Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

Novelist Owen Quine has gone missing.  His wife comes to detective Comoran Strike.  She wants Comoran to find him and bring him home.  Quine goes away periodically, but always returns and this time he hasn't.  They have a daughter with special needs and Quine knows only he can produce the money needed to keep the family afloat.

Strike takes the case and expects it to be an easy one.  But as he investigates, it becomes more complicated.  Quine has written a new novel, one in which he skewers many of the literary circle of England.  He has a mistress who is sure he is leaving his wife and child to be with her, an agent who seems to despise him and a publishing house that would be more than glad to drop him.  Every individual thinly disguised in the book would be glad to see him disappear for good.  When Strike discovers Quine's body and realizes that he has been killed in a parody of the novel, the race is on to discover the murderer.

The reader also learns more about the personal lives of Strike and his assistant, Robin Ellacott.  Strike is a former soldier who has been left with an artificial leg and investigative skills from his time in the military.  Huge and focused, he is considered without social skills yet has friends in every circle who would do anything for him.  Robin, his assistant, is about to get married and starting to wonder if that is the right course for her, or if it would be more fulfilling to become an investigator herself.  Together the two work through the lengthy suspect list to discover who killed Quine.

This is the second Comoran Strike book and it is equally as delightful as the first.  In the worst-kept secret in the literary world, Robert Galbraith is the pseudonym of J.K. Rowling, and she delivers the plotting and characterization that made her famous as an author.  The reader finishes the book eager to read the next installment in the series.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

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