It’s been a while, but I’ve finally got round to reading – and finishing – The Silkworm, the second Cormoran Strike novel by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling).
After being left somewhat disappointed by the first novel, The Cuckoo’s Calling, I found myself enjoying The Silkworm more than Galbraith’s debut. As weird as it sounds, I felt as though it was one of those occasions where the sequel is better than the first, original book.
I won’t refer to my review of The Cuckoo’s Calling that much (you can read that here), but whilst the first book had far too many characters to keep track of, it was a relief to see that Galbraith kept the amount of characters in The Silkworm to a minimum. This in turn led to a better ending, where, when the plot was unravelled, I wasn’t confused by the motive, or who the character was exactly (which happened in The Cuckoo’s Calling).
Of course, another difference was the plot itself. With this book, a few more things about the plot were definite, whilst a lot of The Cuckoo’s Calling was left up to the reader’s speculation. It was far less confusing this time, although that is not to say that the book provided us with multiple things to think about…
It was actually the plot itself which drew me to the book. This time, a rather annoying (not to mention selfish and somewhat self-centred) author of a libellous novel is brutally murdered, and because he’s such an arse, everyone has their reasons for killing him – making it the perfect crime novel, and a very interesting read indeed. As well as this, in true crime fiction style, the novel contains some great red herrings that had me kicking myself when all was revealed at the end.
Aside from the murder case itself, Galbraith also allows time to develop the characters of Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott. Upon reading the book, I really got a sense of Cormoran’s unique and intriguing character. However, the development of the two main sub-plots (Matthew and Robin’s bumpy relationship and Strike’s manipulative ex, Charlotte) weren’t that great. Yes, both had their climaxes, but they both followed the narrative pattern which make the two books somewhat uniform.
Lastly, I bought these two books together, without me knowing whether I would enjoy the first book and go on to read the second. With the third book coming out soon, I probably won’t continue to read the rest of the series.
With an intriguing plot at the centre of its story, The Silkworm is the perfect crime fiction novel for its unique crime and deceptive red herrings. Whilst it is a better novel than Galbraith’s debut, the book still has an element of confusion which may put of some readers.
Rating: 4 out 5
Have you read The Cuckoo’s Calling or The Silkworm? If you have, comment your thoughts below!