Robert Galbraith’s second in the series, The Silkworm explores the world of publishing, traditional publishers, snooty book agents (aren’t they all) and weird authors (ranging from publicity crazy to the ones who do the disappearing act).
Cormoran Strike is famous now, thanks to the much publicized Lula Laudry case. With the indomitable Robin by his side, he now follows secretaries and errant husbands, providing the much needed intel to their divorcing wives.
In comes Leonore Quine, an author’s wife who wants Strike’s help to trace and find him. Strike feels sorry for Leonore and promises to get the missing author back home. From this point on, he plunges right into the world of book publishing. His investigation leads him to believe that the author’s latest book, Bombyx Mori was a virtual can of worms that left his publishers and agent livid. The author’s girlfriend a self-published erotic writer is mad enough to kill him herself. Strike’s investigations leads him to a house that Quine co-owns along with another author and he stumbles on the dead body, grotesquely murdered and burned with acid. The plot thickens, when the police arrest the wife as a suspect but Strike is convinced of her innocence and the hunt for the real murderer begins.
The book is a page turner right from the word go. Galbraith has a lovely tongue-in-cheek style that would have you smiling all through the book.
Here is a sample –
‘How the hell did you find that out?” asked Culpepper, staring up at Strike over the papers trembling in his excited hand.
‘Detective work,’ said Strike thickly, through another bit of Sausage. ‘Didn’t your lot used to do this, before you started outsourcing to the likes of me?’
One of the best things that I had loved in the first book was the amazing chemistry that Strike shares with his secretary Robin. Robin is not only smart and intelligent but also sadly engaged to Mathew, with whom she would be tying the knot soon. In Silkworm, Galbraith explores this chemistry well, much to my satisfaction. Don’t go ahead and imagine them cozying up, but Robin is having second thoughts about her upcoming marriage while Strike is happy that Mathew’s presence in her life leaves his life uncomplicated. But it’s a start nonetheless. Strike’s fiancee Charlotte is engaged and about to get married and thankfully for Strike Quinne’s case keeps him busy.
The climax and the ending was quite satisfactory and unlike the first book, I didn’t have to read it repeatedly to make sense of it. I liked the way Galbraith brings in the plot of Bombyx Mori to the forefront juxtaposing it with the real characters and their fatal flaws.
Plus Points: Galbraith’s impeccable language that’s a joy to read, good plot and mystery, intriguing world of the publishing industry
Minus Points: Hmm.. hmmph… am still thinking but can’t find any.
Verdict: Must read!