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The Silkworm (A Cormoran Strike Novel) Hardcover – June 19, 2014
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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...A Compulsively Readable Crime Novel with Twist At Every Turn.
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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.
Robin, Cormoran's assistant, is also having some problems as she is getting ready to marry Matthew who is jealous of her job and of Cormoran. She wants to be a detective but fears that Cormoran is going to bring in someone to do the detecting and leave her the secretarial chores.
I found a lot of the characters unlikeable and the plot was too twisted or drawn out for my taste. I like the characters of Robin and Cormoran but have to say that this was not my favorite of the two that I've read. If you have a low tolerance for gore this may not be the book for you.
Strike takes the case and expects it to be an easy one. But as he investigates, it becomes more complicated. Quine has written a new novel, one in which he skewers many of the literary circle of England. He has a mistress who is sure he is leaving his wife and child to be with her, an agent who seems to despise him and a publishing house that would be more than glad to drop him. Every individual thinly disguised in the book would be glad to see him disappear for good. When Strike discovers Quine's body and realizes that he has been killed in a parody of the novel, the race is on to discover the murderer.
The reader also learns more about the personal lives of Strike and his assistant, Robin Ellacott. Strike is a former soldier who has been left with an artificial leg and investigative skills from his time in the military. Huge and focused, he is considered without social skills yet has friends in every circle who would do anything for him. Robin, his assistant, is about to get married and starting to wonder if that is the right course for her, or if it would be more fulfilling to become an investigator herself. Together the two work through the lengthy suspect list to discover who killed Quine.
This is the second Comoran Strike book and it is equally as delightful as the first. In the worst-kept secret in the literary world, Robert Galbraith is the pseudonym of J.K. Rowling, and she delivers the plotting and characterization that made her famous as an author. The reader finishes the book eager to read the next installment in the series. This book is recommended for mystery readers.
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I'm returning it and will lose money because of the shipping price. So I will not be purchasing again. No thank you
- not until the end does the reader have an inkling of the solution