Cormoran Strike fans, rejoice! After his debut outing in The Cuckoo’s Calling, J.K. Rowling’s gruff private detective is back. (Robert Galbraith, in case you didn’t know, is the pen name Rowling has adopted for her series of crime novels.)
Summoned by the wife of author Owen Quine – who has mysteriously disappeared – to find her husband, Strike quickly finds himself immersed in the literary world of London, where feuds, tensions and creative catfights bubble endlessly.
What starts as a missing person case quickly turns into a murder investigation – but can Strike and his assistant Robin find the killer before an innocent woman is jailed for the crime?
The Silkworm is fast-moving and engaging; readers of The Cuckoo’s Calling will welcome back strike and his crime-solving prowess. Strike is the most likeable thing about the whole novel, although over-references to his lost leg do get a little tedious after a while (it is referenced so endlessly that it almost becomes a character in its own right).
The book is fast-paced and keeps the reader turning the page as twist after twist unfolds – however, there are sections of narrative where the psycho-analysis behind the victim and the suspects drag on just a little too long.
As grotesque in places as it is readable, it offers a dark insight into the feuds that life-long friendships can unfurl. You probably won’t guess who the killer is until the end but that doesn’t really matter, as all the suspects are such grim characters that you’d be quite happy to see any of them jailed for the crime. But the story will keep you guessing until the very end, promise.