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The Silkworm

Galbraith, Robert

Book - 2014
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Silkworm
Print
Private investigator Cormoran Strike returns in a new mystery from Robert Galbraith, author of the #1 international bestseller The Cuckoo's Calling . 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... 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.

Publisher: New York :, Mulholland Books/Little, Brown and Company,, 2014.
Edition: First North American edition.
ISBN: 9780316206877
0316206873
Characteristics: 455 pages ; 25 cm
Alternate Title: Silk worm

Opinion

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A new Cormoran Strike mystery from Robert Galbraith (pen name of - perhaps you've heard of her? - JK Rowling).


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Mar 15, 2015
  • panchodog rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Nice tight mystery from JK Rowling (aka Robert Galbraith). I really enjoyed this one and her earlier mystery. Well developed characters and excellent pacing keep it moving right along.

Mar 03, 2015
  • star20rkb rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I enjoyed the first book "The Cuckoo's Calling" more than I did this one. I felt Rowling did a great job of continuing her characters Comoran Strike and Robin but I could not get invested in any of the other characters. I really did not care who ended up being the murderer. I felt the plot was too long and the clues non existent. I did however become invested enough to continue reading to the end. I'd like to see more about this detetive

Feb 11, 2015
  • WCLSBlaineLibrary rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I'm glad J K Rowling is continuing her characters Strike and Robin from Cuckoo's Calling. This book was admittedly graphic in the gruesomeness of the murder, however kept me plowing ahead to figure it out. ~Cindy

Jan 30, 2015
  • gvenkatesh rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Whatever the motivations might have been for writing under a pseudonym, it is clear that the author is relishing not being constrained by the PG rating of the H. Potter series.

The second novel takes a gorier turn than the first one - The Cuckoo is Calling - but is much more livelier to read.

Unfortunately, it is way too long for the plot. The anticlimactic ending is signaled ahead unintentionally by trying too hard to keep the mystery going till the very end.

While the author's considerable experience comes through in the fluidity of the novel and the protagonist detective is being given far more detecting capabilities than in the first book, the author is still struggling to establish the character in an engaging manner.

The constant harping on the detective dealing with one leg to drive the events gets a bit too grating and too convenient at times for the plot. If the intent was to make the reader sympathetic towards the protagonist, it fails by overdoing it. If the intent was to make him look realistic, it fails again by overdoing it.

At times, he comes out like the irascible Hercule Poirot but without reaching that level of brilliance to offset. The rest of the time, he comes out like the swaggering Dick Tracy but with the disability limiting any physical prowess.

Great authors let the characters drive the events and the narrative with the readers going along with them and seeing and hearing through them. This series feels like it is over-engineered by the micro-managing author that draws far more attention to herself with the narration than the characters. One gets the feel of watching a puppet show where the strings are too visible.

The ending reverts to the overt "I am not going to give away anything including clues, you just have to read till the end" that might work in tweener fiction but fails as an intelligent mystery fiction for adults. The considerable details of events that define the novel being explicitly omitted where it might give away the plot looks amateurish at best.

Rather than challenge the readers to formulate their own theories and or opinions as good mystery novels do, the author just wants the readers to come along for the ride as she manipulates the narrative to its conclusion. Further, by trying too hard to hide the plot's progress via omission, the conclusion is signaled ahead for an anticlimactic ending.

In some ways, this novel is a step forward from the first in being more colorful and eventful but in many ways, a step backward in not allowing the reader to participate intelligently and be entertained.

The author needs to take herself out of the book and let the plot and characters do the job than their overt manipulations trying to do so.

Jan 21, 2015
  • dorolou rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

You have to read very carefully because there is a lot of little clues you have to remember.

Jan 02, 2015
  • karen9 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Interesting story, despite the twist, it's very well written. I personally like the first book of this series "The Cuckoo's Calling" more then this one. I felt this one was less interesting than the other one. However, overall still really good and interesting! Robin has a strong and interesting personality, and I think it's interesting to be able to read a character who works for something she's passionate about then for money. (Despite her fiances' thoughts against this job) I'm happy at the end he gives her support. Strike's character develops gradually from book 1 and 2, he gains a more "detective" personality and it's a fun read. A recommend read for all Mystery and Rowling fans.

Dec 16, 2014

The second in this series, from the author who wrote Harry Potter. Way too long, and though the ending is unexpected. Slogging through one can forsee many inevitable conclusions, though the curmudgeonly detective and his clever assistant are well portrayed.

Dec 02, 2014
  • Chapel_Hill_MarthaW rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I don't read many contemporary mysteries, but Robert Galbraith's (AKA J.K. Rowling) Cormoran Strike books are really superb. I didn't love the mystery in this one quite as much as that of The Cuckoo's Calling, but the character development was wonderful, and I really enjoy how the author has managed to make detective Strike and his secretary Robin feel like such real, fully realized characters. I can't wait to find out what happens to them next.

Nov 28, 2014
  • cheadlebeagle rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I enjoyed this book more than the Cuckoo's Calling. The character development is great and I like the two leads. Look forward to more in the series.

Nov 16, 2014
  • mdonohue169 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I like the characters Strike & Robin but I thought this book wasn't as good as the first one. The plot was really convoluted and the constant references to a rather nasty fictionalized macho-sadistic book left me with a headache. Still the descriptions of place were great and the book managed to involve me.

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Jul 16, 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?

Jun 30, 2014
  • bixby rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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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