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The Silkworm (A Cormoran Strike Novel) Hardcover – June 19, 2014

4.1 out of 5 stars 3,995 customer reviews
Book 2 of 2 in the Cormoran Strike Series

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Editorial Reviews


"Strike shares a trait with many great fictional detectives: He is darn good company...The Silkworm is a very well-written, wonderfully entertaining take on the traditional British crime novel...Robert Galbraith may proudly join the ranks of English, Scottish and Irish crime writers such as Tana French, Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, John Connolly, Kate Atkinson and Peter Robinson."―Harlan Coben, The New York Times Book Review

"Cormoran Strike is back, and so is his resourceful sidekick, Robin Ellacott, a gumshoe team that's on its way to becoming as celebrated for its mystery-solving skills as Nick and Nora Charles of "Thin Man" fame, and Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander (a.k.a. the girl with the dragon tattoo)."―Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"The plot zings along...Swift and satisfying"―Carolyn Kellogg, The Los Angeles Times

"'The last line of The Silkworm, which will lift the hearts of readers who have come to love its deeply sympathetic characters, offers the prospect of more of that joy both for her and for us."―Charles Finch, USA Today (3.5/4 stars)

"A compulsively entertaining yarn."―Thom Geier, Entertainment Weekly

"Robert Galbraith... has written a second absorbing whodunit starring detective Corcmoran Strike to follow last year's stealth hit, The Cuckoo's Calling.... Astutely observed, well-paced... The Silkworm thoroughly engages as a crime novel."―Sue Corbett, People

The Silkworm is fast-paced and entertaining... Strike is heroic without intending to be and has a great back story. He's the illegitimate son of a rock star whose half-siblings grew up in privilege... And he's brooding, but not annoyingly so. Strike has all kinds of potential. It'd be a crime not to keep up with him."―Sherryl Connelly, Daily News

"Why is "likable" the first word that comes to mind upon finishing The Silkworm? Surely, that has something to do with Rowling's palpable pleasure in her newly chosen genre (the jig may be up with her Robert Galbraith pseudonym, but the bloom is still on her homicidal rose) and even more to do with her detective hero, who, at the risk of offending, is the second husband of every author's dreams."―Louis Bayard, The Washington Post

"The story is enthralling, not only for its twists and turns, but for the fun of the teamwork.... [It's] a cast of characters who you'll want to meet again and again."―Ashley Ross, Time

"[The Silkworm is a] swift-paced, suspenseful mystery....Robert Galbraith has announced himself a fresh voice in mystery fiction: part hard-boiled, part satiric, part poignant, and part romantic."―Tom Nolan, The Wall Street Journal

"Bring on the next one, please....Galbraith writes with wit and affection for detective-novel tradition (it's impossible not to see her central duo as a modern-day Nick and Nora, minus the marriage), and races us through a twisty plot so smoothly that you won't notice as the hours tick by."―Moira MacDonald, The Seattle Times

"Having just the better part of a day and a night making my way through the 455 pages of The Silkworm ... I must say, I don't mind at all... The murder mystery at the heart of The Silkworm is a genuine mystery with an altogether satisfying resolution." Malcolm Jones, The Daily Beast

"[Galbraith] weaves a pleasurably wicked literary murder mystery with all its attendant aspects of publishing politics, from the peevish to the pompous, into Strike's personal and professional lives....Only two books in, and Galbraith's characters already feel like familiar-and welcome-friends."―Daneet Steffens, The Boston Globe

About the Author

Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series and The Casual Vacancy.

Product Details

  • Series: A Cormoran Strike Novel (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 455 pages
  • Publisher: Mulholland Books; 1st edition (June 19, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316206873
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316206877
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.7 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,995 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Pen name used by J K Rowling, the British novelist best known as the author of the Harry Potter fantasy series.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I adored the first book, so I had high hopes for this one. I mean, really, really high hopes. I arranged my entire week around reading it so that once I started, I wouldn't have to put it down.

