Book Review: The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike #2)

Book Review

The Silkworm  (Cormoran Strike #2)

by Robert Galbraith aka JK Rowling

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)

I got into this series out of order. When I was presented with this book, I found out it was number 2 in the series, but decided to read it anyway. I was so delighted with it that I soon ran down to the local library and got numbers 1 and 3!

The Silkworm is a Cormoran Strike novel. He’s not your typical detective; there’s no flash and he’s not rich and loaded with tech toys. And he’s not gloomy and depressing and down on life like some investigators. He is smart and capable. His war injury makes him sympathetic, as does his failed relationship with his ex, Charlotte. (Especially for those of us with similar heartache.) All-in-all, he feels endearing and human, especially when he’s struggling to maintain his dignity and capability in the face of his injury, and in his charming relationship with Robin, his assistant.

For me, that relationship with his assistant is my favourite part of the series. I think the way Galbraith/Rowling writes about how they met and became involved in book 1 progresses in an exciting way here in book 2 as we see Robin’s desire to become an investigator in her own right come out. And we see the conflict her career choice presents with jealous fiancé, Matthew. The way the two interact, the subtle one or two lines here and there about their thoughts or reactions, it’s so skillfully interlaced with the main plot.

Right from the beginning in book 1 we can see that fiancé Matthew is a poor choice for Robin, which she, of course, doesn’t see, and in that sense, she’s a very relateable female, caught up in the romance of what she wants their relationship to be and what she thinks her life should be. She’s struggling against expectations and the secret desires within her that want to drive her in a different direction. And, of course, awkward, strange, different Cormoran Strike is a far better match, but with her engagement between them, and now as they join forces in the detective agency, there’s even more keeping them from exploring that potential romantic angle. Galbraith/Rowling is doing an amazing job of creating a delicious tension between the two characters that makes you want to gobble up each book in the series to see what happens next between them and the fate of their growing agency.

As for the main plot of the Silworm, Cormoran and Robin find themselves on the hunt for a missing writer whose book has sent the publishing world into turmoil with its scandelous characterization of many important figures. There’s not much action or danger, as it’s not a thriller, rather, the book explores the story in great detail from many angles through a series of interviews. It’s remarkably realistic to what a detective might go through. Each interviewee presents a different story, partly witih facts, partly with personal perspective, partly with lies. It’s very well thought out and a brilliant work by the author. Being able to craft so many angles on the story, being able to create so many realistic characters – wow. Galbraith/Rowling is very skilled.

I think because Rowling is known through Harry Potter fame that I was never expecting her other books to be so adult. Maybe that’s something she did on purpose, a necessary departure from the child-like to the world of adulthood. The series has plenty of ‘bad’ language and a remarkable degree of sexuality, considering. No sex scenes or anything, but the scandelous story within the Silkworm is quite graphic and morbid. And the key death ghastly. I’m glad that she was so bold in her writing chocies. It’s nice to see that the author has such depth to her and that she’s so much more than the Potter-verse. My respect for her has definitely gone up reading these novels.

Can’t wait to read the next one! 😀

[amazon template=iframe image&asin=B00IJJUIOM]

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Book Review: Cuckoo’s Calling (Cormoran Strike #1)

Book Review

Cuckoo’s Calling  (Cormoran Strike #1)

by Robert Galbraith aka JK Rowling

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)

I know this is going to sound strange, but Robert Gallbraith is actually (maybe) my first foray into JK Rowling. Yes, I haven’t read the Harry Potter Series. Well, I may have read the first one, but so long ago that I don’t recall it. But before you laugh, yes, I’ve seen the movies and yes, I do plan to read the entire Harry Potter series this year, in large part because I’ve discovered that I enjoy her writing so much.

I came across Robert Galbraith entirely by accident. My mother bought the second of the Cormoran Strike series at the supermarket and brought it home. I began reading it, not caring that it’s the second in the series, and, enjoying the author, looked him up to learn more about him. Turns out the author was actually JK Rowling. Shock!

I have to say that I was and continue to be impressed with her writing style. I find it unique and charming. Cuckoo’s Calling is rather different from the other mysteries I’ve read. Most seem to fall in a very similar vein regarding style, but the way she writes is different. I like it.

Cuckoo’s Calling follows protagonist Cormoran Strike, who is definitely not your average James Bond wannabe, nor is he quite the old-fashioned gloomy gumshoe. He’s a bit bumbling and out of shape, sympathetic following an injury and heartbreak, and quite intelligent. He comes off quite endaring in his own fashion.

In this novel, he tackles the case of a famous suicide. The brother of the deceased, who was a famous supermodel, hires Strike to investigate her death because he doesn’t believe it’s a suicide. Strike delves into the details of her complicated life, and it’s not until the very end that you really see the picture and the whodunnit. The author gives very little away along the investigation so that the ending is something of a surprise. At least it was for me.

The novel is far less about action and almost entirely a series of very in-depth interviews with people surrounding the case, all of which are absolutely filled with all kinds of exploratory information. I find that this is what makes her style so unique. I think a lot of writers rely too much on action and too many mysteries are just thrillers, action movies, with a hint of mystery. But Cockoo’s Calling is all about the story, the story of the suicide and the events surrounding it and the characters involved. She does a remarkable job of expanding on every character and giving each a detailed portrait of their own, so that the story isn’t just a piece about the detective, it’s as if you’re actually a detective walking through a variety of characters. Well done!

While the plot won’t have you on the edge of your seat with the suspense of danger, it’s an engaging ride along the way as Strike figures things out. For me, and maybe it’s just the romantic in me, but I think my favourite part of the novel might be the introduction of his assistant, Robin, and their interactions. Golbraith/Rowling does a fascinating job of developing their relationship. The little lines here and there that develop their story, the scenes the share, the excitement they both develop for working with each other, her secret dream of wanting ot be an investigator. I love it! So realistic and cute and actually, for me, a little more suspenseful than the main plot. Brilliantly, it’s a big part of what makes me want to keep reading the series. I really want to see what happens to Strike and Robin and their fledgling detective agency. Thank goodness there are more novels in the series! 😀

[amazon template=iframe image&asin=B00AA20E5Y]

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave