Robert Galbraith

The Silkworm

"The interweaving of the plot and the final unmasking are cleverly put together."


Cormoran Strike, private detective, sometimes lets his heart rule his head and that is how he comes to have a client like Leonora Quine instead of a lucrative businessman. She is an eccentric lady, married to an equally eccentric writer who has disappeared. Owen Quine has written a heavily libellous account of his friends and acquaintances, lightly disguised as a novel. As he has a habit of disappearing, no-one is taking Leonora too seriously, but Strike rather perversely decides to do just that.

When Owen's body is discovered in horrific circumstances, the action hots up and Strike assisted by his assistant, Robin, finds himself in a series of dangerous and bizarre situations before finally unmasking the killer. Just when you think all is settled there is a last dramatic scene.

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There are many things to praise about this book: Cormoran Strike is an unusual and sympathetic character who engages the reader; his assistant, Robin, is a wonderful invention; there are a host of other players who alternately amaze, enchant and sometimes, horrify. Underpinning the action in the book is the theme of the 'Revenge Tragedy of Elizabethan times'. The Encyclopaedia Britannica defines this as a work where the dominant motive is revenge for real or imagined injury. Quine has provided just that for nearly all of those he once called 'friends' who he has included in his libellous book. The interweaving of the plot and the final unmasking are cleverly put together. This book definitely has the power to involve the reader totally and makes it difficult to put it down. What can I say – 'The Silkworm' is a wonderful read.

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