[EN] The Silkworm - Robert Galbraith

Title: The Silkworm, Cormoran Strike #2
Author: Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)
Publisher: Sphere
Release date: 2014
Pages: 455


* Writers are a savage breed, Mr. Strike. If you want life-long friendship and selfless camaraderie, join the army and learn to kill. If you want a lifetime of temporary alliances with peers who will glory in your every failure, write novels*

  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 is published it will 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 Strike has encountered before...
 * Strike was used to standing for hours in the cold, watching darkened windows, following faceless strangers; to unanswered phones and doors, blank faces, clueless bystanders; to enforced, frustrated inaction. What was different and distracting on this occasion was the small whine of anxiety that formed a backdrop to everything he did.*

After the Cuckoo’s calling, we are back in London, this time in the world of publishers. When Leonora Quine asks Strike to look for her husband, author Owen Quine, everything tells him to refuse. Despite other people’s advice and his own doubts, he starts looking for him and soon finds out that there is more to the story than the childish tantrum of a temperamental novelist. Everything seems to revolve around Owen’s unpublished manuscript, in which he attacks about anybody he knew. As the police get interested in the case, Strike understands he needs to solve the case in order to prove Leonora innocent. Fortunately, he can count on Robin more than ever.
As you can expect with the second book of a series, the writing style remains the same and the main characters too. Some time has elapsed since Robin and Strike solved Lula Landry’s murder and it is a pleasure to find them unchanged. However, their relationship will evolve a lot with the Quine case and take a welcome unexpected turn. These two unconventional and original detective characters are no doubt the greatest strength of the book!
The plot itself is well thought and the author paid attention to every detail, which make the complicated story realistic in the point of view of the reader. However, I found the first part of the book rather complicated to follow. It might have been due to the many new characters introduced to us without much background information (which made it difficult for me to distinguish between them at first), to the numerous leads that Strike or the police have to follow or to the often changing point of view. This resulted in a great confusion, which fortunately disappeared as the story went on.
In The Silkworm, the author gives a harsh description of the publishing milieu which, given her background, can probably be rather accurate and maybe even personal. Nobody seems sincere and most characters are self-centred and opportunistic. There is no doubt that this contributes to building suspense because it is impossible to know which characters are telling the truth and which ones are trying to keep their secrets. For Strike, who does not know a lot about this world, it is also difficult to understand the relation between Owen’s unpublished work and his death.
The Silkworm is a good crime novel which will live up to the expectations of the fans of the Cormoran Strike’s series. I personally did not like is as much as the first book, because the beginning was too confusing, but we find our beloved characters again and the familiar writing style of the author!



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