Monday, November 2, 2015

J.K. Rowling's Cormoran Strike series 2 & 3: The Silkworm and Career of Evil

Published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, the talented J.K. Rowling has so far written three books in the Cormoran Strike series. For my review of book #1 - which I loved - see this post

This was a great follow-up to Cuckoo's Calling that continued to flesh out the main characters really well behind the scenes of a very interesting mystery.

In this second book of the series, the stakes have risen somewhat, from an "accidental" crime of passion in the first book to a premeditated ritualistic murder complete with bizarre imagery and dozens of suspects in this one (perhaps too many suspects; it was just a tiny bit hard to keep track of who was who). I loved the way that secondary characters were brought in and interacted with Detective Strike, and his assistant / 'partner' Robin's increasing role in investigations. I loved that she brings different skills and benefits to the firm, and really compliments Strike's investigative style. 

I love the (platonic - I hope that never changes) relationship between Strike and Robin, though their lack of communication in this book did annoy me, but in a very relatable way (I think we can all admit to not being as direct as we sometimes should). 

This book was VERY tense all the way through in a way the previous two were not. Strike and Robin (especially Robin) were placed in imminent danger right from the beginning, so the whole book was - I would go so far as to say - stressful. I couldn't put it down because I just had to know what happened next, especially with the threats hanging over the character's heads.

Though the 'twist' at the end wasn't as surprising as in the first two books, there was still an element of unexpected revelation, which I appreciated. The story ended on a much more abrupt note than the previous books in the series - a real cliffhanger - so I really hope she writes at least one more book in the series, and soon!

Overall, I thought the entire Cormoran Strike series was really great. When the 4th one comes out (hopefully not too long from now!), I may go back and re-read 1-3. I like doing that with series anyway, but with these, I look forward to reading them knowing the endings, and looking out for the hints and clues that I didn't pick up on the first time I read them. Knowing Rowling's style, I'm sure there were many that I probably missed! This is especially true for Career of Evil, which I went through so fast just to see what happened that I really didn't experience the book as fully as I might have wanted. 

Keep reading! Beth

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