THE SILKWORM by ROBERT GALBRAITH

I read the first Cormoran Strike mystery while sitting in a tent at high altitude in Ladakh, on a climbing expedition last August.

I have just read the second in the series, “The Silkworm” while sitting in a tent at high altitude in Ladakh, on a climbing expedition this August etc etc

Just thought I’d share the scene setting with you.

I had eagerly looked forward to the second book, having loved “The Cuckoo’s Calling” and yet again, the author does not disappoint.  This is another cliff hanger of a whodunit, with the final unravelling of a macabre, baffling, literary infused investigation only happening in the dying seconds of the book.

Cormoran Strike is, as ever, hugely likeable –  he is a big man in every sense of the word –  in size, appetite, honesty, integrity.  His amputated leg (the result of an explosion in Afghanistan) is a very powerful and frequent factor in his life, hurting him, making him weaker than he would like to be – and therefore very angry at his own weakness.

His assistant Robin get more and more likeable by the minute and I for one harbour the hope that she might finally leave her impossibly good-looking but unbearably pompous fiancé Matthew, for…who knows…I had my hopes up at one point in the book, but by the end was not too sure anymore. Robin appears to have forced the arrogant Matthew to accept the worth of her job, so who knows?

The plot of “The Silkworm” revolves around a particularly grisly murder of a has-been author whom no one appears to like very much, but whose posthumous work “Bombyx Mori” manages to ridicule and caste aspersions on just about everyone in London’s tight-knit, gossipy, bitchy literary world.

We meet writers and wannabe writers, literary agents, publishers, and everything unfolds against the powerful backdrop of London, very much a character in its own right.  The buses, the tube,  the taxis, the pubs, the freezing winter weather – London is beautifully portrayed…

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You can feel the cold, and you savour the glorious views…

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I thoroughly enjoyed “The Silkworm”, ensconced in my tent against the howling Himalayan winds but not, if I’m honest, quite as much as “The Cuckoo’s Calling” which I loved.

Having said that, can’t wait for the next Cormoran Strike mystery.

And yes, how right you are – no plot spoilers.  I would never do that to you.

 

If you wish to order the book/e-book, nothing could be simpler. Just click on one of the links, below:

 

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith/J.K. Rowling

Had I heard of the book and/or Robert Galbraith before the latter was unmasked as J.K.Rowling?

No.

Did I read “The Cuckoo’s Calling” because of the above ?

Yes.

Is it a good read, regardless of who wrote it?

Yes, yes and yes.

As a non Harry Potter fan (I read the first tome years ago out of a sense of duty, and that was it.  Just couldn’t hack the others) I didn’t approach “The Cuckoo’s Calling”  – as some people seem to have done – out to find as many clues as possible that, yes, well, obviously, now you mention it, of course it must have been written by J.K.Rowling.

I read it as a stand alone novel that caught my fancy (because of the author thing, obviously) and it is a great, wonderful read.

I think (and hope and pray) that we might just have here the emergence of a fab new detective (and his indomitable sidekick) in the form of Cormoran Strike and the wonderful, so young but oh-so-wise Robin Ellacott.  In other words, Ms Rowling, please, please write a new adventure, and soon.

Mr. Strike is, on the face of it, an unlikely hero.  Overweight, one-legged, down on his luck. He drinks too much, smokes too much, wears crumpled clothes and is in a toxic relationship.

He is 100% human, basically, and that is why you relate to him immediately.  A clumsy, flawed man whose heart is in the right place, who is intuitively clever with cold facts but pretty lousy with those people who care for him the most –  what is not to like and love about the shambling Cormoran?  Plus brainy  = sexy.

Young Yorkshire born (yaay!!) Robin is cool perfection personified, and what I wouldn’t give to have her run and organise my life, the way she organises Cormoran Strike, her supposedly temp boss.

Since this is a crime thriller, I will not spoil the plot.  Worry not.

Suffice it to say that “The Cuckoo’s Calling” is a page turner of note, and that the city of London is more than just a scenic backdrop to the action.  London is fabulously evoked, in all her endlessly dug up roads and traffic jams and noise.  The flaky fashionistas who people the book, the down on their luck characters who wander in and out of the narrative, the cocky cops –  they are all brilliantly depicted.

Loved the book.  Can’t wait for the next one, in what I do hope will become a series.

Jut one teeny weeny quibble.  Not wild about the title.

I read “The Cuckoo’s Calling” on my Kindle (while camping at 5000+metres in the Himalayas, if you must know).

Published in April 2013.

 

If you wish to read the book now, after reading my review, couldn’t be simpler.  Just click on any of the links below: