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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 (322 )
5 star
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4.3 (298 )
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4.5 (293 )
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3 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    jeroen kolkman 11-14-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "a good old detective"
    What did you love best about The Silkworm?

    just very nice, good characters, great story. I enjoyed every minute! I can't wait for nr 3...


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    yes, the clues were nicely hidden..


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

    yes, both were very good


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lorna Johannesburg, South Africa 09-15-14
    Lorna Johannesburg, South Africa 09-15-14 Member Since 2010

    I have a busy career, travel a lot and don't have much time to read, so I listen to Audio books. I love reading!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    46
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    91
    91
    FOLLOWERS
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    5
    9
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    "Enjoyable, like a filling good meal.."

    A good enjoyable series! Sometimes a little complicated with names and references and I wished I could rewind and pick up what I had missed or forgotten. but overall a good mystery detective series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    antonio genthod, Switzerland 09-08-14
    antonio genthod, Switzerland 09-08-14 Member Since 2011

    A man's got to do what a man's got to do..

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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    "Good , but not great"

    The first Comoran Strike book was a truly surprise where a well-known writer like JKR could establish herself as a credible and engaging thriller writer. A solid and interesting plot, well carved out characters and a great atmosphere made the The Cuckoos Calling a very enjoyable reading experience.
    This second book meets only partially the expectations raised by the first episode of what appears now to be a series. The plot is unduly complex and not so credible; all the characters –with the exception of Comoran and his assistant – could potentially be the killer (so there are really no clues to pick up here and there and it feels like the author choses him through a lottery at the very end of the story). The main character, Comoran Strike, comes across a bit pedantic and mousy with a continue self-pity for his physical condition and the unresolved end of relationship with his ex.
    Do not get me wrong: this is still a reasonably good book and I had no difficulty in finishing it; however the expectations were (too) high and have not been matched…

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marius 08-28-14
    Marius 08-28-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    14
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    "As only JK Rowling can"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Silkworm to be better than the print version?

    Most definately


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Comoran - He is real and I can relate


    What about Robert Glenister’s performance did you like?

    The best Narrated book I have listened to. He makes JK Rowling's story comes to life like not many others can.


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

    Classic detective story


    Any additional comments?

    When is the next one

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin Åhman Spånga, Sweden 08-08-14
    Robin Åhman Spånga, Sweden 08-08-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    "This is turning out to be a great series"
    What made the experience of listening to The Silkworm the most enjoyable?

    I liked the story and the characters. Strike and Robin make a great team and I am looking forward to more books and see their work evolve.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Silkworm?

    I think the most memorable part was when Strike entered the house and found the body.


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

    Strike was my favorite, but that is understandable, since he is the main character. Another good charcter was Christian Fischer.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret M. Bell Australia 07-25-14
    Margaret M. Bell Australia 07-25-14 Member Since 2014

    ravenousreader

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hurry up with book three!!!"
    What did you love best about The Silkworm?

    Oh, only everything.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Silkworm?

    It's hard to single anything out as most memorable. The whole book is a pleasure from start to finish.


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

    Robert Glenister is a fabulous narrator. In fact, if they ever make movies of these books, I hope he plays Strike. There isn't one characterisation that is not spot on.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Is wanting to get back to listening to it as often as possible extreme?


    Any additional comments?

    I read the other day that J K Rowling (Galbraith) is planning a longer series than Harry Potter for Cormoran Strike. That makes me very happy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MiA 07-16-14
    MiA 07-16-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "what a great book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    yes, the book is great


    What did you like best about this story?

    The surprising ending and disclosure of the murder.


    What about Robert Glenister’s performance did you like?

    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.


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

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SharonJen 07-14-14
    SharonJen 07-14-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Really enjoyed - as good as last"

    Interesting characters and enjoying watching the detective get off the ground.. I'm sure there will be more and I'm waiting..

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GS 07-03-14
    GS 07-03-14 Listener Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    184
    ratings
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    399
    46
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    13
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    Overall
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    "Above average novel, but the polish doesn't shine"
    Would you try another book from Robert Galbraith and/or Robert Glenister?

    Yes. But the next book better be good, or I might drop the series.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    It was edgy towards the end, until they started looking for evidence and there was bigger sense of danger.


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

    He does the British accents really well which bring out the characters a bit more.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    50-50


    Any additional comments?

    This is a middle novel, if this is a triology and clearly a weaker book.

