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This review is from: The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
Following on from solving the Lulu Landry case, Cormoran Strike's private detective agency has finally taken off, though the flood of rich spouses eager for the detective to gather evidence against their suspected philandering partners is getting a little wearying for a man of Strike's capabilities. However, when he takes on the case of trying to locate missing second-rate writer Owen Quine for his wife Leonora, the case proves to be possibly his most intriguing yet. Quine's disappearance ties in with rife speculation and interest regarding his upcoming book Bombyx Mori, in which he viciously attacks many of his close acquaintances and colleagues with unflattering character portraits; hence following the gruesome discovery of his corpse, a murder which appears to be modelled from the fictional Bombyx Mori, Strike’s investigation leads him to focus on the real life counterparts of the characters in Quine’s story, one amongst them he is certain is Quine’s killer.
In the Silkworm, Galbraith once again conjures up an elaborate murder for her winsome detective duo, Strike and Robin; this time even more gory and cunning than the last, my only criticism that Galbraith possibly strays a little too deep into the rather sadistic and murky world of Bombyx Mori. The plot seems to take inspiration from Jacobean revenge tragedies, however, it comes across as possibly too over-imaginative, and certainly the murder doesn't feel as real as that of Lula Landry's. It is clear that Galbraith has relished the opportunity to home in on a world no doubt exceedingly familiar, that of the publishing industry; and generally this serves to the novel's strengths.
For me, once again, the central charm of the novel lies in the characterisation and interaction of its crime-fighting duo, who by now feel like old friends; and just as at the end of every year of Hogwarts, I used to be desperate to join the trio in their next adventure, Strike and Robin are beginning to inspire the same sense of loyalty. Their characters were developed further in this second novel, and I particularly liked that Robin had a more prominent and active role in the case this time. I also liked the fact that Strike, whilst still a character of great integrity, also had a few flaws this time as seen in his occasionally using people to his advantage and then quickly shrugging them off. The chemistry and friendship between Strike and Robin also builds further, though it still remains to be seen in which direction Galbraith intends to take this. I did also really like Al, Strike's half brother, and hope he features more in future novels.
Once again there are a host of secondary characters and suspects, the majority of whom are larger than life and excessively entertaining, if at times rather over-personified in their traits. I think one of my favourites from The Silkworm was famous author Michael Fancourt. Galbraith's London too is almost a character in itself, and lends itself well to the grimy tone of the book; though I wouldn't mind an occasional change of scene to Strike's home county of Cornwall in future.
Overall an entertaining and engrossing follow up in the Cormoran Strike series, and I'll certainly be watching out for the detective's third outing.