[book-review] Robert Galbraith - The Silkworm

“...writers are a savage breed, Mr. Strike. If you want life-long friendship and selfless camaraderie, join the army and learn to kill. If you want a lifetime of temporary alliances with peers who will glory in your every failure, write novels.”
― Robert Galbraith, The Silkworm

 Time to review book #2 of the Strike Series. Also since Career of Evil will be out in a few weeks on BBC One.


I hope you guys got a taste of Strike in my first review and maybe some of you started reading. 😊

There won't be lot's of thoughts on the main characters this time because we already had that so I'll start with the plot of the book...
Because of the Lula Landry case in The Cuckoo's Calling, Strike got very popular as private investigator and had quite a few cases during the beginning of the book. Mostly cases like "is my partner cheating?", quite boring to be honest. A "friend" of his, Cullpepper, and journalist, sometimes has some cases for him too. But one morning a woman - Leonora Quine - shows up in the office and asks Strike to find her husband, the famous novelist Owen Quine. Since he lost one of his former clients due to a bit of an outbreak before he met Leonora, he accepts and starts to investigate.

“Strike had recently helped several wealthy young women rid themselves of City husbands who had become much less attractive to them since the financial crash. There was something appealing about restoring a husband to a wife, for a change.”
― Robert Galbraith, The Silkworm
As it turned out, Quine hasn't had lots of success with his books over the last years and struggled to write one of the "great stories" again. During the investigation Strike finds out about the new manuscript of Quine: Bombyx Mori. An affront to some of the most influential people in the Londons publishing business, as it turns out. No one wants to publish it but everyone reads it. It's a very strange and disturbing story with rape, sadomasochism, torture, necrophilia and cannibalism. The hero, Bombix (Quine) is tricked and eaten alive by different book characters who are metaphors for people in Quine's life, whom he considers responsible for the destruction of his career.
During the investigation Strike and Robin have some problems as well. Robin want't to be a detective as well and feels neglected by her boss because he's not giving in. Mostly because - after a disastrous meeting with Matthew, he doesn't want her to choose between her career and her fiancé.
The  meeting was quite funny to be honest because I completely agreed with Strike's dislike towards Matthew and to be fair Matthew doesn't like him very much either.

"Wasn't a big school", said Matthew. "She was the only girl with any brains who was fanciable. No choice."
Tosser, thought Strike.
- Robert Galbraith, The Silkworm

The investigation continues and soon Strike finds the writers body in an abandoned house and as in the scene of Bombyx Mori, disembowled, drained in acid and "eaten". After this and contracting his old friend Anstis who's working for the Metropolitan Police, they start to look further into the book characters / the people Quine described in Bombyx Mori. To be honest I don't like Anstis, he's a prick and only want's to see the easy/ obvious solution. I kinda wonder how he even made it to Detective... The police concentrates on Leonora and soon put her in jail. Strike is not convinced that she did it and interviews one after another till all the "Bombyx characters" are blaming one another.

Suddenly Matthews mum dies and Robin is forced to decide what to prioritize. She chooses to help Strike and drive with him to a client and risks missing her train in London to reach the funeral in time. During their travel they have a break and she finally confronts Strike about being an investigator as well. He explains to her why he think's this is "a bad idea" and that she'll have problems with Matthew because of this. Robin agrees to deal with this and that she takes her job seriously. I also loved, that Robin got more and more involved and more paragraphs in the book itself. I love her as a character so much and she's so important for the novel / Strike.
"... cheer the fuck up and eat your burger.”
― Robert Galbraith, The Silkworm
Robin reaches the train in time, obviously, but soon her lie - why she couldn't join him for the planning of the funeral - is discovered by Matthew. He's mad as hell and you kinda feel that he's suspecting Strike and Robin to have feelings for each other. And it is kind of true, to be honest. You can certainly see Strike liking Robin more and more. Nonetheless he's keeping it professional. You also still have some flashbacks on Charlotte and thoughts on her. But soon - as in the first book - he finds a very lovely girl - Nina, the cousin (?) of his friend from the papers Culpepper, and working at Roper Chard - and he has some sort of romantic entanglement with her. Including using her to get the Bombyx script and information.

During the investigation they look further into an old suicide of Fancourt's wife. She too tried to write a book but got such bad critics, that she killed herself over it. Owen Quine is accused that he wrote the review and that too was one of the reason why his friendship with Michael Fancourt ended.
More and more evidence shows up, that the Bombyx Mori manuscript everyone read, isn't the original manuscript written by Quine. After a chat with Quine's ex-lover and student and her friend, he even is surer that someone must have edited the script.

He obviously find's the murder and after a brilliant climax. A chasing scene with his brother Al and a wounded Robin. Loved this, he was so worried and his brother is adorable. I was very sad that they hadn't included him as much in the series than in the book. He truly deserved more screen time. My personal badass that has such a good relationship with his brother.

Anyway during all this I truly wondered why the book was called The Silkworm after all when it had nothing to do with such a creature. I watched the show and there it got explained.  Bombyx Mori actually is the name for a silkworm and they are boiled alive within its cocoon to preserve the silken threads of the cocoon when the worm is removed. Yeah so a very suiting title after all.

 
“No milk, gone out for breakfast, then to Hamleys, want to beat crowds. PS Know who killed Quine.”
― Robert Galbraith, The Silkworm

Like the first book I shortly got addicted to the case after a few pages and read the book within a few days. I loved the developing of he characters and relationships and the case itself. It was brilliant and had so many good quotes in it.

After finishing The Silkworm, I immediately started with Career of Evil, the 3rd novel but more of that in a different post...
 



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