When J.K. Rowling assumed the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith for her first crime fiction novel, The Cuckoo’s Calling, she was able to anonymously release her work to the public without any predisposed notions of mainstream preeminence. The fact that when Galbraith’s identity was revealed the book soared from less than 2,000 copies sold to being #1 best-seller on Amazon says more about modern audiences than it does about the novel. In 2014, the sequel The Silkworm was released, still under the Galbraith name, but with less commercial success than its predecessor. More importantly both books were met with critical acclaim even though they vary widely in terms of content and style.
The differences, however, are plentiful and make the reading experience for both books colourfully different. The crime being investigated seem superficially different: a possible murder hastily labeled by officials as a suicide, and in the second novel a missing persons case evolving into a hunt for a murderer. The Silkworm is a much darker book with seriously sinister undertones. It will proof evasive and will reside in your memory for quite some time causing some grievous nightmares. It is the book with all the possibilities required for a captivating horror film. Meanwhile, The Cuckoo’s Calling, while engaging and intricately woven, is not as dark. Yet it can hardly be labeled as light-reading, The Cuckoo’s Calling was more psychologically potent than physically horrifying. The Cormoran Strike series is nothing like Rowling’s previous works; they are more mature than the Harry Potter Series and more intellectual than The Casual Vacancy.