Synopsis (from Goodreads):
When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days—as he has done before—and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.
But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine’s disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives—meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced.
When Quine is found brutally murdered under bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before…
Introduced in The Cuckoo’s Calling Cormoran Strike is back. He is neither wiser nor more likeable than in the first novel but at least he has a better case to solve this time. Owen Quine, a mediocre writer of porn novels masquerading as ambitious fiction, has disappeared. His his long-suffering wife, Leonora, wants to know where he is this time. They have a mentally handicapped daughter to take care of and a mountain of bills to pay.
After some time it becomes obvious that the said writer has been killed and our hero has the dubious honour to find his body – terribly dissected and mauled with the use of acid. Meanwhile Cormoran’s glamorous ex-fiancée is getting married so he does the one thing that might make him forget her for a while: find a murderer. One problem –neither he nor his assistant/deputy detective, Robin, might get paid for their efforts. Oh, whatever. Sometimes a bit of publicity and scandal is better than money, right?
Now it’s time for a short list of assets and liabilities. The crime mystery was good, the book, Bombyx Mori, it oscillated around was a hoot, the characters, especially secondary ones, were interesting to read about and surprisingly well-rounded. The pacing suited me to the dot although the ‘walking and talking’ thing still made me skip a page or two. However I didn’t quite understand why each chapter had to start with a quote. Some of them were pretty obscure and really, didn’t add to the narration in any way. Oh well. I liked Robin, I didn’t like Cormoran, not really so no changes here. Despite his physical disability he seemed so schematic, so remote, even while grieving over his unborn child and beautiful ex-girlfriend. His leg hurt. He was still secretly in love with Robin and in deep denial about it. He preferred doing things all alone. His character hardly changed from the last installment and it wasn’t a great character to begin with. 😦
Not bad but I expected something far better. The London literary world sounded true and was fun to explore. Still I didn’t connect to any of the main characters and I felt the author teetered on the line of pointless detail for too long. Not to mention the almost non-existed tension between Cormoran and Robin and the proverbial but very schematic ineptitude of the London police department. I’ve always had such high hopes for anything adult Rowling might write, but this series haven’t met my expectations yet. Oh well. Here you go, meh kitten for the third time in a row.
Other books by J.K. Rowling reviewed on this blog: