My first book for CBR7 was a doozie! The second installment in Robert Galbraith’s (ahem, JK Rowling) series on war vet turned private detective Cormoran Strike, The Silkworm, was quite an interesting crime novel. Set in wintry London several months after Strike famously solves the Lulu Landry case (in Cuckoo’s Calling), Silkworm begins with a tired housewife on the hunt for her artistically-temperamented, mildly-successful novelist husband. Naturally this being a mystery series, said husband isn’t missing; he’s dead, and in quite a gruesome way. Cormoran feels duty-bound to find out exactly what happened for his client – especially if it can save her from going down for the crime herself.
Fans of Rowling will like this book. Hopefully non-fans will as well. What’s not to like, really, aside from perhaps the length? Rowling has a gift for phrasing, names, and description. She exhibited it for years with the Harry Potter series and hasn’t lost her touch. Cormoran is definitely a ‘striking’ character (I love puns, forgive me). While he has a little bit of a chip on his shoulder due to some daddy issues (well deserved, mind you), and is missing half a leg due to war trauma, he still manages to charm his way into the homes of all his suspects. The victim in this case sounds like a total douche nozzle, so the number of people you think would have killed him is quite high.
My only beef with this novel (and I think I had it with the first one), is that when we finally discover the culprit, it’s kind of out of left field. It makes sense, but the jumps Strike makes to get there seem difficult to follow (even to his trusty sidekick Robin). And about Robin – she’s fantastic, and seriously why is she still engaged to the asshole Matthew? He obviously doesn’t support her following her dreams due to some petty feelings of insecurity about his masculinity in comparison with Strike. In any case I guess we’ll see if the series continues – my guess is they don’t make it to the altar. Hopefully, however, it’s not because she gets romantically involved with Strike. They might make an excellent couple, but I always enjoy when a writer doesn’t take that route.