It’s innings two for J.K. Rowling’s twin creations – Robert Galbraith (the pseudonym she writes under) and Cormoran Strike (the detective she writes about as Galbraith), and it’s a delicious follow-up to her relatively drab debut The Cuckoo’s Calling.
The Silkworm is as much a story of Strike and his assistant Robin as it is about the mystery, not unlike its predecessor. Strike is hired to trace missing writer Owen Quine, whose disappearance becomes murkier when Strike discovers Quine had written a malicious book that viciously portrays the people he knows, from his agent and publisher to his wife and mistress. Things take a sinister turn when Quine is found murdered exactly in the fashion the protagonist of his novel is killed. There is no dearth of suspects, given how unpopular Quine was with a tremendous number of people, but there is no evidence either to help Strike figure out who did it.
In Galbraith’s (and Rowling’s) typical fashion, the story unravels slowly and picks up pace after 100-odd pages. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Rowling’s true strength as a writer lies in her ability to create vivid and realistic characters. Strike and Robin see much character development in this book, and the new players – Quine’s wife, mistress, agent, editor, rival and publisher – are distinct and well sketched.
The book becomes most engaging past 300-odd pages, when the mystery seems to be unsolvable. Much like The Cuckoo’s Calling, Strike deduces who the murderer is much before the reader, but only shares his deductions right at the end. This can be frustrating for readers who have tolerated him this far and are still not let into the secret. But for those who relish edge-of-the-seat suspense, the wait is rewarding. A most unexpected twist in the end makes the investment into this 455-page tome worth it.
– Aparna Sundaresan
The Wrath Of Angels
By John Connolly
Plot: Ruins of a plane have been discovered in the Maine Woods, but it hasn’t been reported missing. As men descend the depths of the forests searching for it, someone or something is waiting for them.
Price: Rs. 350
Edited by David Baldacci
Plot: 23 of the world’s favourite crime writers give you short stories starring their favourite characters. It features Ian Rankin’s Rebus vs. Peter James’ Roy Grace; Patrick Kenzie vs. Harry Bosch; Jack Reacher and Nick Heller among others
Price: Rs. 499
The King’s Deception
By Steve Berry
Plot: Cotton Malone is racing against time to find his son Gary. This search takes him from the Middle Temple to sewers beneath the Hampton Court. Now he must rid himself of a lethal trap from the Tudors’ time and his own past.
Price: Rs. 350
By Stephen King
Plot: Brady Hartsfield loves the feel of death under his car. He runs over innocents in a stolen Mercedes, killing eight. Bill Hodges, a cop must stop Hartsfield after he receives a letter revealing Brady’s plan to kill thousands.
Price: Rs. 699
Volume 4 Issue 2