Never heard of Galbraith you say?
Well, you may have, IF you know that it's the pseudonym of J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series. Pat and I read this Potter books which are geared to juveniles and adults. Unlike those, this read is only adult reading in theme and language. It continues the investigative adventures of private investigator (PI) Strike and his assistant, Robin Ellacott.
Strike's PI business is on the upswing after he out-detected the police in solving the murder of a famous supermodel in The Cuckoo's Calling, Robert Galbraith's first book.
When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife, Lenora seeks Strike's help in finding and bringing him home. She's reluctant to contact the police as Quine has disappeared and returned before. When Quine is found brutally murdered in an abandoned house under bizarre circumstances (mutilated and doused in hydrochloric acid), this missing persons case becomes a murder investigation. Before his going off and subsequent murder, Quine had completed a Gothic fantasy manuscript, Bombyx Mori (latin for silkworm). It had the potential to ruin many lives — his wife, mistress, literary rival, alcoholic editor, and sexually repressed publisher as it contained libelous portraits of each and more. If published, many people might well have wanted Quine out of the way.
Quine had regarded himself as a genius, notwithstanding the publishing world's view of him as "arrogant" and "deluded." No one would have noticed his disappearance or even cared, if he had not left this mysterious typewritten novel behind after telling his agent about it. Strike’s inquiries involve the world of writers, publishers, and agents with many twists; Ms. Rowling knows HOW to keep the reader guessing and does so in this lengthy novel.
A Cuckoo’s Calling and The Silkworm are both self-contained novels with no
cliffhangers that required consecutive reading. Ms. Rowling can serialize better than most authors and puts forth enough details to move the plot, but holds back enough to fuel anticipation for a future work. It's expected that seven books are planned with the Cormoran Strike character, coincidentally (or not) the same as in the Harry Potter series.
The Silkworm is a mystery that held my attention throughout, but suspect interrogations grew tedious and often repetitive. At 455 pages, the book is
Read any good mysteries or suspense novels lately? — if so, feel free to share.