The Silkworm is the second of the Cormoran Strike novels by J.K. Rowling, writing as Robert Galbraith. I enjoyed this book as much, if not more than I did The Cuckoo’s Calling, which was the first in this series.
In The Silkworm, Strike, a private investigator, was engaged by the wife of a novelist to find her missing husband, as she thought he had been gone for long enough and she wanted him home. Strike agreed to help because he was bored with his usual work of finding evidence of infidelity to support divorce cases.
Strike read Owen Quine’s most recent novel in an attempt to learn where the missing man might have gone and found the plot to be an abhorrent and almost unreadable story of sexual deviations and that the characters were particularly nasty portrayals of Quine’s wife and child, friends and lovers, also his publisher, editor and other writers who formed part of his working world.
Instead of finding Owen Quine shacked up with a girlfriend, or in hiding to create publicity for his novel, Strike found Quine murdered in a way that reflected the horror of his most recent novel. As the novel had been read by many of Quine’s peers, all of them unhappy with how they had been portrayed, I half expected a Murder on the Orient Express style of ending.
Strike was assisted in his investigation by Robin Ellacott. Robin’s ambition is to be a private investigator and she is frustrated by Strike using her as more of an administrative assistant, however he believes that her fiancé’s dislike of her work means that Robin will eventually leave his employment for something more regular. Robin and Strike are a good team and I am enjoying watching their relationship develop, including hints of affection between the two. I feel a little hesitant about the possibility of them becoming romantically involved in future, (this certainly hasn’t happened yet) because I think that would kill off the lovely feeling of ‘will they or won’t they?’ but they certainly complement each other. Robin also has an aptitude for detective work, although in this story it is Strike who works out who the murderer is and why they killed Quine.
I haven’t seen any of the television series adaptations yet, but think I’ll put off watching these until I’ve read the next two books in this series as I have my own mental picture of Strike and Robin and of their surroundings and am not quite ready to let go of my own versions of these characters yet.