The Silkworm is the 2nd book in the Cormoran Strike mystery series, written by Robert Galbraith aka J. K. Rowling. I listened to this book on audio and it is wonderfully narrated by Robert Glennister. Really, really good narration. I feel that this is another series that might be best experienced in audio format.
After the events of the first book, The Cuckoo's Calling, Cormoran Strike is a famous man. Well, he was already a bit famous, being the son of an aging rock star and also a war hero, but the previous case was the tipping point for insuring that his private detection business would be a success. He has enough work to keep his assistant, Robin, busy on the phones and the computer, and himself busy as well. Mostly divorce cases, but one morning he has a visit from a novelist's wife. Leonora Quine, wife of author Owen Quine, tells Cormoran that her husband is missing. She wants Strike to find him and tell him to come home. Now Mr. Quine has made a habit of going off for a few days, leaving his wife and daughter alone. Usually, he's accompanied by another woman and he spends some time in a pricey hotel and then returns. After Strike asks Mrs. Quine why she doesn't go to the police, she says that the police won't believe her and she knows that Strike will succeed.
Strike starts the process of trying to locate the author and it quickly becomes apparent that there is more to the story. Quine has recently finished a book, yet to be published, that has several members of the book industry up in arms. It's a very, very odd book (and when I say odd, I mean odd!!!). It depicts certain individuals in very horrible ways and pretty much reveals a bunch of secrets that Quine's colleagues in the industry would love to keep quiet. And then our hero, Strike, discovers the author's body, killed in a most grotesque manner. It's up to Strike and Robin to put all the clues together and save the day.
I really like the characters of Cormoran Strike and his assistant, Robin Ellacott. We get to see more of Robin's life in this book and also her ambitions for her own career in investigation. We also find that she has a few hidden talents. Strike, who is a very shrewd detective, shows himself to be adept at navigating the publishing world and people that populate it. Everyone seems to expect him to be some kind of Neanderthal, but they don't know that before he joined the Army, he was at Oxford. The solution was not totally unexpected for me, but I had hopped from place to place in my guesses. The book is a bit lengthy and probably could have been 100 pages shorter, but as I was listening to it, I didn't mind. A lot of conversation though and not terribly much action, except when Strike is injuring his knee again.
I'm looking forward to the next book in the series, Career of Evil, which will be published in the fall. If you liked the first book, you'd probably like this one as well. If not, well, you might want to pass on The Silkworm. I also understand that the BBC will be adapting these books for TV. I hope that we get a chance to see them here in the US.