Thursday, 7 August 2014

The Silkworm, by Robert Galbraith (Sphere)

Having reviewed The Cuckoo Calling, I thought The Silkworm review should follow closely behind, much as how quickly I read both books. Having only taken the former away with me on holiday, I enjoyed it to such an extent that I purchased The Silkworm minutes after turning the final page. But whether I’m as quick to buy the third instalment by Robert Galbraith/JK Rowling remains to be seen.

While the development of the world in which private investigator Cormoran Strike operates remains interesting – full of untrustworthy clients and both underworld and celebrity contacts – The Silkworm is significantly weaker in plot and ideas. Despite what you would assume to be Rowling’s great knowledge of the publishing industry, which provides the setting, the story seems forced in a way The Cuckoo Calling wasn’t.

With the reader having become used to having regular access to Strike’s thoughts throughout, as the novel nears its conclusion it’s noticeable how more distant we get from the main protagonist, a device that ensures the reader is left in the dark to increase suspense but comes across as disappointingly simplistic.

The continuing emergence of assistant Robin, and in particular her fascination with Strike and his life, remains rewarding, and their relationship becomes one of the prime reasons for persisting. But the plot splutters rather than fizzles, with few threads to hand it all together. Unfortunately it all combines to make The Silkworm unsatisfying.

So, rating time:

The Silkworm, by Robert Galbraith (Sphere) - 5/10

Next up: Doped: The Real Life Story of the 1960s Racehorse Doping Gang (Racing Post Books)

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