Saturday, April 30, 2016

Book Review: The Silkworm

Note: This thing is filled with spoilers. Proceed with caution.

The Silkworm - Robert Galbraith (Cormoran Strike #2)

For background on the Cormoran Strike novels and my thoughts on the first book in the series, check out this post

Plot: Cormoran Strike is approached by Leonora Quine to find her husband, Owen, who has been missing for 10 days. Owen Quine is a struggling author, prone to disappearing to fancy hotels for periods of time while his wife and special needs daughter are left at home, wondering where he is. In his attempts to track down Quine, Strike stumbles upon the writer's dismembered body in a gruesome, ritualistic murder scene. Leonora is the Met's main suspect, and Strike sets out to prove her innocence.

Thoughts: Like The Cuckoo's Calling, this book starts out slowly. It took me awhile to get into it. The story is really intricate, something I think JKR excels at executing. The mystery was a bit anti-climactic. You knew there were only a finite number of suspects and it turned out to be one of the main options,so there just wasn't much of a surprise. I have to pat myself on the back here though because [SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER -- TURN BACK NOW IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW THE KILLER!] Elizabeth Tassel's cough always seemed to me to be a very likely side-affect of having breathed in strong acid, which she did when she was destroying evidence.

The book within the book (Bombyx Mori) was a gross, but imaginative. I was a little confused by it at first, but I listened to most of the story a second time and it made more sense once I saw how the pieces came together in the end.

Speaking of listening: I "read" this book via Audible. Wow, this series is definitely one you should listen to (as opposed to reading regularly, which is how I did The Cuckoo's Calling). The guy who narrates them is called Robert Glenister and he is great. I love how he does Cormoran, but he even manages to do women's voices really well (so many male narrators butcher women's voices). I actually scrolled through Audible just looking for other books he's read to see if there was something that peaked my interest, cause I could listen to him all day.

Favorite part(s):

1. Robin turning out to be a kick-ass driver. I really like Robin and I want all the success for her.

2. Nina. I don't know if she was intended to really be a positive character, but I just loved her and thought she was really cool. Maybe she'll come back in a future book, though she didn't seem too thrilled with Cormoran (rightly so) at the end.

3. Cormoran getting some quality time with his brother Al, and seeing how jealous Al was that Cormoran is successful with almost no help from their wealthy father. Logically, Cormoran should be the one jealous of Al and the luxury in which he he grew up, but I love that the tables were turned.

Least favorite part(s):

1. [SPOILER] The fact that Tasssel fed Quine's intestines to her dog. Just writing that out (and then reading back through the chapter near the beginning when Strike goes to her office and the dog has thrown up everywhere) makes me queasy.

2. The taxi scene at the end. Dumb.

3. Basically anything involving Matthew. He is the worst. Especially when he told Cormoran that he dated Robin in high school because he didn't have other options. Gross. I hate him.

4. [SPOILER] The side plot of Matthew's mother's death. It made absolutely no sense that Robin didn't go down to Yorkshire for the whole week with him. I felt like Matthew had every right to be annoyed with her and I don't like feeling sympathetic toward him.

My grade: A-

Who would I recommend it to: Mystery-lovers, anglophiles, and people interested in the dramatic behind-the-scenes of the publishing world.

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