I don’t think I’d be giving anything away if I mention that Robert Galbraith is just J.K. Rowling with a bloke’s name. The good thing about this is that you know you’re in for a stonking good read, and that’s exactly what you get with Silkworm.
This is the second book in the Cormoran Strike series (I say ‘series’, but I don’t know how many more she plans to write). Her hero, the surly one-legged war veteran turned private detective, finds himself immersed in the apparently vain, self-centred and generally grotesque arena of the publishing industry, while trying to find the murderer of a vain, self-centred and generally grotesque fiction writer.
First off, she must’ve had great fun writing this book: there is not one redeeming feature in anyone working in the industry, so much so that at several points during the novel I found that I probably didn’t care who did it. Publishers, agents, novelists (industry-published and self-published) are gloriously savaged without restraint. What saves the day is the relationship between the main characters (the detective and his secretary), and the secretary’s ongoing clashes with her fiance. Unlike the first book, in which the murder was the plot’s main driver, I got the feeling that solving the crime took something of a back seat this time round, which was unfortunate because I think I was a little less interested in who did it by the time I reached the big reveal.
Still, Cormoran and Robin are such great characters, so there was more than enough to sustain my interest to the very end. Looking forward to the next one.
Seven out of ten.