Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop Black Friday Deals Week in Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Amazon Fire TV Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Paperwhite Listen in Prime Shop Now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars2,420
4.3 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

95 of 102 people found the following review helpful
I read and enjoyed The Cuckoo’s Calling and so was looking forward to this follow-up. As with the first book I was much more taken by the characters than the plot. Strike is extremely likable and very well-rounded and the relationships between the main characters are really believable. Location too is great; I know that corner of London very well and it was lovely to read it brought to life so evocatively.

Sadly, it’s the plot that lets the whole book down; it reads like a crime novel written by someone who hasn’t read much crime. It lacks the pace of a Val McDermid or a PD James novel and so my main reason for finishing the book was because I was enjoying the character development.

I’d read another one, but hopefully it will be about a hundred pages shorter and have a bit more pace behind it.
88 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
91 of 101 people found the following review helpful
Eight months after the Landry case and Strike is back. Inundated with rich clients wanting their adulterous spouses tailed, the private detective is relieved to receive a likeable visitor with a quandary actually worth investigating. The wife of not-quite-famous author, Owen Quine, Leonora Quine wants her missing husband found. Cormoran takes on the case and quickly finds himself in and amongst London's squabbling literary circle, caught up in the mess created by Quine upon circulation of his latest manuscript; a libellous book in which he viciously attacks almost everyone he's ever worked with.

`Write what you know' is the age old adage and, where Rowling dipped into her experience of fame for The Cuckoo's Calling, The Silkworm deals with a publishing world going through an identity crisis. Traditional publishing, self-publishing and the internet's influence are all fleetingly examined, and you can't help but wonder how many of Cormoran's suspects include portions of the real-life people Rowling encountered during her remarkable rise to superstardom. But then, given the repercussions of Quine's own manuscript, Bombyx Mori (Latin for silkworm), borrowed traits might well have been too ironic an inclusion for even the most cavalier of writers - an enjoyable conundrum to deliberate whilst reading.

A literary yet accessible crime thriller, The Silkworm is, like its predecessor, an excellent read. The mystery is moreish, the characters well-crafted, and the side plots - particularly the continuing animosity between Strike and his assistant's fiancé - are genuinely enjoyable. One of the few complaints is that Strike unravels the mystery with a bit of a clunk, and that the quotes at the beginning of every chapter are somewhat pretentious for a trashy (in the very best of ways) crime thriller. Yes, even one with such a literary heart.

Jack Croxall, author of Tethers (The Tethers Trilogy Book 1)
33 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 14 September 2014
This, Robert Galbraith's second excursion into the dark, seedy world of the down at heel P.I. on one leg, is outstanding. Even better than his(!) first sojourn into this territory.

I don't profess to have the literary knowledge to understand the relevance or meanings behind the quotes at the beginning of each chapter but they had no bearing on my enjoyment of the book. I dare say they held important clues. But I was clueless.

The principal characters have developed since the first book. Understandably. They are more rounded; human even. Robin is the perfect foil for the limped gait crusader. She has become as important as the main protagonist. Hard to imagine one without the other now.

The plot here isn't complex but the main event - the murder - is certainly not run of the mill. The author uses all her experience of literary circles - agents, writers, publishers - to weave her tale and few come up smelling of roses. I dare say some may recognise themselves in the book. The irony in that is crystal clear and you can see that parallel as the story develops.

Fast paced and full of oddball characters, all of whom are suspects till the finale, this is a glorious trip round a strangely wintry London as Strike attempts to track down a murderer whose motive in the end is not as it appears throughout.

A first class detective story once again reminiscent of Chandler and Hammett at their best. Wit and grime come thick and fast in equal measure. Roll on the third Vet-man and Robin adventure. By far and away my favourite writer at the moment. Just terrific.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 29 July 2015
I was looking forward to reading this, the second book in the series, and it might have got 4 stars if it were not for the use of words that I think are unnecessary. I did not know the meaning of the words "zygote", "largesse", "quixotic" and "cupidity", to name but a few, and hardly think I'll ever use them or come across them in everyday conversation, so why do some authors feel the need to use such words. Is it just to show off?

Rant over, otherwise I enjoyed it and loved the development of the relationship between Cormoran and his assistant Robin.

