Cormoran Strike is back with another case, this time investigating the disappearance of an author who has written a questionable and controversial book before going missing. Taking place months after solving the Lula Landry case, Strike tackles the publishing world and all the eccentric personalities that come with it. Convinced the police are on the wrong trail, he and Robin race to solve the case before the wrong person is convicted.
Galbraith, aka J.K. Rowling, has done it again with a book full of twists, turns and red herrings. With The Cuckoo’s Calling, she had successfully established a new series with a quickly growing fan base. This sequel takes a look into the book industry and deals with authors who are best-selling, not as successful, indie and self-published. Like any industry, there will always be a whole cast of characters that run the gamut of personality quirks and eccentricities and this was no exception. I enjoyed the publishing industry setting for this crime novel and can’t help but wonder if any of the situations or character traits were gleaned from someone the author has encountered… which actually would be an interesting/odd choice considering the nature of the plot that sets the narrative in motion. Galbraith has created such a rich world that Strike lives in that the reader can’t help but be pulled completely into not only the case but his personal life.
I also found really interesting that the underlying theme of the expectations of the role of women was woven throughout the narrative in so many different ways. I liked reading this thematic tone, knowing Rowling was the author, writing under a male pen name and the reason behind her decision to publish Harry Potter with only J.K. rather than her Joanne. Moments where female characters were underestimated in whatever capacity felt eye-opening and validating to have it called out.
Looking back at what I wrote for Cuckoo’s Calling, I realized that I had similar thoughts with The Silkworm as well. To me, that doesn’t indicate that the stories are predictable – far from it. It shows consistency and talent at being able to write such a strong series. The reader got glimpses of both Strike and Robin’s personal lives in the first book and this sequel delves into it more as well as exploring the dynamic between employer/employee, mentor/protégé. I am so hooked on this series and can’t wait for many more to come (which apparently will be plenty, as reported by Time last week).