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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.
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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.
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VINE VOICEon 17 July 2014
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.
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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)
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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.
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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!
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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.
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on 9 July 2014
Having read and thoroughly enjoyed the first in this series, I was very excited to see this was coming out. There's a strong chance that I have a big Cormoran Strike crush - I think he's a really well-written hero - but I enjoy Robin's character just as much.

Didn't see the ending of this whodunit coming - another pleasure of this book. Some gory details that slowed my progress at times, but I am very pleased that persevering led to such a satisfying conclusion.
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on 15 April 2015
Disappointing follow up for lovers of Strike Cormoran first novel, The Cuckoos Calling. The characters of Strike and his capable assistant, Robyn continue to be well developed and this aspect of the plot was what kept me going to the end. The plot however was in my opinion overly convoluted and quite tedious at times, the Latin introductions to each chapter added nothing, just irritated me. I cared nothing about any of the other characters and by the end I frankly just wanted the book to end so didn't give a hoot who the murderer was. Sorry, so wanted to enjoy this as my holiday read but will not be recommending.
22 comments9 of 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
A worthy , although at times overly complex, follow-up to The Cuckoo's Calling. Our anti-hero, one-legged ex-military man turned seedy PI, Cormoran Strike is reluctantly dealing with a degree of notoriety following the solving of the Landry case. The only trouble is that although he’s getting a good deal of work, the cases are far from interesting and mainly involving tailing adulterous partners. Finally something interesting comes up and Strike makes the case his priority, even though there is no guaranteed payment - Leonora Quine hires Strike to find her missing husband, a semi famous author called Owen Quine. This leads Strike into the stuffy underbelly of the literary world and allows Galbraith (JK) to vent her ire at every experience she must have encountered in bringing the sheer pomposity to life; there is even a very accurate view on the world of self-publishing. It turns out that Owen Quine has been murdered after someone took acute exception to his new manuscript, Bombyx Mori, which parodies every key person in his literary circle. I did have to keep recalling how each was being parodied and therefore how the motive for murder became apparent. It all becomes clear in then end as Strike solves the case after struggling with manuscript himself.

The real strength of the book, as with The Cuckoo's Calling, is the developing relationship between Strike and his assistant, Robin. She is hired as a PA but in this sequel takes a much more active role on the actual investigating, much to the disgust of her fiancée who would rather she did a much more sensible job. Robin somehow gets Strike and her fiancée together but they are never going to hit it off. The Robin /Strike relationship acts as a superb sub-plot to the main plot, and is really the heart of the book. Look forward to this continuing them in book 3.
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