I kept trying to pre-empt the ending but didn't, so well done for that. Not sure the final bit with the taxi etc. was absolutely necessary but it's not uncommon to add an extra bit of suspense, although 99% of the time it isn't as you know it will all be okay(ish).
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 26 August 2014
Having enjoyed "The Cuckoo's Calling" (not to mention all the other books of J K Rowlings) I was keen to see how the second book would fair. Although I found it darker, it was more enjoyable, possibly because I was familiar with the main characters. Once again the setting is atmospheric and beautifully observed while the characters, even the minor players, are carefully moulded to show depth and personality with all their idiosyncrasies, hang ups flaws and redeeming features.
The central plot twists and drags the reader through the streets of snowbound London, but I will not give away the main tenet as I feel spoilers are a curse. Suffice to say I hope Ms Rowlings (aka Robert Galbraith) in her literary circle does not come into contact with the seamier side of the publishing world.
A word of warning to those of a sensitive disposition; the language is often ripe, as befits the characters, and description of the body, luridly graphic.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (or rather J.K. Rowling of Harry Potter-fame) was an all-round excellent crime novel; for its pacing, its diction, characterisation, domestic issues, sub-plotting and sheer humanity that the author breathed into the book. As Galbraith, Rowling was able to develop her writing even further, and successfully move on from Harry Potter towards appeasing a more adult demographic.

So now we have the long-awaited sequel; The Silkworm. Private Detective Cormoran Strike and loyal, brilliant assistant Robin Ellacott are back. Several months after the successful closure of the ‘Lula Landry’ case, Strike’s name has been made, and his reputation has gone through the roof! Strike’s business is booming, with more-and-more clients coming to him for help. The latest (and most prominent) is Leonora Quine, the wife of controversial novelist Owen Quine. Owen’s gone missing, and Leonora wants Strike to find him and bring him home.

Of course, as in The Cuckoo’s Calling…NOTHING in The Silkworm is as simple as the synopsis implies. The manuscript of Owen’s latest novel is his most shocking yet, and ruffled enough feathers to the point where he’s made too many enemies. As events spiral out of control, Strike will have a most sinister case on his hands…and all kinds of problems OUTSIDE of work to deal with.

All the quality from The Cuckoo’s Calling can be found in The Silkworm…and then some. The events from the previous book are used to brilliant effect in developing both Strike and Robin’s characters, as are their ongoing lives outside of work. In the case of Strike, the success from his last ‘big case success’ has put him in a brand-new environment to work in. No longer is he struggling to put food on his table, he’s struggling to keep up with the workload, and deal with the eager press and the jealous police. Yet throughout that, and the difficulties he suffers with his prosthetic leg and single-status, Strike retains his desire for justice, amazing intellect and guts, as well as the desire to do the right thing. He remains as inspiring a protagonist as ever.

As does Robin, who’s brilliant, capable, resourceful…and with all the potential in the world. She’s an invaluable asset to Strike, as well as an endearing human being. Of course, her own problems stem from her fiancé Matthew, who doesn’t approve of her job or employee. Other difficulties facing Robin include her own fear that Strike maybe selling her short, and the expectations placed on her by her family. Robin’s story is just as engaging as Strike’s. The use of character here is even richer than it was in the last book. It’s beautiful.

Like its prequel, The Silkworm is driven more by character than by plot, but that’s what makes Robert’s writing so appealing and so human. Character’s second-guessing themselves, qualities and flaws in every individual coming across through speech, gestures and mannerisms…it’s all so true-to-life, and it’s ultimately what keeps the reader guessing regarding the mystery. There are so many genuine suspects and ‘red-herrings’, along with enough twists, confrontations and action that quells any monotony that might develop.

The resolution is not only satisfying and plausible, but very clever indeed. Rowling knows where she’s guiding her plot, and she also knows where she’s leaving the clues. It’s unobvious to the point that the reader genuinely won’t see the revelation coming, and the pieces complete the puzzle in a fashion that’s worthy of Agatha Christie. This makes The Silkworm even more of a masterwork than its predecessor, and the references to things like the News of the World and the Royal Wedding help ground the book in a way that adds strength to the setting.

Those who loved The Cuckoo’s Calling will be all-the-more impressed by J.K. Rowling’s work as Robert Galbraith. For those who weren’t quite keen on the first-outing of Cormoran Strike maybe pleasantly surprised to discover this superior sequel. Well-paced, utterly engaging and highly recommended.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 August 2014
Another excellent read from 'Robert Galbraith'. I really like the character of Cormoran Strike who seems to me to be very real, making the mistakes we all make and also running from parts of his past. We learned more in this novel about the incident that led to the loss of his leg and meet D I Richard Anstis whose life was saved by Strike when their Viking came under fire in Afghanistan. Robin's relationship with fiancé Matthew is as strained as ever, though moves towards some acceptance on his part of her ever increasing role in Cormorans business. Matthew is deeply suspicious of Cormoran who is certainly aware of Robins femine charms! She becomes less secretary and more bagman and is key to unravelling this mystery along with help from a friend of Strikes from childhood and his half brother Al. This novel centres around Owen Quine, an author and a manuscript called Bombyx Mori - Latin for silkworm. We learn that Quine is a rather unpleasant, self centred man who has woven people he knows into this novel in a shall we say a less than flattering light. Owen disappears and then is found murdered in bizarre circumstances, mirroring the story of Bombyx Mori. As Cormoran attempts to solve the crime we meet writers, agents, publishers, a long suffering wife and daughter, a lover and so on all who had a reason to want Quine dead. The characters are well written and easy to picture - some are likeable and some are not. I must admit I had worked out the killer but not the twist which I will not reveal as it will spoil the enjoyment of the novel. All in all, a very good, well written read.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 August 2014
I really enjoyed The Cuckoo’s Calling, was eagerly awaiting the next in the series ‘The Silkworm’ and was hoping not to be disappointed.

