The Silkworm – The sequel or the 2nd in the Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith: I tried to pre order it in Amazon but for some strange reason it did not allow me to. So on 19th when I saw a post about it being available on Amazon, I instantly went and got it, not bothering that it was a weekday night and I had loads of work pending and had some hard stops coming up. Now I have to blame Robert Galbraith or J.K.Rowling for me skipping my work schedule, because ever since I got it that night, the whole of Friday went in me trying to read it in between work (thank God for the Kindle reader being able to sync between various reading devices) and couldn’t get my head straight to concentrate even a bit at work and I have to bloody try and finish off the work over the weekend. I know its my fault but nice to blame it on the authors 🙂 Finally after pulling an almost all nighter with it, not including the 4 hours of disturbed sleep that I had, I am so glad I got to finish it off. (This seems to be a repeating pattern with me with respect to the mystery novels, so next time you read a mystery novel title you will hear me ranting about doing the same thing …..again).
Nope, I am not going to give any spoiler’s in this post. Trying to be very nice and all today.
The story picks of where it left in the first part, The Cuckoo’s Calling, Cormoran Strike or Corm trying to make his ends meet with the kind of very predictable cases that come his way after his very famous Lula Landry case. Except in this case, it is all high profile people trying to get some dirt on their partners and getting money out of it. He has bills to pay, a very able assistant, Robin, to hold on and loans to settle : so he goes on with these mundane and repetitive work even though his knee gives him more trouble day by day. When a woman comes with a request to find her husband who has been missing for more than the days he usually goes missing, he goes with his guts on this and rejects a well paying client to take up this case for a change and for some reason he himself couldn’t fathom. Leonora Quine, the wife of Quine, a author and a novelist, whose last book was called Hobart’s Sin often goes off missing when he is in one of his ‘moods’. But he has been gone longer than usual and this worries the wife. She comes to Corm to help her as she has to look after her brain damaged child at home and cannot spend more time explaining things to him. She also says that his agent Elizabeth would know about the place where he usually goes off to, or perhaps he has gone to a writer’s retreat which she overheard recently. Thus starts Corm’s journey to an author’s world filled with books, manuscripts, publishers, criticisms and what not. With his leg getting more troublesome and in between trying to help Robin strike a rapport between her boss (i..e Corm) and her fiance Matthew, and his dread of finding out his ex-fiance’s wedding, along with other cases that he has already agreed to, he initially has some misgivings as to if he did a right thing by accepting this case. But as and when things progress and he starts to get pieces of information where the author’s unpublished book is already leaked out to a lot of people and it insinuates too many big people involved in his life and the publishing world for his own comfort, there is a sense of trepidation that overcomes Corm. And true to his feeling, he finally finds the missing author burned, guts churned out (literally) in a house he co-owns. With that and the strange reactions of Leonora who consistently seeks the support of Corm, inspite of learning about her dead husband, she becomes the natural suspect. But something tells Corm that she isn’t the killer. And to his surprise when he weasels himself the copy of the unpublished book, the scene of the author’s death is depicted to the last detail in the book. Now he has a killer to catch, if only he can ward off that one person who keeps trying to kill him every now and then. OK, I hope that wasn’t a spoiler. There is a boat load of characters who are affected by Quine and who is pissed off at him. Corm and Robin join hands to find out the culprit.
It is not one of those racy thrillers, as I think I already mentioned even in the first book. It is slow in speed. But it takes time to build the characters in a very interesting way, not too long enough to make it boring also. And the pieces of the puzzle are fit in one by one. If you can imagine yourself sitting before the jigsaw puzzle sets and thinking of doing it one by one, then you make a wrong move and then slowly remove it and piece it again to find if it fits. Reading this book gives that feel exactly, at least for me. And its not only about the incident, but it is also about the character’s growth in every book. Robin trying to handle her relationship with her fiance, which is most of the time rocky due to her work. Cormoran trying to get over Charlotte and still struggling with his identity as his father’s son. It gives you a sense of realism and is grounded in many ways. He is missing a leg so he cannot go and do any heroic activities but is proud to ask for help too. He has his own share of faults too. And its about authors. Now I would love to know how another author feels about being how they are depicted in this book. I don’t feel anything different. They are also human, but as one author to another , there could have been something said in between the lines, which I may or may not have understood. Even though the scene of death is gruesome, it doesn’t leave a sour taste in your mouth. I have read some where it does, but well, I am least perturbed by it. But some scenes in the unfinished book do give you some bad scenes to visualize. And that is my problem. Because that is how I read a novel when I am really very interested or if it is very interesting. I automatically picture it and have these voices that speak in my head. I think I have gone long enough about this book. Well, it gives us a different view of the world of authors set against the backdrop of a murder. And having been in London for a week and been gone to some places that they have mentioned, it brought the city back to me. Now I better go and crash and get some rest. If you ask me, it was a very very fine read and very mysterious, even though I thought just like in Harry Potter, the ending did fall a little short for the intensity of the crime. But the journey was amazing.