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The Silkworm: Cormoran Strike, Book 2 | [Robert Galbraith]

The Silkworm: Cormoran Strike, Book 2

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, she just thinks he 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 realises. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were published it would ruin lives - so there are a lot of people who might want to silence him.
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Publisher's Summary

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, she just thinks he 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 realises.

The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were published it would ruin lives - so there are a lot of people who might want to silence him. And when Quine is found brutally murdered in bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any he has encountered before....

A compulsively listenable crime novel with twists at every turn, The Silkworm is the second in the highly acclaimed series featuring Cormoran Strike and his determined young assistant Robin Ellacott.

Please note: This audiobook contains explicit language

©2014 Robert Galbraith Limited (P)2014 Hachette Audio

What the Critics Say

“A damn good read … It’s a book to gulp down, and although Rowling may now be a bona fide Olympic-opening-ceremony-level celeb, the skill with which this book is written tells you as much as its subject-matter does that writing is the core of her life. 5 stars.” (Telegraph)
“A pacey detective story… a tightly stitched updating of the classic tale of the dishevelled but brilliant private dick, smattered with references to 19th-century French literature and pre-Levenson sleuthing tactics, alongside well-realised characters... moreish” (Independent)
“‘Strike felt a sudden weariness wash over him. What was this mania to appear in print?’ But no such question arises about JK Rowling’s second career as a crime writer. She’s really hitting her stride here.” (Evening Standard)
“‘Writing as Robert Galbraith has been a pure joy,’ Rowling has said. So has reading him…. The last line of The Silkworm, which will lift the hearts of readers who have come to love its deeply sympathetic characters, offers the prospect of more of that joy both for her and for us.” (USA Today)
“Astutely observed, well-paced and full of Rowling's trademark acerbic wit, The Silkworm thoroughly engages as a crime novel. But it might be even more enjoyable to read between the lines in search of what Rowling has to say about fame, publishing, and the modern writer's life.” (People)
“Why is ‘likable’ the first word that comes to mind upon finishing The Silkworm? Surely, that has something to do with Rowling’s palpable pleasure in her newly chosen genre (the jig may be up with her Robert Galbraith pseudonym, but the bloom is still on her homicidal rose) and even more to do with her detective hero, who, at the risk of offending, is the second husband of every author’s dreams.” (Washington Post)
“Rowling’s fans will find the novel - which isn’t in stores until next Thursday - worth the wait.” (Daily News)
The Silkworm is a deeply satisfying work of crime fiction, more complex and darker than its predecessor. Yet Rowling has a lot of fun, too, especially in her knowing depiction of the incestuous worlds of publishing and the media. She also brings London to life in all its grimy glamour” (The Australian)

"One of the most unique and compelling detectives I've come across in years." (Mark Billingham on The Cuckoo's Calling)

"Just once in a while a private detective emerges who captures the public imagination in a flash. And here is one who might well do that... An auspicious debut." (Daily Mail on The Cuckoo's Calling)

"The novel is the work of a master storyteller." (Daily Telegraph on The Cuckoo's Calling)

"The Cuckoo's Calling reminds me why I fell in love with crime fiction in the first place." (Val McDermid)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (334 )
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4.5 (305 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Jane 07-10-14
    Jane 07-10-14

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    187
    ratings
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    87
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    "The second in this series did not disappoint"

    Book One, The Cuckoo’s Calling, deftly, convincingly, introduced detective Cormoran Strike and his offsider, Robin (of course). The Silkworm smoothly continues this narrative and with a new ‘case’, though referring to, and building on, the previous one.

    This time, the contrast between Robin’s unwavering decency, echoed ponderously by her tedious fiancée, and Cormoran’s life-induced cynicism and capacity for the self sacrificing pursuit of social and legal justice, is further underlined by characters who take these two to the seamy, low life, indecent under-belly of society.

    This side of life got to be bit much for me! I’m not a fragile flower: I was just edging on the bored because involving the reader in vile humans can edge towards the gratuitous – and Galbraith was coming pretty close to that line, much closer, I suggest, than in Book One.

    But nothing would deter me from following the lives of these two detectives, who were more interesting.

    The book was structured with the skill of a consummate and successful author (AKA Rowling).

    The reader, Robert Glenister, complemented the material flawlessly: his acting was superb.

    Bring on the next book in the series.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne Neuemoor, Germany 06-27-14
    Anne Neuemoor, Germany 06-27-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    137
    14
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    "Another great mystery with Cormoran Strike."
    What made the experience of listening to The Silkworm the most enjoyable?

