p. ; 25 cm.
Alternative Title: Silk worm

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GORDON PAUL COWAN
Feb 19, 2019

I've missed J. K. Rowling since Harry grew up. I was so happy to find her writing under a pseudonym and was delighted to find all of the 'Strike' novels available at my library. I read this, her second novel in the series, first, without any difficulty of having not read them in order. Very enjoyable. Now, I'll read the first, and then the third; and anything else I can get my eyes on.

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southstreetwest
Feb 13, 2019

Again "R Galbraith" does not disappoint.
Not a fast easy read but one you can cosy up to in front of a fire on a Canadian snow day or on a lazy summer afternoon on the Muskoka dock.
One should not hurry through this mystery.
Like Rowling's Harry Potter, we must allow her to develop her beloved central characters and wonderfully descriptive settings.
Sentence structure makes you want to slow down and enjoy the author's genious as an author.

Hillsboro_JeanineM Jan 19, 2019

A bibliomystery with many suspects and a nod to Peter Greenway's film "The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover". Cormoran and Robin make a good team in solving this case.

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goddessbeth
Jan 17, 2019

Cormoran Strike is again the gruff, scruffy, good-hearted but bad-mannered noir-esque private detective in this second book of the series. We get more of Robin, and the development of their partnership. This new case has nothing to do with the first book, and since the majority of it had to do with the (apparently snarktastic) world of book publishing, it all felt quite grounded in reality.

I'm sure there are those who don't like the measured pace of the book. If you're looking for a rollicking ride, or more of a tense thriller, this isn't the book for you. But I'll tell you- I did not see the killer. I mean, I guessed at the beginning, when we were clearly meant to be suspicious of everyone, but as the evidence stacked up I couldn't see how the pieces of the puzzle fit together. And that's a treat, to me, with mysteries. That's not to say that 'whodunnit' was far-fetched, but that the author doesn't spoon-feed us readers anything. Smarter people than myself could likely figure out who the killer was before the reveal, but I like being surprised.

And along with the pace was a full development of characters. Every character (in both books) has been so realistic- flawed, vulnerable, and whole. I had moments where I loved each of them, and moments where I wanted to shake them (except for Vainglorious- who I wanted to shake pretty much the entire time. What a prat). I think it deepens the mystery, because there are no subconscious clues (this character seems shady or that one is never developed, etc.) and it also adds the atmosphere of realism. Without being in the publishing world, I have absolutely known Pippa, Katherine Kent, Leonora, Owen, and so many more in here. You'd likely recognize a few from your own experiences, too.

In all, I recommend this if you like measured pace, developed character, and well-crafted murder. You don't even have to read the first book, as this one doesn't rely on anything that happened before (although the relationship between Cormoran and Robin loses something when you don't see it from the beginning).

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cairdegael11
Jan 01, 2019

Robert Galbraith, AKA J.K. Rowling, has not made a smooth transition to adult fiction.
I borrowed this book after reading other reviews, and even though I suspect that I will be in the minority, I found it tedious, much too long, and seriously lacking a good plot/narrative.
It may be that I judged this book as an acquisitions editor (my profession), but apart from enjoying reading about some of the likeable characters, I found it tough going.
Superfluous dialogue, seriously pretentious writing, and the quotations heading each chapter often had nothing to do with the narrative that followed.

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WhidbeyIslander
Oct 15, 2018

Usually I look on starting a 650+ page book with trepidation. And sometimes I think a book could have been a few hundred pages shorter. But this one satisfied and deserved the length to unfurl its plot and expand on the relationship of Strike and Robin. Only issue was the quotations from other (mostly classical) writings that I eventually just ignored. (P.S. There are full YouTube videos of this online.)

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Beverleigh
Nov 06, 2017

I thought Cuckoo's Calling better. I enjoyed the book but found it difficult keeping everyone straight if I happened to put down for a bit. Strike and Robin are both likable characters but not so much the others. Am looking forward to the next book. I did not guess the outcome.

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yasghanem
Mar 03, 2017

I liked The Cuckoo's Calling better. This one was a little harder to follow. There were a lot of characters and then their respective characters in the novel that's written by the victim. So it there were a lot of names to keep track of. But the story is still intriguing and I enjoyed the read, just slightly preferred the first one. Strike is possibly one of my new favorite detectives so I am excited to start the next!

ArapahoeTiegan Jan 26, 2017

1/26/17: Found out through Robert Galbraith's page on Goodreads that there is going to be a BBC show for these books!!

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AKALange
Dec 07, 2016

I like the main character a lot in this book, he's complex and a well rounded character.
For some odd reason though it took forever for me to get into this book, for a long time I felt like I didn't want to finish.

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Swinn3
Jun 21, 2015

If you haven't read Cuckoo's Calling, the first in this series, stop and read it before this one. You're going to want to read ALL in this fabulous detective series by the author of the Harry Potter books. These are for ADULTS, however. The sympathetic hero is an Iraq war vet with a heart that's both big and broken. Interesting tension with his attractive secretary. Good mystery. A hero to route for! (set in London).

DanniOcean Jul 15, 2014

Being released without the hype of her more famous Harry Potter series suits the protagonist of JK Rowling’s more mature novels to a T. The Cormoran Strike novels contain all the intrigue, plot-twists and attention to language that made Harry Potter so engaging and immersive, although the setting is contemporary London, rich in detail and atmosphere. Still very much a character-driven series, there is more revealed about Strike, his strained relationships with his family, and the growing detective skills of his assistant, Robin, both his secretary and foil. The other characters – mostly all suspects in a grisly murder – are drawn with the same deft pen, details slowly emerging to give them full depth, and this provides some clever trails to more than a few red herrings. Owen Quine is a legendary writer in his own mind who has gone missing after throwing a tantrum at his agent. His long-suffering wife has hired Strike to find him, and it isn’t long before Strike finds the author, gruesomely dead - Quine has suffered a very cruel fate. Strike cannot shake the case from his conscience, especially after the wife is arrested, and he and Robin begin a treacherous game of cat and mouse with a killer whose heart is made of pure ice. The Silkworm is grittier than the previous Strike novel, Cuckoo’s Calling, and the tone is as if Rowling is paying homage to the hard-boiled detectives of old – there is some profanity, some sex and a femme fatale lurking in the background, and not a small amount of dark humour. Readers of the Harry Potter series will note the offbeat flourish of seemingly odd detail here and there that is one of Rowling’s literary signatures, and for those who enjoy this series, there is a slight indication in the author’s notes that there may be more to come for Cormoran Strike. Isn’t it just like JK Rowling to leave a teaser?

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bixby
Jun 30, 2014

Private Detective Cormoran Strike seeks to solve the murder of an author in a case where there sure are a lot of suspects!
I never did suspect the right person!

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