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Wednesday, 13 August 2014

THE SILKWORM by Robert Galbraith

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.
 
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...

 
Last year, I really enjoyed the first Cormoran Strike book. So I was really looking forward to reading the next one.
 
Cormoran is no stranger to getting attention. After all, he is the illegitimate son of an aging rockstar and a war veteran who lost part of his leg in Afghanistan. Now he can add something else to the list: solving the Lula Landry case. Being known for that has helped his business. There are a lot of clients wanting to hire him, and even finds himself turning some away.
 
With his trusty and very capable assistant to help him keep everything on schedule, he manages to take on just enough to keep the money rolling in. He's also now living in the recently vacated attic apartment upstairs. It might be too small for a big guy, but it's definitely better than living in his office. 
 
Robin Ellacott enjoys working with Cormoran Strike, but sometimes feels like she's going nowhere. She took a huge paycut to work with the PI and even put a strain on her relationship because of it, but she's determined to show her boss she's got what it takes to become more than just an assistant. She wants to do real detective work, not sit on the sidelines. And even though tragedy strikes on her fiancĂ©e's side of the family, forcing them to change their wedding plans, she's still determined to show what she's worth.
 
When the wife of a missing novelist who often takes off without telling anyone where he's going hires Cormoran to look into his disappearance, he takes on the case. What starts out as the search for a wayward writer with a penchant for the dramatic and a wandering eye for the ladies, quickly turns into a mystery the detective is keen to unravel. It turns out that Owen Quine wasn't considered a great writer, and he certainly wasn't liked by many. The more Cormoran investigates, the more he realises that the answer to Quine's disappearance lies in his latest book. A grotesque novel that no one wanted to publish because all of the characters were people he knew and didn't seem to think much of.
 
Actually, Bombyx Mori might have been enough to get him murdered.
 
This was such an interesting book. I already liked Cormoran and Robin, so settling back into their lives in London was easy. I enjoy Cormoran's approach to investigating a crime, and how he let his instincts help make the decision of whether to take this case on or not. He believed in his client from the beginning, and kept investigating until the bizarre truth was uncovered. No matter what the cops were up to, he never gave up, which makes him a very determined and enjoyable character.
 
The Silkworm hooked me in from the very beginning, and kept me guessing until the big reveal. The mystery of Quine's disappearance was filled with twists and turns, and with enough suspects to make it really hard to solve the case. Which is an awesome thing! I also liked how the changing face of publishing became a theme, and the author observations were clever too. 
 
This is turning out to be a great series. I can't wait to read more.
 
The Silkworm, June 2014, ISBN   9781408704035, Sphere

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