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Books Reviews

Review – The Silkworm (A Cormoran Strike Novel)

The SilkwormI had completely forgot the release date for The Silkworm when I was passing Waterstones back in June, however by chance I happened to be passing on the release day itself! So the latest book by J.K Rowling (Robert Galbraith) was just sitting there looking pretty in the window display and caught my eye.


After reading “The Cuckoo’s Calling” which I reviewed here I was eagerly anticipating the next crime novel featuring the great detective “Strike” and his personal assistant sidekick “Robin”.  I even thought the cover picture and name of the novel looked great, I was really excited to read it and started immediately while in Costa!

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, she just thinks he 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 realises. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were published it would ruin lives – so there are a lot of people who might want to silence him.

And when Quine is found brutally murdered in bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any he has encountered before . . .

J.K Rowling is a great writer, the book just like the last one is written well with a good format and easy reading style which is always a bonus. The two main characters (Strike and Robin) are great as always and throughout the book you start to see those characters develop, this is the best part of the book. The rest of the characters however I felt fell short of the last book, it did not seem to focus too much on them but more on their motive for novelist Owen Quine’s murder leaving the story lacking in depth. There are a few really interesting ones but you don’t get in deep enough to really enjoy it, they don’t even play a part in the final story which is such a shame. I don’t know why J.K Rowling picked the most boring character of all of them which he only actually interviews once properly.

In the previous (The Cuckoo’s Calling) I thought many times that I had guessed the murderer but I was surprised by the ending, which as far as I’m concerned is exactly what you want from a murder mystery story. In this book however I realised who was behind the murder quickly, it was pretty obvious because the murderer wasn’t spoken to after the one time but appeared throughout the story mentioned by others. The motive I had no idea though and found it to be quite pale in comparison to the bizarre twisted character of Owen Quine, who pretty much just came across as a total weirdo. I mean if you are going to make a character so strange, then it needs a really strange plot to go with it.

I also really did not enjoy the whole plot focusing on books, what a boring topic to pick! Yes I like reading books, but I don’t do that because I want to read a story about the publishing industry unless you are going to make it VERY interesting. There are so many other mysterious detective story lines you could pick! As a reader I want to be second guessing myself, I want to be hooked and want to read on to see if I was right or wrong.

I was really disappointed with this book, but I will read the next one which based on the ending I assume there will be another. The only redeeming factors are that you see a lot of main character development and the quality of the writing is good. If Rowling had picked a better story line and better characters the book would have been another hit. I did not get that same gripping feeling which I felt with the previous book, I could relate to the characters in The Cuckoo’s Calling.

Good Points:

  • Great writing style and easy to read, interesting use of language
  • Nice front cover
  • Really liked the main characters and the parts of the story about their development, which should mean a decent next book
  • Focused in London again (yay), but in winter (boo)

Bad Points:

  • All the other characters
  • The murderer and their motive

I would still recommend reading it, if just to keep yourself in line ready for the next one but what a shame it wasn’t as good as the last.