Better late than never, I sit at the table in the dining room and type out the notes from my recent foray into ‘The Silkworm’. The second book following the private detective, Cormoran Strike, this is also author Robert Galbraith’s (pseudonym of JK Rowling) second crime novel. It shows.
Darker than ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’; this novel takes what worked with the first book and makes it better. Based around the world of publishing, an area Galbraith knows well, it sucks you in and keeps you guessing. There are clear influences of other crime novels, such as the Hannibal books, particularly with reference to the violent nature of the crime.
The characters were a mix, despite the improved nature of the book. While the two main characters, Strike and Robin, remain well fleshed out, other characters did fall a little flat. It was hard to see them as ‘real’. However, the variety of characters provides the novel with a greater depth and Orlando, a woman with learning difficulties, gives the book a level of humanity that it would have otherwise been missing.
Despite enjoying the book tremendously, I did find it hard to keep track of the dates throughout, which did interfere a little with the scene-setting. The relationship between Strike and Robin did take a turn around halfway through the book, in a direction I was not too happy with. It was only enhanced by the insight into Robin and her fiancé’s own relationship. Fortunately, these issues were resolved by the end.
Overall, I found myself engrossed in ‘The Silkworm’. It felt real and brought you into a world that was well fleshed-out. Indeed, despite the murder and the crude image painted of the publishing industry, it only made me want to join it more.
Rating: 4/5 stars.