Title: The Silkorm
Series: Cormoran Strike, #2
Author: Robert Galbraith
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Release Date: June 19th, 2014
Length: 455 pages | 17 hours 21 minutes
Source: Borrowed from my local library
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
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).
I’m a coffee-fueled, hobby-addicted bibliophage who makes cruelty-free mineral eye shadows (inspired by novels). I’m usually in front of a screen (writing, reading, or gaming), but I’ve been known to emerge for geekery, good food, and dark chocolate.