I’ve got a secret
Even though it’s not a secret, I feel like it’s a secret. That I’m reading the literary stylings of J.K. Rowling disguised as a hard-nosed mystery novel. I love it. I’m reading the book in public going, “maybe you know, maybe you don’t”. The book is fun before you even start and once you start it doesn’t stop.
There’s a lot of playfulness in the text and banter between characters and you can tell that Rowling’s writing from a place of sheer enjoyment with a wink and a nod as she comes up with new ways to trick and thrill us.
I’m quite willing to read anything she wants me to. I’m already half a nose deep in Career of Evil, the third and latest Galbraith novel.
Sometimes I wonder if Rowling writes as if she’s Galbraith and how he sees things, whether the pseudonymous Galbraith is another character in her head.
In any case, the Silkworm, Galbraith’s second novel in the Cormoran Strike novel series does not disappoint. Joyously, Galbraith turns his attention to the literary world in this book.
Here the murder solved by Strike and his ambitious assistant Robin Ellacott is that of a writer found brutally murdered. What shines her is Galbraith’s attention to character. It’s not just Strike and Ellacott who are written with polish, but all the secondary characters as well. In fact, I often looked forward to the next chapter simply because we’d get to ‘meet’ someone new.
The literary world of publishers, aspirational erotic novelists and over-the-top agents and their entourage is beautifully askew here with colourful and strange characters. Reading is a pleasure and Galbraith had me fooled for about 1/4 of the book. I was sure, sure that I knew who the murderer was… nope.
It took awhile for Ellacott to be present in The Silkworm. Her presence warms up near the second half of the book, when she finally starts to figure out what she really wants, but during the first half I had to keep from yelling at her, “Go get it, girl! You go get what you want!”
If Galbraith keeps putting them out at this pace for the rest of his life and they stay at the same quality I’d be a happy lady.
The series also changes how I see Rowling as a writer. Imagine having a first hit as big as Harry Potter. How would you ever write again? This badass does. And in a completely different genre, to boot. Her characters are what bring you back though. Remember Ron Weasley? This novel also has a saucy redhead.
If you like mystery novels, crime shows or puzzles, I highly recommend giving Galbraith a read.
All the best,