Rating: 4 stars
When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days—as he has done before—and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.
But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine’s disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives—meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced.
When Quine is found brutally murdered under bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before…
Wow. I really enjoyed reading this second book in the series more than The Cuckoo’s Calling, which wasn’t at all a bad read, but was missing something The Silkworm had for me: suspense. It was a page-turner, from start to finish because I really wanted to know who killed this writer. I was also curious about the world Strike immersed himself into in order to find the killer and figure out why this person went after Owen Quine. The world of publishing has never been a world I’ve been a part of, though I hope for that to change one day. But I was curious about Quine and this mysterious book he wrote about the people in his life so I was ready to dive in.
I’m not going to lie when I say part of my enjoyment of this book is because the case involved an author. I wanted to learn more about his book, and what about it was so terrible that it couldn’t be published. But what I got from that caught me off guard, but also made me laugh at the same time. So I was surprised about the type of books Quine typically wrote, but was also intrigued as to what this revealed about his character. I like that his book was connected to his death. I like that being incorporated into the case because it eliminated a lot of people being responsible for his murder except for the characters we were introduced to. The only problem I had when it came to this case is that Galbraith made Quine seem like the stereotypical author. His character sounded very cocky and arrogant, yet still eccentric at the same time, which is pretty normal to the way I’ve seen authors being described in books. This is a problem for me because people see authors this way already and was hoping his character would be described differently.
I also enjoyed seeing Strike and Robin’s friendship continue to blossom. I like seeing the way the two of them work together to investigate because you can tell that they trust each other. But at the same time, I worry that Galbraith is going to try and get them together as a couple. While I wouldn’t necessarily mind that, I really like seeing them work together and just being friends outside of the job. I also like seeing Robin’s character continue to develop as she stands up to her fiancé because she really enjoys her work. I feel like as she continues helping Strike with cases, she comes into her own and is becoming the person she’s meant to be.
I also enjoyed this book in the series more than The Cuckoo’s Calling because there was a lot of buildup when it came to finding Quine’s killer. The killer was revealed to us in a surprising way, which made us even more interested in finding out why this person killed Quine.
My biggest problem with The Silkworm is the quotes at the beginning of each chapter. I usually don’t mind when books have quotes, but the ones in this book felt like they didn’t belong to me, and I would’ve been fine reading the book without them.
I also felt that most of the characters who knew Quine were too similar. I don’t know if it’s because they all worked in publishing or were authors, but it annoyed me because I didn’t really like any of them. They just seemed too similar to me so when the killer was finally revealed, I wasn’t quite as surprised as I thought I’d be. I felt like any one of them could’ve killed Quine, it was just a matter of which one Galbraith decided on.
However, neither of these problems for me made me enjoy The Silkworm any less. It was overall a very suspenseful, intriguing read that made me continue turning the page. I can’t wait to continue reading this series to find out what happens next.