    The mystery is very well developed with unexpected twists. The setting in a writers and publishers milieu was very interesting. I love the flowing style of writing and the oftentimes moving emotions of the protagonist. Will he ever learn to deal with the damage done to him by his freakish ex and the in his mind, reoccurring scene were the IED explodes?


    What did you like best about this story?

    The way Cormoran Strike handles his cases and him being a veteran. The development of his assistant Robin also adds to the story.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The surprising ending and disclosure of the murder.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I wanted to but couldn't since it was a 17.16 hrs listen.


    Any additional comments?

    When can I read #3 ?

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ian Frankston South, Australia 06-26-14
    Ian Frankston South, Australia 06-26-14 Member Since 2010

    Movie loving Brit living Down Under. Anything 'end of the world' themed usually gets my attention, but The Stand has yet to be beat.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    112
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    "Pretty much perfect"

    Rowling is at the top of her game, and reintroduces us to some already well-established characters and adds more to them as we go. She's a natural storyteller, plain and simple, and she does so with smooth and seemingly effortless skill.

    The narrator is absolutely flawless. His characters never jar, he never over-eggs his narration and always gives them detail and definition without 'acting' them out.

    The 'whodunnit' story is set in the world of publishing and you know Rowling is an expert witness in telling us what it's like there.

    Thoroughly recommended.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sonja Chalmers Alice Springs, Australia 08-16-14
    Sonja Chalmers Alice Springs, Australia 08-16-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Brilliant mystery crime"
    What made the experience of listening to The Silkworm the most enjoyable?

    The quirky and kindly relationship between the detective hero Strike and his ambitious assistant Robin.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The intriguing characters and fascinating plot.


    What does Robert Glenister bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Robert Glenister's intellect and forensic knowledge of the great classics and mythology is evident throughout


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Jealousy, greed and revenge in literary London


    Any additional comments?

    Strike is my hero for his extraordinary morality and immense bravery.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P Leeds, United Kingdom 07-23-15
    P Leeds, United Kingdom 07-23-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    6
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    "Well worth it"

    Good audiobook, a worthy follow up to the Cuckoo. Can't wait for the next one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sally j landers 07-12-15 Member Since 2008
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    5
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    "Books books books"

    Next please , highly entertaining. Glenister is perfect and my son knows to leave me alone if the Strike stories are in progress . Dinner just arrives later !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret Wheater 07-09-15
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    "Compelling reading!"

    Excellent narrative - intriguing plot, well read and compelling. Highly recommended. Great plot and lots of suspense. Fantastic author as always.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessie E Taylor 07-09-15 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    12
    6
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    "An absolute favourite."

    My goodness I love this book. I reckon this was my 5th listen! A friend of mine has done it over a dozen times!
    So engaging, such a subtle and intricate development of the narrative. Such great characters and wonderful narration.
    Highly recommended, along with its predecessor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Berlin, Germany 05-08-15
    Susan Berlin, Germany 05-08-15 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    79
    8
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    "A good read made perfect by an outstanding narrato"

    Robert Glenister is an outstanding narrator who is able to give each character a distinctive voice. If someone is chuckling, you hear it, if someone is drunk, you hear it, too. Have him read more books, please -- and definitely any future Cormoran Strike novels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda 02-18-15
    Linda 02-18-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    8
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    "Dont hire this detective!"
    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The softer side of Cormoran came through reluctantly.


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed this book, in particular the complexity of the lead character. His ability to mismanage himself, hiss relationships and his disability was frustrating and also endearing, but he was certainly able to think creatively to solve crimes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Peaches McStabby
    7/16/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. It's a great well crafted mystery with interesting character storylines too.


    Have you listened to any of Robert Glenister’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    Yes. This performance was just as excellent as the other one I have heard. Great character performances. RG is the best audio artist I have heard.


    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Louise
    Budleigh Salterton, United Kingdom
    6/29/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not as good as the first book"

    I was a little disappointed with this book...the story was nowhere near as good as the first Strike book. I don't know If I found it confusing or boring, but I found myself replaying parts again and again...I think this was due to boredom...the story didn't hold my interest and my mind would wander and I'd lose the plot. I didn't really like the characters and didn't care what happened to them, all in all a bland book with no real depth, and no intrigue, but well narrated.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Sandra
    Malaga, Spain
    6/30/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lightening strikes twice"

    Cuckoo's Calling was brilliant, The Silkworm if possible even better. Really interesting characters drawn with complex humanity and depth. Setting of London in winter was really evocative. The writing brilliantly matched with a reader of huge talent. One could almost believe it was a dramatisation such were his variety of voice changes. Only down side were the uneccesary Latin quotes and chapter introductory snippets. A trivial issue though, c'ant wait for the next Strike episode.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Dragon
    Scotland
    7/1/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Glenister does his level best with this one but..."

