The Silkworm
by Robert Galbraith and Robert Glenister

Overview - Private investigator Cormoran Strike returns in a new mystery from Robert Galbraith, author of the #1 international bestseller "The Cuckoo's Calling."
When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike.

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More About The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith; Robert Glenister

Private investigator Cormoran Strike returns in a new mystery from Robert Galbraith, author of the #1 international bestseller "The Cuckoo's Calling."
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...
A compulsively readable crime novel with twists at every turn, THE SILKWORM is the second in the highly acclaimed series featuring Cormoran Strike and his determined young assistant, Robin Ellacott.

  • ISBN-13: 9781478980902
  • ISBN-10: 1478980907
  • Publisher: Little Brown and Company
  • Publish Date: June 2014
  • Page Count: 14

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Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-09-01
  • Reviewer: Staff

Once again writing under the pseudonym Galbraith, J.K. Rowling begins her new fair-play whodunit a few months after the conclusion of The Cuckoo’s Calling (2013). Here, London private eye Comoran Strike and his almost aggressively efficient assistant, Robin Ellacott, are searching for the murderer of novelist Owen Quine, the author of a scurrilous roman à clef certain to damage the careers of an assortment of publishing power players if printed. Popular British actor Glenister (MI-5, Hustle) takes on a highly-charged crime puzzle, peopled by a panoply of mainly vile suspects as well as a totally engaging pair of detectives. Matching Rowling’s praiseworthy ear for dialogue, he catches the subtleties—a touch of snark in cocktail party chatter, the arrogance in the voice of the overprivileged, the fear almost hidden in the raspy croak of a chain-smoking literary agent. His Strike shifts from a weary attitude when dealing with his personal life to an air of vitality and confidence when on the job. Robin, too, is at her best when working, sounding bright and on top of things; while at home, her conversation is dulled by her increasing uncertainty about marriage to fiancé. This developing doubt seems justified, since the husband-to-be, as Glenister’s interpretation perfectly captures, is a demanding and humorless bore. A Little, Brown/Mulholland hardcover. (June)

BookPage Reviews

Audio: Dizzying heights

Martha Grimes seems to have more fun with her mysteries than most of the genre’s perpetrators. And there’s good evidence of that in her latest, Vertigo 42, which brings back New Scotland Yard Superintendent Richard Jury, his sidekick Sgt. Wiggins, his best friend, wealthy, elegant Melrose Plant, and Plant’s eccentric, well-heeled cronies who hang out in a Devon pub. Grimes peppers this top-notch whodunit with clues hidden in literary classics like Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Forster’s A Passage to India, T.S. Eliot’s poetry and, not surprisingly, Hitchcock’s classic film Vertigo, and wraps it in the Devon set’s charmingly odd doings. Asked to look into Tess Williamson’s fatal fall 17 years ago by her husband, who still believes it was murder, Jury’s back in Devon only to be confronted with another dubious fatal fall. Connected? If you listen carefully to Steve West’s bravura performance and know your fiction and flicks well, you’ll figure it out. If not, no matter, you’ll have a vertiginously high time.

Jim Stegner is an “outsider” artist on the inside track to making it big in the Santa Fe gallery scene, as much at home in a bar fight, raptly gazing at art in a museum or reading Rilke. He’s passionate and violent, deeply talented and deeply scarred, and he’s the first-person narrator of Peter Heller’s beautifully evoked, emotionally convincing novel The Painter, ably read by Mark Deakins. Since Jim tells the story, you know he survives, but given his murderous, blinding temper, that’s not always a sure thing. Living in a small town in Colorado now, after his treasured teenage daughter was murdered in a drug deal gone wrong, his days are an uneasy balance of making art and fly-fishing. When he happens on a burly man abusing a small horse, his life twists into a wildly suspenseful spiral of murder, revenge and, maybe, a touch of redemption.

Since we’ve learned that Robert Galbraith is in truth J.K. Rowling, it’s good fun to look for Potteresque shadows in The Silkworm, the second in her acclaimed new series starring Cormoran Strike, a London private eye who lost a leg in Afghanistan. There are no wands or spells. The wizardry here is in Rowling’s vividly drawn cast—their nuanced personalities and fabulous range of accents perfectly realized by reader Robert Glenister—and in its intricately structured plot, replete with a long list of possible suspects and deftly hidden clues, set in the backbiting, gossipy world of publishing. Strike, aided by his smart, attractive assistant, Robin, is investigating the gory, ghoulishly orchestrated murder of Owen Quine, a difficult, disliked novelist whose recently completed, surreally horrifying novel, filled with scandalous portraits of London’s literati, has exploded on that scene like a firebomb. Solid provocation for murder, but it will take all of Strike’s detecting talent and a lick of literary acuity to find the killer. Fortunately, Strike will be back on another case soon.


This article was originally published in the August 2014 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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