Sunday, 6 July 2014

Review: The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling)

Book: The Silkworm

Author: Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling)

Pages: 455

Read it on: My iPad

Read it in: 6 hours

Plot Summary: When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband 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 were to be published, it would ruin lives--meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced. 
When Quine is found brutally murdered under bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before.

What I Liked: Even though I had guessed who the killer was in Robert Galbraith's debut novel, The Cuckoo's Calling, pretty early on in the story, it was a book I rather enjoyed. (REVIEW) I really liked the characters of Cormoran and Robin and was excited to read the second installment of the series.. and this book did not let me down at all! 

For starters, I enjoyed the setting of this novel, which is the world of books- writers, publishers and so on. It was interesting to get a look at some of the kinds of dynamics that exist in the publishing world. Plus, given that Owen Quine had written an "explosive" book at the time of his disappearance, there were snippets of the book- Bombyx Mori- in this book as well, which is always a fun thing to have in a book (a book within a book!). 

The nature of the murder- bloodier, gorier and more gruesome than that in The Cuckoo's Calling- was interesting and it made it difficult to guess which of the cast of characters in the story could possibly have done something so vile. 

The supporting cast of characters were well etched out- you felt like you knew what mattered about each of them- which also helped in forming hypotheses about who could have the motive to kill Owen and who didn't have any good reasons to kill him. I love it when crime thrillers have well-etched supporting characters- it makes for good guessing! 

Cormoran and Robin's working relationship went to the next level in this book. Robin was involved in a more significant and active way in this investigation as compared to the previous book, which was good to see. I hope there is much more of her involvement and partnering with Cormoran in the next book. There is also some very nascent attraction that they feel for one another, which has not really been explored much in this book and I am not sure if I am excited for things to develop on that front or not. 

The actual investigation was slow- which is realistic, I guess- and sometimes clues and theories led nowhere but the eventual reveal of the killer was quite interesting. Even in this book, there are clues that point to who the killer could be but they are much more subtle than they were in the previous one. So, it is not-so-obvious and easy to guess who killed Owen Quine. 

Things I Didn't Like: Nothing really. Oh yeah, Owen Quine's novel- Bombyx Mori- is fairly gothic, gory and, um, insane. So, if you don't enjoy gory depictions of sex, death etc., then maybe skip those pages? But there is a lot of symbolism in there and Rowling's Classics education can be seen in full force in some of the characterizations and names in the fictitious Bombyx Mori. 

Would You Like It?: Yes. If you like well-written crime thrillers, then this one is for you. Also, if you are a JK Rowling fan, then support her and read this book :) 

Rating: 4.5/5 


Unknown said...

I was planning to buy this book. but i was not sure if jk rowling's crime thriller will be as good as her harry potter series. now i am sure its good. also didn't knew that this book is second installment of cuckoo's calling series. just two question
1) which one should i pick first? cuckoo's calling or the silkworm
2)can u recommend some crime thriller novel or which is your fav crime thriller novel

Pratibha said...

Going to pick this up soon :) nice review...