    It's not bad, but it dragged in some sections (not for long though). I do hope JK Rowling picks up the game in the next book, otherwise it might be my last for Cormoran Stryke.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joanne 06-30-14
    Joanne 06-30-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    30
    8
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    "Marvellous"
    Which character – as performed by Robert Glenister – was your favorite?

    Robert Glenister adds a certain something to this reading, his voice fits perfectly with the characters.


    Any additional comments?

    Recommend this to everyone! Ripping yarn!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Jim Pike
    2/8/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A worthy second episode"

    Bought this immediately after reading book 1. Again superbly narrated with the odd slip up, some seriously credible swearing and plausible development of the protagonists for the most part. The author takes the opportunity to air her obvious dislike of the press and, it seems, the more literary end of the publishing spectrum and weaves in a disturbing clutch of characters who are uniformly unsympathetic, indeed unpleasant. Ironically, given much of the focus of the story, it could have done with some sharp editing. As with the first book, the narrative does carry you along and it's not difficult to become immersed in the plot (again not the tightest) which although a bit creaky is plausible even if it could have been handled better.
    I did enjoy it and will listen again soon. Am looking forward to the next installment

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    Glasgow, United Kingdom
    7/2/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not great"

    Having devoured the Cuckoos Calling (prior to the reveal!) with great relish, I eagerly anticipated this book.
    The narrator Robert Glenister did a masterful job and I very much enjoyed the reunion with the main characters Cormoran Strike and his partner Robin Ellacot. However that's pretty much all I enjoyed.
    I didn't like the setting in the world of publishing but I think the main problem was the pompous posturing with the names of the suspects and I almost gave up before anyone had even been murdered! I felt that things began to almost veer into the realms of Harry Potter but I persevered with it and things seemed to get back on track.
    I would only give this book 3 stars and hope that the author has had her revenge on the publishing world and doesn't lose the plot again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • J C Jarvie
    7/2/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very Disappointing"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The story lines was overly complicated and the names and actions of the characters over the top. I loved the Cookoo's Calling but this book was overly long with overly convoluted and frankly unrealistic plots to the point where it did not matter whodunit. If it wasn't for Robert Glenister's narration I would have given up at chapter 30.

    The abundance of characters with ridiculous names only matched the disjointed story lines. There seamed to be a lot of characters that did not bring anything to the book. Situations that were not explained and an unbelievable resolution at the end The totally unneccesary quotes at the beginning of each chapter began to get annoying by half way through the book. The constant repetition of Strikes leg pain began to seam like it was just filling blank space.


    Has The Silkworm put you off other books in this genre?

    Not the genre but I would think twice about listening to another Robert Galbraith


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    It was all of a muchness


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Very disappointed


    Any additional comments?

    Stick to writing about wizards!!!!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Helga
    Aviemore, United Kingdom
    6/25/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Meeehhh"

    The problem with writing a thriller nowadays is that the seasoned reader knows to suspect everyone and expect the unexpected. This leaves the writer with the problem of having to have a unique twist or two (plot) and/or writing so well that the reader will follow on a convoluted journey (narrative) which they can easily circumvent by reading the last chapter. The plot was ridiculous and over-complicated and the narrative was - well, not well enough written to hold my attention. And so very, VERY long!

    It went on for so long that I even started to get a bit fed up of Robert Glenister's voice - and I'm a huge fan.

    Not absolutely awful but if this had been written by an unknown writer it would never have been published.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Earnest
    6/24/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Ponderously slow and often dull"
    Where does The Silkworm rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Only about the middle of the range. Although the story was not difficult to listen to, if you stayed awake, the characters remained distant, impossible to know as extant, functioning individuals. They resembled fairy tale constructions which were not quite bad enough to emanate from a Brother's Grimm tale but in fact deliberately " cleaned up" so they would be suitable for an 8.30 pm TV audience.


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

    I am ambivalent now after having at first quite enjoyed the first Strike centred novel. It is disappointing to see a potentially interesting series that might be, stumble and fall.


    What about Robert Glenister’s performance did you like?

    He is most earnest in his attempts to do justice to a quite narrow range of characters. Although they may have been intended to parody? reflect? some literary types juxtaposed with worthy, less privileged types, their written speech only illuminates an author's scarcely controlled prejudice and bias. Mr Glenister does his best to keep the differentiation interesting.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    There will no doubt be a film, sadly. Boil a Silkworm not a bunny..


    Any additional comments?

