Thursday, July 17, 2014

#BookReview: The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike #2) by Robert Galbraith

On the jacket:

Private investigator Cormoran Strike returns in a new mystery from Robert Galbraith, author of the #1 international bestseller The Cuckoo's Calling.

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 realizes. 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...
A compulsively readable crime novel with twists at every turn, THE SILKWORM is the second in the highly acclaimed series featuring Cormoran Strike and his determined young assistant, Robin Ellacott.


Cormoran Strike is very much in demand, after the success of the Luna Landry case. And this time, it's the disappearance of novelist Owen Quine, which needs his attention. Quine's wife lands at Strike's doorstep, tells him she can't pay him, asks him to find her husband without involving the police and tells him to collect his payment from Quine's manager. She is sure her husband has gone off somewhere to right and isn't really missing. Strike just needs to locate him and drag him back home. 

For no apparent reason, Strike accepted the case. He was sure, he needs to trace a writer who has gone somewhere to write as his wife imagined. But what he wasn't prepared for is the mystery that unravels slowly. A missing novelist who is shortly found murdered, the manuscript of his unpublished book threatening a lot of big names in the industry and a whole lot of incidents which put together look like a maze. Strike has to solve this mystery soon, before his time is up.

Rowling is undoubtedly a master story teller and I shouldn't even be reviewing this book. And you shouldn't need to read a review to buy her book. The kind of magic she created with the HP series is strikingly different to how she spun the tale in the Cormoran Strike series. What is common is the magic, which she has created here too.

Character are well-defined. Despite few of them being introduced in the first book, a new reader won't be at a loss in understanding the characters in this book. What we see happen a lot of time is that the first book is marvelous but then the standard dips. Not with Rowling. Here, as Galbraith also, she has only upped the ante. The second book is even better than the first. 

A very gripping tale. Though it's a thick book, I never realised when I reached the end of it - that's how quick the pages turned themselves.

Rating: ****.5/5

[This review is for Hachette India. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]

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