    I much enjoyed the previous Cormoran Strike book (Cuckoos Calling). This one also has quite a good mystery with nice clues of various kinds scattered through the book - some of them 'real' (events observed) and others more inward (e.g. the ideas and nature of a book written by the murder victim). That was an interesting idea and could have made a great story but…

    The motivation and final resolution are not strong. There is also a lot of gruesome S-M stuff in the story, and in the story-within, which is somehow toe-curlingly embarrassing in a way that other authors manage to avoid in this type of fiction (c.f. various scandi-noir). The burgeoning romance really lacks subtlety (this was so much better in the first book). And the whole thing is set in a world of literature, critics and editors about which I think the author has too-strong emotional views of her own. And it is long and very repetitive (a lot of description about the hero's missing leg and prosthesis for example) and all that detail is not always internally consistent, even within-scenes.

    All could have been improved enormously and probably redeemed with some serious and stringent editing. But this author doesn't seem to like editors very much.

    The reading is great and Glenister does a great job with pace, voices and mood.

    23 of 28 people found this review helpful
  • Linda
    London, United Kingdom
    8/6/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "5 star rating based on quality not name"

    I was lured into the first Cormoron Strike story by the many estatic reviews - and I just loved it. Here was a really interesting main character living and working (rather haphazardly) in the slightly old fashioned London in which I have lived in and loved for years. When I found out that Robert Galbraith was in fact J K Rowling it made no difference to me one way or the other - although I could see why JKR had chosen anonymity. Having so looked forward to this 2nd instalment I was horrified at the appalling reviews and so appealed to my sister and niece who were physically reading the book for an honest view before I spent a credit and downloaded. 'Absolutely great' they both said - and absolutely great is the audible version. I have been listening to 'The Silkworm' until my ears have buzzed (I listen on headphones most of the time). Yes it's a somewhat bizarre plot and yes I did spot who-dun-it but that does not detract in any way from a thoroughly inventive story, great characters and however many hours of enjoyable listening. I cannot help but feel that our national pastime of shooting down anyone successful has come into play here. Go download you won't regret it!

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Judith
    Dursley, United Kingdom
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Needs a good editor!"

    I loved the first book in this series, so eagerly awaited the publication of this one. It suffers from the same problem as the later Harry Potter books, no one has the nerve to tell the author to go away and edit it down. Whilst I listened to it all and enjoyed the excellent narration, the story dragged on with little point. The ending, when it came, felt unbelievable which is a shame.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • S
    7/3/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing"
    What did you like best about The Silkworm? What did you like least?

    The book was long winded and the ending unbelievable. It felt like the author (JK) got lost and bored and rushed though to the end.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Robert Galbraith? Why or why not?

    Don't think I will, it's to much time to waste on a very average book.


    Which character – as performed by Robert Glenister – was your favourite?

    Strike


    Did The Silkworm inspire you to do anything?

    No


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Miss L V Bennett
    6/26/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gripping, fascinating and very very likeable."
    What did you like most about The Silkworm?

    Strike continues to unfold into an incredibly stubbly character, sullied and brilliant. Also the storytelling and description is a powerful whirlpool.


    Any additional comments?

    I just loved this book, a great sequel... Really looking forward to Book 3!

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Mr
    sunderand, United Kingdom
    6/23/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "very disappointed"

    After waiting so long for the release what a disappointment. This book is so slow and so long and so boring by the end I didnt care one bit who dunnit, I was just glad it finished. I've only ever turned a book off once before(the bat by jo nesbo) but this on several occasions was nearly my second. The narrator was excellent and just as well. Apart from the two main characters you just couldn't care less about any of the others. I could rant on in detail but already wasted over 17 hrs on this book.

    21 of 30 people found this review helpful
  • BRMBDS
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A rather plodding story"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    The character Cormoran Strike was nicely created and established in Robert Galbraith's (aka JK Rowling) first volume. Unfortunately the second outing is a rather slow and plodding story with little or no highlights.
    Robert Glenister makes a sterling effort to bring it to life alas he cannot compensate for the lack of a good plot.
    I do hope that Book 3 builds the character with a pacier narrative.


    What will your next listen be?

    An Astronaut's Guide to life on Earth by Chris Hadfield


    4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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