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Sunday, 15 March 2015

Robert Galbraith - Silkworm

Review by showhost March 2015.
This is the second book by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) with that likeable hero Cormoran Strike and his still temp secretary Robin.  We were first introduced to Cormoran in the previous book 'Cuckoos Calling' which I really enjoyed. 
Cormoran Strike, private detective, ex-soldier (Special Investigation Branch), ex-Afgahanistan war veteran amputee, finds himself with another intriguing case to solve.
After the solving of the Lula Landry case, and all the subsequent press coverage, Strike finds work has picked up albeit only errant husband or wifes wanting proof of adultery, it pays his wages and those of his temporary secretary Robin.  But the arrival of Leonora Quine is about to change all that.
Her errant author husband has been missing for a few weeks and she would like Strike to find him.  She didn't want to go to the police because the last time her husband went missing for a week and she got the police, she was chastised by her husband for resorting to such stupid measures when he only went into writers retreat.  But this was longer than a week and she and her handicapped daughter, Orlando, needed him at home.
Strike feels sorry for the harried, no-nonsense Leonora and takes the case even though at the moment, she hasn't got the money to pay him.  His enquiries lead him to the body of her husband Owen Quine, who has been murdered in gruesome circumstances.  In fact he has been murdered in a way described in his, as yet unpublished, last novel Bombyx Mori (Latin for silkworm).  The novel is a strange mix of fantasy in which some of the people in his close circle of fellow writers and publishers are described in weird and none flattering ways often hinting at some sordid secret they have.
This puts all of the people mentioned in the manuscript and those who read it prior to his death, under suspicion.  The police however, come to the conclusion that the deceased authors wife, Leonora, is the killer. She then asks Strike to stay on and find her husbands killer.  Strike doesn't believe that she is the killer and so agrees, once again putting him against the London Met which doesn't go down well after the last case in which he showed them up to be inept.
This is another enjoyable read in a 'who dunnit' style of crime novel.  Yes there is bad language and the murder scene is described in a gruesome way but this just makes the novel more realistic.  And the short description of the murder scene is the only bit of macabre narrative.
You don't have to read The Cuckoos Calling first as there is enough mention to that book to give the reader an idea as to what happened previously.  But I am glad I did read it first as I like to start at the beginning and get the feel for the progression of the characters.  Also it would be a shame to have not read such a good detective story.
Looking forward to the third in the series and also the BBC adaptation.  I wonder who Strike will be.....

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