This is always a dangerous endeavor, because if the book turns out to be less good than I hoped, I'm deeply disappointed.

As you can guess by the title of this review, quite the opposite occurred.

In my opinion, Galbraith's greatest strength is the ability to build believable, unique characters who are realistic and have distinct speaking styles. Well, that and stunningly good prose.

It isn't necessary to read The Cuckoo's Calling first, but I think it's a good idea. This book begins a few months after the last one left off, and the relationships have progressed accordingly. There aren't particular heroes or villains, just real people who are good and bad, kind and mean, ugly and pretty -- where none of those three things necessarily correspond to any of the others.

In any case, Strike and Robin are going about their normal business, with all the usual small misunderstandings and unexpected skills, etc. that go along with most working relationships. Then, when Strike is exhausted and not thinking clearly, he takes on a new client, a rather worn-looking middle-aged woman who wants him to find her husband and thinks it'll be a short, simple job, and she's sure someone else will pay his bill.

Ah hah. Sure that's how it's going to work.

And so our story kicks off.

Oh, I should add -- I am a professional editor and a very prolific reader. Of the dozens of new books I've read so far this year, this is the best.
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Format: Hardcover
Ever since the end of the Harry Potter days, I always sensed Ms. Rowling's wish to get back into writing simply for the pure joy of composing an interesting and artfully written story. The Silkworm is her 3rd attempt (post Harry P) to grab a loyal following of adults worldwide. Reading the Silkworm has convinced me she is going to succeed with her fresh series of whodunit crime mysteries.

The Silkworm is her second book (following the Cuckoo's Calling) featuring the wounded military veteran turn detective Cormoran Strike and his trusted young assistant Robin Ellacot. The crime fighting dual get caught up with the murder of a known novelist. The victim a (self-centered) author named Owen Quine disappearance and murder is tied to a scandalous novel he was composing that would reveal hidden secrets of almost everyone he knew (mostly people in the publishing business). Quine's murder is grisly to say the least and very twisted.

The victim's novel is a gothic like fiction that implicates his rivals, editor, publisher, and even his own wife & mistress. The collection of suspects is therefore small, and the author gives you intervals of hints for each character's motive to keep the story moving and interesting. The murder case blends well with the lead character Cormoran Strike as he pursues the murderer. Defective Strike a former Royal Military Police investigator fits well with this dark tale. Strike is a rough and tumble bruiser who is no stranger to the bizarre and wicked. His recent success with solving the murder of a former supermodel (The Cuckoo's Calling) has been a tremendous uplift in his career, and it's opportune to solve the crime that will evolve into the meaning of the title "The Silkworm".
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is another very good effort from JKR in the detective fiction milieu. Cormoran Strike grows on you pretty quickly. In this caper he's attempting to find the murderer of an odious novelist, the identity of whom could be any number of the unpleasant victim's unpleasant friends, editors, agents, publishers or other unsavory players in the publishing world. While it's easy to dislike many of the other characters in The Silkworm, it's only because Rowling does such a terrific job depicting them. It seems rather to be the point. The relationships between each of these appalling people are discovered and revealed with surprising twists, allowing them to show off a deep variety of reprehensible, sad and sometimes kinky personality traits. We also get to know more of Strike's back story, which is interesting, and are introduced more thoroughly to his assistant, Robin, and her family, which is also interesting. Both Strike and Robin have complicated personal lives and these are expressed with sympathy and intelligence. All the while, Strike limps back and forth around London, putting together the pieces of an especially nasty homicide.

I disagree with those folks who say the book drags (although, ironically, this novel concerning the London publishing scene could do with some editing - it's a bit long). There's a lot going on, the pacing is excellent, the twists and turns are exciting. Rowling's gift for dialogue is tremendous, too. She certainly knows her way around profanity. On the down side, the discoveries made by our hero Strike are tenuous and difficult to swallow. A few of the leads go nowhere and are unceremoniously dropped.
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