Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Book Review - The Silkworm Robert Galbraith

... or JK Rowling ...

I read the first of these and was impressed with Ms Rowling's move into the crime fiction genre.

The story picks up a few weeks/months after our hero, the ex soldier invalided out of the forces after losing his leg to an IED in Afghanistan, has hit notoriety by solving a murder that the police had insisted was suicide.  This high profile case has filled his books with many new clients, most of them partners trying to prove the infidelity of the other to either take them for loads of money or to prevent them from having it.

Having been persuaded to allow his assistant Robin to stay on the same two pivitoal characters continue and there is a constant theme of their professional and personal relationship throughout that will continue throughout the next book no doubt.

The plot of this one is the disappearance of a minor author who has been working on his magnum opus.  He disappears and the novel is inadvertently leaked by his agent to his publisher.  However the work clearly is a damning and slanderous work about those in his circle from other authors, his agent, key employees at his publishers and his wife and mistress.  Cormoran is engaged by the authors wife after he has been missing a few days, she has assumed he was away with his mistress or at some writers retreat but wants to locate him.  He is found but dead, killed in a grizzly and brutal manner which had already been laid out in the book he was writing.  The police are convinced it is the wife who has carried out the murder and conduct a blinkered investigation.  Of course Cormoran is certain another is guilty and conducts his own investigation to prove so.

The murder plot is ok but not as good as the first book I felt but the characters are engaging and charming which is what draws you in.  I'll be reading the next instalment if only to see whether Robin's dark secret from university hinted at a few times in the book is revealed or not.


  1. Do you suppose she really thought that nobody would find out it was her? Or was it just very clever marketing?

    1. She claims that she wanted to write without pressure and also claims that she felt to get good reviews etc. as a crime writer you need to be male. Who knows - you'd think she didn't really need the publicity she is one of the highest selling fictional writers of all time after all.

  2. I'll have a look...Rowlings is a master at weaving interesting characters, so based on your recommendation I'll try the first installment. Been looking for something new to read.

  3. Dark Secret: He's not really a muggle.

  4. I really like Cormoron Strike, the big, one-legged, moody protagonist of The Robert Galbraith books. He along with his partner, the beautiful Robin, make a mismatched and yet complementary Sherlock and Watson. The interplay, the misunderstandings, the dialogues all make for an engaging read.

    But a murder mystery should ultimately be about the storyline, the plot and the characters. And these were sorely disappointing to me. The plot was so contrived, that I could not believe the story had ended the way it did even after I finished reading it. I didn't connect with all the egos and the super egos of the literary world which forms the backdrop of the story. Robert Galbraith would of course understand that environment a lot better than most readers, but surely it can't be filled with such evil and unlikeable characters. I did not like the idea of a story within a story, the long and difficult to pronounce names and most of all the way it all came together.

    So why did I rate it a 2-stars, instead of 1? Because I want to give Robert Galbraith another chance. Not make 'him' think he should not write another book. He should. But I won't be waiting with bated breath to read it like I did after reading the first book 'Cuckoo's Calling'

  5. Pas encore lu, mais le scénario semble assez tentant.

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