A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library
This is the second in the Cormoran Strike private eye series, written by J. K. Rowling under a pen name. In the first, The Cuckoo’s Calling, Strike and his receptionist sidekick Robin were introduced, and solved the mystery of a supermodel’s apparent suicide.
In this second installment, Strike’s business has picked up as a direct result of the publicity surrounding the previous case, and he has been able to keep Robin on. Most of his cases are boring, however, tailing suspected cheating spouses of the wealthy. Then one day a lower-income woman comes in, who actually wants Strike to find her husband and tell him to come back home, and Strike and Robin are off and running. The missing man is a fiction writer, so we are introduced to the publishing world as our two heroes traverse London by Tube and on foot, and sometimes by taxi when Strike’s war-injured leg is bothering him.
This novel is similar to the first, in that it adheres to the expected private eye mystery format, with the added bonuses of great character development and sly humor characteristic of Rowling’s books. Another thing I really like about Rowling (also seen in her Harry Potter novels) is her pacing of the action. The momentum makes it hard to put down the book at the end of a chapter, and most chapters are short enough that you can easily talk yourself into reading “just one more.” Next thing you know, it’s long past your bedtime.
You can read The Silkworm without having read The Cuckoo’s Calling first, but I recommend reading them in order so that you have a fuller understanding of Strike’s and Robin’s backgrounds and working relationship. Both are engaging and entertaining.
Review by Nancy