Friday, September 5, 2014

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott are back in a new mystery!  Approximately nine months after solving the Lula Landry case, things are looking slightly better for gritty private investigator Cormoran Strike.   He’s now sleeping in the flat above his office (instead of *in* the office itself) and has a steady stream of rich socialites who have hired Strike to spy on their wives/husbands/girlfriends.  But Strike is bored.  Soon, a shabby, mousy woman arrives at the office saying that her husband has gone missing.  Leonora Quine insists that though Owen may be an unfaithful husband who often disappears for days at a time, he would never leave for too long because of their daughter.  Owen Quine is a has-been writer known for novels of a very graphic nature.  The newest book that he’s just finished and is ready to publish, Bombyx Mori, is more of the same or so it first appears.  Cormoran’s gut tells him that this is no ordinary case and is soon on the hunt for the missing Quine.

After a visit to Quine’s agent, Strike learns that the new novel is more than it seems.  Apparently Quine has based the characters in his book on many of his friends and coworkers in the publishing industry.  After being told that his book was unpublishable due to possible libel lawsuits, the author threatens to publish it himself as an ebook, gathers up every last scrap of the manuscript and disappears.  When Quine is discovered murdered in a way that mirrors that of the main character in Bombyx Mori, even more questions arise.  Who had a chance to read the manuscript?  Quine had dirt of a lot of people, but who would go so far as to commit murder?

Like The Cuckoo’s Calling, the first book in the Strike series written under J.K. Rowling’s pseudonym, The Silkworm jumps right back into the middle of Cormoran and Robin’s world of mystery and crime.  There is more character development: Robin’s fiancée Matthew still hasn’t come around to Robin’s career choice and Stike is still struggling with his latest breakup with Charlotte.  And yes, there is still a lot of unvoiced tension ala “Why don’t Robin and Strike just date each other?  Then they wouldn’t be so darn miserable!” which is half the fun of these books.  Readers who enjoyed The Cuckoos Calling will not be disappointed by The Silkworm and the fact that Galbraith has left plenty of room for more Cormoran Strike novels in the future.

Check out The Silkworm @ the library!