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…
This was such a great book! I really enjoyed reading it! I always love the idea of a book, being about a book, which is basically what the Silkworm is about. The entire mystery and murder revolves around author Own Quine’s latest book, yet unpublished, but distributed among editors. The first book had been all about the world of a model, the second book is about the world of writers. It’s no surprise that Robert Galbraith, aka J K Rowling is well versed on how publishing and editing works.
“…writers are a savage breed, Mr. Strike. If you want life-long friendship and selfless camaraderie, join the army and learn to kill. If you want a lifetime of temporary alliances with peers who will glory in your every failure, write novels.”
The novel is a detective novel, there are interviews to take, notes to be made, people to be followed. I really found the entire exercise very fascinating, how Strike would ask for interviews, how he would get into places to get a closer, inside look of situations. His assistant, Robin, was also interesting. She is ambitious and excited to work with a detective, but is being held back by her fiance and Strike as well. She manages to break through the barrier and assert her stance on how she felt about helping to solve cases.
“Hard to remember these days that there was a time you had to wait for the ink and paper reviews to see your work excoriated. With the invention of the internet, any subliterate cretin can be Michiko Kakutani.”
The ending of the book was quite a twist however. It was certainly a strange turn of events, although there had definitely been clues and hints littered in the previous pages. I liked how Strike relates Owen Quine’s novel to the reader and now I can’t help but want to know what the actual novel was like! (Mild spoiler, but it’s okay).
All in all, the book was enjoyable. 4/5 stars and I would definitely pick this up again for another read.