The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (J. K. Rowling!)

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith.

I enjoyed The Cuckoo’s Calling, which is the first murder mystery by J. K. Rowling (writing under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith) and I looked forward to the next installment. This series features the private detective Cormoran Strike and his P.A. Robin Ellacott, who look like becoming another crime fighting literary duo.

Cormoran Strike is a veteran of the Afghanistan war who lost part of one leg while saving the life of a comrade. He is the illegitimate son of a rock star whom he hardly knows, but he does have some dealings with his privileged half-siblings.

Business is picking up for Strike following the succussful solving of a high profile case in the previous novel in this series, but he still needs to pay off bills and give Robin the salary that she deserves. When Leonora Quine, the dowdy wife of a literary novelist, asks Strike to find her missing husband he takes pity on her despite  her inability to pay him. Leonora is convinced that her husband had just gone off for a while (not for the first time), but it soon becomes clear to Strike that there is more to this case. Quine has just complete a manuscript full of poisonous pen-portraits which has been leaked to a number of people in the publishing industry, and which has made him enemies who want revenge.

When Strike finds the body of Quine murdered in a manner similar to the ending of the plot in the manuscript, he realises that he is on the track of a dangerous, clever and very ruthless killer with a talent for planning. Under pressure from Robin to include her in the investigations, Strike is concerned for the safety of both of them.

The Silkworm is mostly fast-paced and full of the twists and turns we expect from Rowling, but in places it gets bogged down by long descriptions which I found myself glossing over. We get to know the family of both Strike and Robin in greater depth in this novel, and the relationship between Strike and Robin developes further. 

More books are planned for the series, and I will look forward to reading the next when it comes out.