Let’s start where it all started, shall we? I can do that because this is my review…When I read Cuckoo’s Calling I was truly hoping that it wasn’t a one off. I loved the mystery of the book but more than the mystery I really wanted to see where the working relationship between the detective and Robin was going to continue to go. She is so sorely underused in that book, that it was quite a relief that the second book in the series, The Silkworm, the book puts their working relationship directly in the forefront of the story. Yes, there’s a mystery (a decent mystery) but the interactions between Strike and Robin are the real draw here.
We pick up several months after the Lulu Landry case. Strike has made no friends with the police department after proving that their determined suicide was a murder; but it has made him a bit of a sensation, garnering him plenty of clients (which he needs– because bills, y’all). Now he is hired to find the eccentric author Owen Quine by Quine’s wife. Strike finds him, unfortunately Quine is missing some body parts and oh, there’s that little thing about hydrochloric acid. The weird thing about this (well, let’s be honest, there are a lot of weird things here and I’m not even going into half of them), is that this is precisely how his protagonist is killed in his most recent work, Bombyx Mori (meaning, the Silkworm). Bombyx Mori in itself is a poison pen novel where he rips apart all of his friends, lovers and acquaintances in the form of thinly veiled characters. This gives Strike and Robin the difficult task of weeding through the very many suspects to free Strike’s client and find the real killer.
People keep writing that it’s cool that since Rowling herself, is an author and this book talks about the underbelly of the publishing world, cronyism and the nature of writers in that it adds another layer of interest. I’ll be honest, I came for the further development of Cormoran as a character, and I stayed for the strengthened relationship (now partnership! yay!) between him and Robin! Like many other reviewers here, I’m loathe to see them get together (at least for another three books), but I loved that he leaned on her (both literally and figuratively) and we see what a strong character she is, as well as the demons that continue to haunt Strike.
If you liked the first book, you will most likely enjoy the second one. I will say that I found the plot of Quine’s novel to be so puerile and weird that I wasn’t completely interested in it, but I did enjoy Strike attempting a lit analysis to solve the crime through his interviews and the descriptions of the fictional characters (within Bombyx Mori) and the connections between the suspects. I picked the murderer correctly closer to the end of the book before the reveal, but not for the right reason. As I turned the final page, I already missed (
my boyfriend) Cormoran Strike…looking forward to book three and what it brings for two of my new favorite literary characters. I would give this 5 stars if I liked the mystery a little bit more–so cheers, 4.5 it is!