The Silkworm picks up eight months after the Landry case and now that Strike received a bit of fame from that case, he is inundated with rich clients wanting his help. Leonora Quine, the wife of slightly well-known author, Owen Quine, wants her missing husband found. Comoran takes on the case and quickly finds himself in and amongst London’s literary circle. Quine’s manuscript; a libellous book in which he viciously attacks almost everyone he’s ever worked with, is causing quite a stir and Comoran is convinced that his disappearance is related to this.

I found the storyline interesting and, I feel, that JK Rowling’s biggest strength is her character development. The characters in this book are well thought out and this shines through mostly with Cormoran’s relationship with his assistant Robin. I like that there are a lot of character details and I particularly like all the pieces about Strike’s past at Oxford, him being a rock star’s son and his past relationship with his ex-fiancé Charlotte. I felt that JK Rowling had also done a lot of research around Strike’s disability and the problems it could cause him in his everyday life.

Other reviews have said that they felt that the storyline and plot was a bit ‘clunky’ and not dramatic and fast-faced enough. I actually quite liked the slower pace of the book and enjoyed this one more than the first book. I am looking forward to the next instalment.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 August 2014
J.K. does it again, with The Silkworm, the second of her Cormoran Strike mysteries. Following on from the events of The Cuckoo's Calling, she sort-of satisfies your craving to know WHY Robin wants to marry Matthew, WHEN she's going to see sense and PLEASE can Cormoran be happy for more than five minutes at a stretch? Also, there's a pretty exciting mystery thrown in as a bonus.

Difficult to summarise without spoilers... but: Cormoran takes a case from a dowdy-looking woman who's misplaced her (by all accounts, not-worth-having) husband, Owen Quine. He's a semi-celebrated author and diva about to publish a controversial new book. Leonora, the wife, believes that he's run off in a sulk and just wants him to be returned to her and their miserable home life. BAM - turns out, that's not what happens (shocking, I know).

J.K. seems to be drawing heavily on her extensive knowledge of the world of publishing, and this is a good and a bad thing. She knows her stuff, and the characters are well drawn (you wonder if there are some very embarrassed people in her literary circle who inspired these horrible human beings), but the downside is that the publishing world doesn't look especially suited to this kind of mystery. She uses the controversial manuscript, author temperament and circle of backstabbing/freeloading individuals to good effect, but there were times when I felt there could have been a few more convincing suspects than there were. They all have motives, but a few of them feel very unlikely to propel a person to crime.

This aside, it's a marvellous read and all the hallmarks of good Rowling fiction are there - the large cast with ambiguous motives, the slick writing style, the Horcrux - er, object around which a great deal of the plot centres... It's not short, but it's so hard to put down that you'll be through it in a few days at most (side note - not a great one to take on holiday because it's big but it'll be finished well before you're home. Kindle was my solution).

It's not perfect, but it's still amazing.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 July 2014
I loved this book, and it's characters. In short it's a true throw back to what crime thrillers used to be, and its a brilliant read for it. In this book you get to enjoy the structured interviewing of characters, the red herrings that you have to find and the chipping away at the elusive motives. It's a great read, it draws you along and you find yourself saying "I'll stop after one more chapter", but you don't. The story centres around a missing author. I wont get into the details but I had suspected who for a while and only at the end did I get why. And the way the author delivers the conclusion is so brilliantly done that I found myself say, "ahhhh" out loud. My favourite part was the gathering together of the suspects at a party in one room so the all knowing detective can unnerve them all, then reveal the killer with flair.

There is much to love about this series. The fact the main protagonist is a ginger, one legged, ex military police with a fair few chips on his shoulders is a nice break from plastic tendencies we get now days. Whatever happened to the unlikely miss marples? That he's been paired with a twenty something year old beauty / pa, who's impending nuptials are almost as horrific as the murders they solve is intriguing. Her determination to learn the craft, twins with your own interests in it. Indeed I felt as though Cormoran was teaching me as much as he was teaching her.

I read the cuckoos calling before I knew it was JK. It was a surprise - these books stand alone, and nothing hinted at her voice to me. The Potter world was a wonder of its genre. I think in the Strike novels it could be said she's done it again for crime thrillers. Order up for Book 3 please JK - we're eagerly awaiting it!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Questions? Get fast answers from reviewers

Please make sure that you've entered a valid question. You can edit your question or post anyway.
Please enter a question.

Customers who viewed this item also viewed

Career of Evil
Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

Gøgens kalden
Gøgens kalden by Robert Galbraith

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.