J.K. Rowling is back with another mystery book under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, and “The Silkworm,” the second thriller starring Cormoran Strike, is earning high praise.
“The Silkworm” takes place within the literary world, one that Rowling is no doubt familiar with. As with “The Cuckoo’s Calling” and its biting satire of celebrity, critics are praising Rowling’s sharp observations about the book industry, as well as her knack for constructing a compelling whodunnit.
Check out what else the critics are saying in our review roundup below:
“What keeps the suspense percolating along is Ms. Rowling’s instinctive sense of storytelling and her ability to make the reader sympathize with Strike and Robin, two middle-class strivers plugging along in a status and increasingly money-conscious London. Strike, a big bear of a man, who lost part of his leg in the war in Afghanistan, is at once a tough-guy relative of hard-boiled private eyes like Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe — alienated, dogged and world-weary — and an oddly vulnerable romantic, still pained by the end of his 16-year on-again-off-again relationship with the beautiful, high-strung Charlotte.” — Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“The delights of that first outing for private eye Cormoran Strike might have led to trepidation that Galbraith would fall into that publishing trope of the “challenging” second novel. But of course, this is actually Rowling’s 10th novel, so relieved readers are spared that particular anxiety. However, because she has chosen to set The Silkworm in the world of literary publishing, she gives us the inside track on plenty of other tropes from that world. And this is no rose-tinted portrait. This is a sardonic look at a hermetic world, and Rowling/Galbraith brings flair and wit to her reflections on the state of contemporary publishing.” — Val McDermid, The Guardian
“With all respect to Hogwarts, this genre fits her like the sleek trenchcoat we imagine Robin wearing as she slinks around London. In other words: Bring on the next one, please.” — Moira Macdonald, The Seattle Times
“Formula, though, has its function. The title of Owen Quine’s final novel is Latin for silkworm, a creature that, we learn in passing, is boiled alive for its silk. Rowling seems to offer this as a metaphor for the agonies of art, but has any writer ever been less boiled alive by writing? If anything, what makes ‘The Silkworm’ such a pleasurable read is how avidly Rowling accepts the old rules and embraces (once more) the stability of genre.” — Louis Bayard, The Washington Post
“The Silkworm” is available in bookstores now.