The Silkworm

The Silkworm

Large Print - 2014
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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.
Publisher: New York ; Mulholland Books/Little, Brown and Company, 2014.
Edition: Large print edition.
ISBN: 9780316410717
Characteristics: 728 pages ; 24 cm.
Alternative Title: Silk worm


From the critics

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Dec 03, 2020

I listened to this second installment in the Cormoran Strike series and once again applaud Robert Glenister for his narration. His voice and characterization of Cormoran, Robin, and the usual cast of misfits tied up in any J.K. Rowling series puts the 'silk' in Silkworm. For fans of Acorn TV and British Crime procedurals.

PimaLib_ChristineR Sep 11, 2020

Galbraith writes mysteries as intricate as silk lace. In The Silkworm characters and motives abound. The central mystery, while lurid and over-the-top, is set in a realistic world. There aren't ten people confined at a weekend getaway, rather Cormoran and Robin are realistic central characters with an evolving relationship set with misunderstandings and moments of clarity, and the rest of the world is full--full of literary egoists set against each other and united against the simple wife of Owen Quine, a has-been writer who has disappeared.

One of the things I love best about Galbraith's writing is that many scenes are set while people are eating and they talk with their mouths full and other people can't understand them, or they have to pause to swallow, or for waiters to walk away. Her attention to detail makes me feel like "yes, this is what life is really like." So no matter how strange the mystery becomes, the settings and characters are so believable that they carry the story.

The writing has gotten stronger on this second installment--a complaint about the first was that it was a long series of interviews--so if you didn't love the first novel, I'd suggest continuing on. In fact, while the relationship of the two protagonists is nice to see from the start, the mysteries do stand on their own.

Apr 08, 2020

Rowling as Galbraith keeps her classic style of story telling and elevated with the murder mystery plots that keep me guessing. I enjoy that she reveals little to too the reader off until the very last second. Novel 2 of the Strike series just as good as novel 1

Jan 21, 2020

I found this installment in the CB Strike mystery series tedious. The first book, The Cuckoo's Calling, was an enjoyable read with intriguing character and plot development. The story moved along at a great place. In this book, the overdone repetition of the awkward Latin for Silkworm and the bizarre sexual undercurrent seemed forced. I found this book difficult to finish

Dec 28, 2019

While I didn't find this as compelling as the first novel in the series, I did enjoy the fact that there were a list of viable suspects and that the author kept me guessing until the end. I am not overly fond of the odd relationship between Strike and his temp-turned-assistant, Robin. I would love to see two characters interact without the weird sexual tension. I also think it's unfortunate that Robin lacks the self-worth to end her relationship with Matthew, who is emotionally abusive and doesn't truly support her career. His raging insecurity is cause for concern and hopefully she will gain clarity in the next book because I honestly don't think I can handle much more.

knitsewrainbow Oct 14, 2019

This second book in the series moves at a quicker pace and is much more interesting than Cuckoo's Calling. The murderer is unexpected and the journey to find out is worth taking.

Feb 19, 2019

I've missed J. K. Rowling since Harry grew up. I was so happy to find her writing under a pseudonym and was delighted to find all of the 'Strike' novels available at my library. I read this, her second novel in the series, first, without any difficulty of having not read them in order. Very enjoyable. Now, I'll read the first, and then the third; and anything else I can get my eyes on.

Feb 13, 2019

Again "R Galbraith" does not disappoint.
Not a fast easy read but one you can cosy up to in front of a fire on a Canadian snow day or on a lazy summer afternoon on the Muskoka dock.
One should not hurry through this mystery.
Like Rowling's Harry Potter, we must allow her to develop her beloved central characters and wonderfully descriptive settings.
Sentence structure makes you want to slow down and enjoy the author's genious as an author.

Hillsboro_JeanineM Jan 19, 2019

A bibliomystery with many suspects and a nod to Peter Greenway's film "The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover". Cormoran and Robin make a good team in solving this case.

Jan 17, 2019

Cormoran Strike is again the gruff, scruffy, good-hearted but bad-mannered noir-esque private detective in this second book of the series. We get more of Robin, and the development of their partnership. This new case has nothing to do with the first book, and since the majority of it had to do with the (apparently snarktastic) world of book publishing, it all felt quite grounded in reality.

I'm sure there are those who don't like the measured pace of the book. If you're looking for a rollicking ride, or more of a tense thriller, this isn't the book for you. But I'll tell you- I did not see the killer. I mean, I guessed at the beginning, when we were clearly meant to be suspicious of everyone, but as the evidence stacked up I couldn't see how the pieces of the puzzle fit together. And that's a treat, to me, with mysteries. That's not to say that 'whodunnit' was far-fetched, but that the author doesn't spoon-feed us readers anything. Smarter people than myself could likely figure out who the killer was before the reveal, but I like being surprised.

And along with the pace was a full development of characters. Every character (in both books) has been so realistic- flawed, vulnerable, and whole. I had moments where I loved each of them, and moments where I wanted to shake them (except for Vainglorious- who I wanted to shake pretty much the entire time. What a prat). I think it deepens the mystery, because there are no subconscious clues (this character seems shady or that one is never developed, etc.) and it also adds the atmosphere of realism. Without being in the publishing world, I have absolutely known Pippa, Katherine Kent, Leonora, Owen, and so many more in here. You'd likely recognize a few from your own experiences, too.

In all, I recommend this if you like measured pace, developed character, and well-crafted murder. You don't even have to read the first book, as this one doesn't rely on anything that happened before (although the relationship between Cormoran and Robin loses something when you don't see it from the beginning).

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Jun 21, 2015

If you haven't read Cuckoo's Calling, the first in this series, stop and read it before this one. You're going to want to read ALL in this fabulous detective series by the author of the Harry Potter books. These are for ADULTS, however. The sympathetic hero is an Iraq war vet with a heart that's both big and broken. Interesting tension with his attractive secretary. Good mystery. A hero to route for! (set in London).

DanniOcean Jul 15, 2014

Being released without the hype of her more famous Harry Potter series suits the protagonist of JK Rowling’s more mature novels to a T. The Cormoran Strike novels contain all the intrigue, plot-twists and attention to language that made Harry Potter so engaging and immersive, although the setting is contemporary London, rich in detail and atmosphere. Still very much a character-driven series, there is more revealed about Strike, his strained relationships with his family, and the growing detective skills of his assistant, Robin, both his secretary and foil. The other characters – mostly all suspects in a grisly murder – are drawn with the same deft pen, details slowly emerging to give them full depth, and this provides some clever trails to more than a few red herrings. Owen Quine is a legendary writer in his own mind who has gone missing after throwing a tantrum at his agent. His long-suffering wife has hired Strike to find him, and it isn’t long before Strike finds the author, gruesomely dead - Quine has suffered a very cruel fate. Strike cannot shake the case from his conscience, especially after the wife is arrested, and he and Robin begin a treacherous game of cat and mouse with a killer whose heart is made of pure ice. The Silkworm is grittier than the previous Strike novel, Cuckoo’s Calling, and the tone is as if Rowling is paying homage to the hard-boiled detectives of old – there is some profanity, some sex and a femme fatale lurking in the background, and not a small amount of dark humour. Readers of the Harry Potter series will note the offbeat flourish of seemingly odd detail here and there that is one of Rowling’s literary signatures, and for those who enjoy this series, there is a slight indication in the author’s notes that there may be more to come for Cormoran Strike. Isn’t it just like JK Rowling to leave a teaser?

Jun 30, 2014

Private Detective Cormoran Strike seeks to solve the murder of an author in a case where there sure are a lot of suspects!
I never did suspect the right person!

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