Title: The Silkworm
I was in my penultimate year of high school when the first Harry Potter novel came out. At first, being a pretentious student, I decided I wasn’t reading a “kid’s book.” Long story short, I did read it, loved every one of the novels, and became a life-long fan of J.K. Rowling (who is, of course, the brains behind Robert Galbraith), and everything she’s ever done.
Much like Mary Westmacott (Agatha Christie) and Iain M. Banks (Iain Banks) it’s always interesting to see what authors create when they are using a different persona. And while there are no wizards, owls, or butterbeer in these novels, Rowling’s (or Galbraith’s) talent for creating a narrative that sucks you in and keeps you wanting more is still very much present.
The Silkworm begins with the mystery of a missing novelist, Owen Quine. His wife calls in Cormoran Strike, the gruff, ex-military policeman-turned private eye. At first, it seems like an innocent enough disappearance, but as Strike investigates further, it becomes clear that this is not the case, and Quine is found murdered in a bizarre and disturbing manner. I frequently found myself changing my mind throughout the book about who did it, which I always find the most fun part of listening to a mystery novel.
Much like any thriller, the twists and turns in this novel keep you listening. And of course the “will they/won’t they” between the grumpy Strike and his assistant Robin is always an entertaining aside. Even though this is set in modern times, there’s an element of early-twentieth century hardboiled/noir detective fiction about it, which makes for a fun listen.
The narration of this book is a treat. Robert Glenister, who many may know from his career specializing in crime roles on TV (A Touch of Frost, Prime Suspect) is perfect for this novel, since he knows how to create a feeling of suspense, and his gravelly voice is EXACTLY how I thought Strike would sound.
This is a great read for fans of old school detective novels like Mickey Spillane or Agatha Christie, but also for people who enjoy a gory thriller, since there’s still lots of modern gore if that’s your thing.
I’m so excited to start listening to Lethal White!
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