I have realised that my favourite thriller/detective novels are ones that focus on both an alluring plot and alluring characters. That’s what makes JK Rowling’s second detective novel, The Silkworm, such a delightful read.
Moving on to the review of the book: the lead detective, Cormoron Strike, is a complicated character — illegitimate son of a famous rockstar, an Afghanistan veteran missing a limb, strong, blundering, angry, charming, insightful. His righthand man is a woman – Robin – with her own ghosts — dropping out of college for reasons still unknown, a fiancee who doesn’t understand her career choices, fearless and fearful.
The chemistry between those two and the chemistry between me, the reader, and all the other characters in the book, is why I read to the last page of this book. Not so much because the plot was super (it was a little strange actually — death in the hands of a literary agent!).
Overall Review of The Silkworm by JK Rowling
The novel, otherwise, followed a typical detective novel structure. Detective hired by client (who doesn’t have money to pay) — strange murder uncovered by detective — client accused of murder — detective interviews all related parties (who are all surprisingly, shockingly even, ready and agreeable to be interviewed) — detective figures out why the murder has happened (the reader is still in the dark — there is a big reveal of who the murderer is.
The plot, like I mentioned, while decent, isn’t why I read this book. It is Rowling’s magical ability to create characters who are so real that they enter your dreams.
Also loved Rowling’s first book in the Cormoran Strike Series – The Cuckoo’s Calling. I have to admit I only read it once it was revealed that Robert Galbraith was J.K. Rowling.