When writer Owen Quine’s eccentric wife seeks Strike’s help to find her missing husband, it looks like Owen has taken off as usual, something that he is fond of doing. As Strike investigates, however it becomes clear that this time it may not be so simple. Strike finds Owen, long dead, his body disemboweled grotesquely. Owen’s latest manuscript scandalising everybody he knows is in circulation among literary circles and causing havoc. Police hone in on usual suspect arresting Owen’s wife and it becomes race against time for Strike and his lovely secretary Robin to find real culprit.
Predictable! This is something that I did not expect from J.K. Rowling. The Cuckoo’s Calling had shown so much promise and I was excited to know how Strike’s and especially Robin’s character develop in the next book. The Silkworm is set eight months after the events of first book. Strike’s business has picked up. Robin harbours ambition to learn more about being a PI and wishes that Strike could give her more responsibility. Robin and Matthew’s and Robin and Strike’s relationships evolve along predictable tracks – 1st infinitesimally slowly growing distant and 2nd as slowly coming together. Robin saves Strike’s life and proves that she is made of a stronger stuff than Strike credits her.
The book scores on the plot. Who is better than J.K. Rowling to show us how treacherously deceptive literary world can be! We get to know all sorts – the old and the new, the famous and no so famous, with their vanity, competition, backbiting and backstabbing as well. As usual, Rowling is great with characters, even minor ones. Strike’s trudging (he is one legged) to interview his suspects takes us on a detour of London where everything and everybody is constantly changing and yet there are pockets where time stands still like the restaurant that calls its menu ‘Bill of Fare’.
With Cormoran Strike, J.K. Rowling has taken the old world of traditional English PI and blended it with today’s world of gritty crime writing. What we get in return is a solid mystery with engaging main characters penned in Rowling’s exquisite style.
Thank you for reading. I appreciate your time.
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