Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

The Return of Harry's Plotter J.K. Rowling Excels under Nom De Plume of Robert Galbraith, Author of Cormoran Strike Detective Novels

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

The Return of Harry's Plotter J.K. Rowling Excels under Nom De Plume of Robert Galbraith, Author of Cormoran Strike Detective Novels

Article excerpt

"THE SILKWORM; A CORMORAN STRIKE NOVEL"

BY ROBERT GALBRAITH.

MULHOLLAND BOOKS ($28).

"The Silkworm" is the second in a series of mystery novels credited to Robert Galbraith. This time around, it's no secret that Robert Galbraith is the pseudonym of J.K. Rowling, creator of the Harry Potter series. As Robert Galbraith, Ms. Rowling aims exclusively for the mature reader.

"The Silkworm" follows last year's "The Cuckoo's Calling" and continues the adventures of Cormoran Strike, private detective. Strike is a former British military police investigator in the Special Investigation Branch, who lost part of his leg in an IED explosion in Afghanistan. Cormoran Strike has set up shop in London, and is ably assisted by Robin Ellicott, an assistant with a yen for investigative work and brains to spare.

Following his success in solving a high profile murder case in "The Cuckoo's Calling," Strike is now shadowing a higher class of faithless partner when "The Silkworm" opens.

The wife of missing novelist Owen Quine asks Cormoran Strike to find her husband and bring him home. As Quine has taken a powder in the past, only to straggle home at his leisure, his wife hesitates to involve the police.

Cormoran Strike's inquiries involve him in the backbiting world of writers and publishers, and he learns that Quine was about to publish a grotesque work of gothic fantasy, aptly characterized as "magical brutalism," in which his poison pen takes down most of his acquaintances.

The repugnantly imaginative prose of this roman clef inspires someone to murder Quine in an appallingly manner taken right from the pages of this unpublished work.

As in the Harry Potter series, the Galbraith books have intricately woven plots, conveyed with good humor but underlying darkness. Also typical of Ms. Rowling is the well-drawn expansive cast of characters (imaginatively named) and mordant humor. …

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