Friday, June 8, 2018

Audiobook Review: The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

Pub. Date: June 19th, 2014
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Length: 17 hours, 22 minutes

Series: Cormoran Strike #2

Genre: Fiction / Mystery / Thriller / Crime Drama


Private investigator Cormoran Strike returns in a new mystery from Robert Galbraith, author of the #1 international bestseller The Cuckoo's Calling.

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days—as he has done before—and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.

But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives—meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced.

When Quine is found brutally murdered under bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before...

What Did I Think About the Story? 

Book Two in the Cormoran Strike series begins with Strike flush with clients and slightly famous after solving the Lula Landry case in the Cuckoo's Calling. Robin Ellacott is still working as his secretary, enjoying her job even while getting increasingly frustrated with the fact that he won't trust her with more detective work and with her fiancée's continued snobbery about the job and jealousy of Cormoran. Into this busy madness walks Mrs. Quine, a woman without much money or standing who simply wants Strike to find her wayward husband so he can come home and take care of her and their mentally disabled daughter. But, as the facts begin to fall into place and Owen Quine's mutilated body is found in the exact same manner as he describes in his not yet published book, Strike has to follow the bizarre clues and use his excellent deduction skills to find the murderer before the wrong person goes down for the crime.

I found this case to be particularly interesting as it's a real literary whodunit, with a limited number of possible suspects but each with their own, very deep-seated reasons for wanting Quine dead. Watching Strike gather together this list of suspects and interpreting how they figured into Mr. Quine's forthcoming book (and which salacious character they each represented) kept my attention, especially as there were certain aspects of the characters that ended up being clues to what actually happened, clues that I completely overlooked! I won't say who ended up being the killer but I will say I didn't figure it out before the fast-paced and thrilling ending.

I think what I love more than the actual mystery at the heart of the story are the characters themselves. I find Cormoran to be such a complicated character: ex-military police, annoyed by the limits his disability causes (he lost one of his legs), caring - if standoffish - with those in his limited inner circle, yet always willing to put in the time needed to help the underdog and make sure that the truth, whatever it is, always comes out in the end. Seeing Robin next to him is almost comical as she's vivacious, whip-smart, and far more capable than he - or her fiancée - give her credit for. It was great watching her finally voice to Strike her need to be considered as more than just his secretary, as a partner who can put in the time and energy as well to solve their various cases. This obviously causes issues with her fiancée, and that dynamic added another interesting layer to not only her character but the overall story.

I should also mention that the audiobook version of The Silkworm is narrated by the same person as The Cuckoo's Calling (Robert Glenister) who did just as exceptional a job of bringing these characters to life and keeping me glued to my car's stereo during my commutes as he did before. He really is a great audiobook narrator and I'm excited to see he'll be doing the narration for the third book in the series - Career of Evil - as well.    

The Silkworm reaffirmed by love of Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott and has me excited to see what they will get up to next, both at work and in their personal lives.  If you like good mystery with interesting and sometimes dryly comical characters, you will find much to enjoy with this series.

What Did I Think About the Cover?

It's okay. It doesn't really represent the story at all - or anything specific to this particular story - and I'm not even sure who the man on the cover is meant to be (is it Cormoran? Or Quine? Someone else?). However, it does give off a feeling of mystery and I enjoy that aspect of it.

My Rating: 4.0/5.0

I borrowed a copy of the audiobook version of The Silkworm from my library's Overdrive account. All opinions are mine alone. You can find more information about the book, including other reviews and links to where you can purchase a copy, on Goodreads HERE.  

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