    Perhaps because this novel was listened to not read, many, many phrases and descriptions were repeated until it became embarrassing. How many times need a character cough to signal, " she has breathed in acid!"? How many times do we need to be told a character has " heavy features?" Or that their knee is hurt? We get it.
    Blame the old dog or old, dried up hag, and avoid a long, long listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs. S. Swann
    Sunderland UK
    6/21/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very Enjoyable Story"
    If you could sum up The Silkworm in three words, what would they be?

    Well drawn characters


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Strike


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The garden scene


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

    Yes, but as it was over 17hrs, I had to listen over 2 days


    Any additional comments?

    Looking forward to the next book in the series, so nd will pre-order it when details released.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Crispin
    Tufnell Park, United Kingdom
    7/13/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Neither Fantasy nor Crime Fiction"

    If this book even slightly hints at how the author sees her world of publishing and wealth, I feel sorry for her.

    It is set in a London we are familiar with but it reads like a fantasy. The characters (except our two heroes) are all one dimensionally nasty.The plot has no time for the realities of forensics, police work or London life in general. Fantasy for me works best when the story is set apart from the real world. Neil Gaiman uses London Below very effectively.

    The format is a bit like an Agatha Christie in that loads of characters are introduced and given a motive. Unlike an Agatha Christie the Characters are not sufficiently developed to allow easy differentiation between them or their motives.

    The direction of the Matt, Robin, Strike triangle is not exactly hard to predict, it lacks the complexities of real relationships. Do we think Robin will marry Matt in the forth coming books ...

    Most annoying are the quotes from the A level English Lit reading list. These are shoe horned in like tenuous links from an amateur DJ trying to impress the cool kids.

    The first book was great, this was not so good. I wouldn't recommend it to fans of Crime Fiction or Fantasy.

    10 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Kirstine
    Bonnyrigg, United Kingdom
    7/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very disappointing"

    I enjoyed the author’s first book, Cuckoo Calling, so was surprised at how poor this second in the series has turned out to be. It’s tedious, with far too much irrelevant description with numerous unmemorable characters: flaws that emphasize the thinness of the central detective story. Hours of listening go by filled with details about authors and publishing houses before there’s any real action. The murder victim isn’t developed as a character other than that he was obnoxious and so I didn’t really care who murdered him. Most of the characters are unpleasant and the book is pervaded by nastiness. The actual crime is preposterously gory and, from all the references to the Revenge Tragedies of the likes of Webster and Kidd, I think the author was trying to write a modern version, though I’m not sure what the author was trying to create: the book isn’t pacey enough to be a good detective novel and the revenge element in a modern setting is unconvincing. Relationships are dissected in mind-numbing detail and don’t add much to the book already bloated with too much detail. I felt that the author no longer restrained by writing for children overdid the violence, sexual foibles, and swearing, but at the same time seems to need to show her literary credentials by prefacing every chapter (and there are a lot) with a quotation from the likes of Thomas Dekker; Congreve and Webster that rarely seemed relevant, just irritatingly pretentious. I was tempted to give up after about 30 of the 52 chapters but ploughed on in the hope that the book would improve: it didn’t, if anything it got worse. The detective element petered out replaced but endless speculative conversations among the characters most of whom I’d forgotten. The final denouement a damp squibb pulled out of the hat with no discernible detective work but merely gave me relief that this mess of a book was over.

    The narrator was the only good thing about this book. I had pre-ordered this book, but won’t be for the next in the series.

    21 of 34 people found this review helpful
  • sandra
    Warwickshire, England
    6/23/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "How Disappointing...."
    Would you try another book written by Robert Galbraith or narrated by Robert Glenister?

    Not sure... I would definitely listen to Robert Glenister again


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    I just found this book so long winded.... I got to the stage where I could not care less who dunnit! Also the incessant use of Latin quotes (which Robert Glenister clearly struggled with) extremely tedious...


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    Nothing sticks in my memory sadly.


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Robert Glenister


    Any additional comments?

    After a really great "first" book I eagerly awaited the next book. This offering, in my opinion is just too long and disjointed...

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • normally a fan
    London, UK
    7/6/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing after first novel"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    The book was too long and with far too many dead ends.


    If you’ve listened to books by Robert Galbraith before, how does this one compare?

    Not as good as first novel but Robert's reading totally perfect.


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

    As excellent as others


    Do you think The Silkworm needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    I hope next Cormorant book will be as good as the first.


    Any additional comments?

    It is inconceivable that the murderer could have butchered the victim in the way described. And to find the evidence in the sea? Really? There was too much padding, in my opinion, leading to many dead ends which did not advance the plot and I got bored with the quotations at start of each chapter. Sorry as I know I am going against the trend of the lyrical reviews of others.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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