Staff Reviews

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

 

The Silkworm is the anticipated sequel to Robert Galbraith’s debut novel The Cuckoo’s Calling.

 

After the events of The Cuckoo’s Calling, detective and former Special Ops Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin Ellacott are busy with lucrative clients. When author Owen Quine goes missing his wife hires Strike to find Quine, Strike finds himself in the back-stabbing world of writers and publishers. He discovers that Quine’s recently finished manuscript criticizes his family and friends. Meanwhile, Robin’s fiancé has set a date, and she finds herself torn between her relationship with the two men and her love of detective work.

 

Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. Her skill is apparent throughout this book. The novel is set in London. I’ve visited the city, and I enjoyed the return to familiar landmarks. As the second book in the series, less time was needed to build the main characters, so the detective work shines. And most importantly, the ending was not obvious.

 

Have you read The Silkworm? Let me know what you thought in the comments below.

Tessa’s Book Recommendation: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Bestsellers come and go with hardly a glance from me. Occasionally I will pick one up, especially if it is science fiction or fantasy, and usually I find it a huge disappointment, as it will also be for any experienced readers. Books such as Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, Ben Percy’s Red Moon, or Justin Cronin’s The Passage are a few examples from science fiction.



TheRoad


RedMoon


ThePassage


Then something special steps out of the fog of words and jacket covers.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel stood out and let fall a soft flickering lantern light on the dystopian novel.

First the author gives us a personage, a celebrity named Arthur Leander, and then a pandemic, the Georgian Flu, to “wipe out civilization as we know it.” Then we are introduced to a new version of the traveling show. We meet people who behave in the flawed yet typical ways that society expects in a crisis.

StationEleven But these people are abruptly dropped and picked up again in an amazing and skillful use of flashbacks and point of view shifts. One wonders what happened, distressed by the characters’ dilemmas, but we quickly become enthralled in the next person’s experiences. And then, there we are, back with someone previous. Gradually the twists and turns come closer together. Finally we expect the end, if not the exact one we get.

It’s interesting to me that this favorite is set in Michigan, my current home. One of my other favorite post-apocalyptic novels, Alas, Babylon, by Pat Frank, was set in Florida, my home when I read it.AlasBabylon I would suspect influence from that, except that I am not the only person singing the praises of these two masterpieces.

Extremely evocative and sad, yet also hopeful, this book is one of the best post-calamity books I’ve ever read. ~ Tessa January 2014

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