As you may know, J.K. Rowling has branched out somewhat since the Harry Potter series. Aside from The Casual Vacancy (which received lukewarm reviews), she has developed the highly popular Cormoran Strike series under the nom de plume Robert Galbraith. The series has been well received, and is soon to be dramatised by the BBC. Having read the first and third books in the series (The Cuckoo’s Calling and Career of Evil respectively), I was eagerly awaiting reading the second book, The Silkworm – and I was not disappointed.
As Ben Macintyre points out in Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies, the relationship between cricket (that most English of sports) and spying (at which the British have always excelled) is deep-rooted and unique. Something about the game attracts the sort of mind also drawn to the secret worlds of intelligence and counter-intelligence — for both are complex tests of brain and brawn, high-stakes games of honour and ruthless good manners interwoven with trickery, dependent on minute gradations of physics and psychology interwoven with tea breaks.