Archive for August, 2014

The Silkworm

Posted in Pai-Book-Review on August 1, 2014 by prajwalpai


Having not finished about 4 books which I had started reading in last few months, I was itching to finish a book. When I realised the second book of Cormoran Strike series had released, I knew this was the book I was waiting for. This is the second book by J.K.Rowling under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith , the first being thoroughly enjoyable The Cuckoo Calling.

This book picks up where the first had finished. It begins with Strike being hired to find a missing person, Owen Quine – a not so successful Author/Writer. Owen had plans to release a controversial book called ‘Bombyx Mori’ which is a symbolic autobiographical account of his own life.  All the real people in his life depicted metaphorically as characters in his book. The Silkworm is set in the literary world of London and each character is very well defined. We are made aware of the plot of Bombyx Mori in detail and Cormoran sets to fit the pieces of puzzle by mapping from book to real life and thus unravelling all the dark secrets of each character. A dead body is found under extraordinary circumstances and this murder is elaborate, strange, sadistic and grotesque, literary in inspiration and ruthless in execution.The solution to the mystery unfolds in a quick pace, through the gripping investigative work, through interesting interviews with eager suspects, through streets/tubes/taxis of nostalgic London, with many false trails , guided by Strike’s unerring sense and skill. Strike connects the dots between the book and the real life. The mystery unravels piece by piece , hinged instead on character studies, allowing the suspects to slowly reveal their inner-selves full of shallow and sometimes quite dark unpleasantness, propelled by almost casually shrewd observations of social inequalities and prejudices.

I actually had no clue till the end about who might be the killer, I did have my suspects but needless to say I was terribly wrong. We are given every bit of info to make us think and keep it intriguing. Very different from most books is that each suspect is jumping eagerly to answer the detective which threw any of my theory off the window. The book is kept very real and the characters are very human. Cormoran keeps getting hungry every now and then, his amputated limp keeps giving him trouble most of the times. Robin gets a lot of limelight and more involvement this time and her chemistry with Cormoran is as crackling as ever. We also see the relation between Robin and Matthew get more mature.

I am one of those person who cannot find any fault in Rowling’s writing. This book for me was in the ‘unputdownable’ category. Rowling continues the pattern she set in the first Strike book. One line from the book that totally encapsulates the essence of the entire book, 

“Ha, ha, ha, thou entanglest thyself in thine own work like a silkworm.”