Title: The Cuckoo’s Calling (Cormoran Strike #1)
Author: Robert Galbraith
Genre: Crime, Mystery
Publisher: Sphere (18th April 2013)
When a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts, and calls in private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into the case.
Cormoran Strike is a war veteran – wounded both physically and psychologically – and his life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline, but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model’s complex world, the darker things get and the closer he gets to a terrible danger . . .
A gripping, elegent mystery steeped in the atmosphere of London – from the hushed streets of Mayfair to the backstreet pubs of the East End to the bustle of Soho – The Cuckoo’s Calling is a remarkable book. Introducing Cormoran Strike, this is the acclaimed first crime novel by J. K. Rowling, writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.
Rating: **** (4 stars)
THE CUCKOO’S CALLING introduces us to Cormoran Strike, a private investigator who is experiencing some bad luck, until the brother of Lula Landry arrives at his office and asks Strike to investigate her death, which he believes to have been murder.
Crime fiction is not usually my genre of choice; or, more accurately, adult crime fiction isn’t something I often read. It wasn’t the hype surrounding this book that attracted me to this book. This review will only touch upon the fact that Robert Galbraith is a pen-name of J. K. Rowling. What attracted me to this book were two reviews I came across (by Kat and another review who I’ve forgotten, sorry) which made it sound really interesting, and like something I would enjoy. I’m glad I listened to them.
THE CUCKOO’S CALLING is a thoroughly enjoyable and engrossing read. It is the sort of book that you can fall into and read in big gulps, but at the same time chapters occur frequently enough that you can put it down and come back to it later. The strongest element of the novel are its characters; they come alive on the page. Cormoran Strike is in the style of the typical private investigator of crime fiction, but with his military background he is able to be both the brains and the brawn. Robin Ellacott is a pretty temp, and there is no romance between Strike and Robin although they have a strong working relationship. Lula Landry, the girl whose death forms the main plot, fairly haunts the novel.
If you are looking for a fast paced, slick, action-packed novel then I am afraid that THE CUCKOO’S CALLING is not for you. If however you are looking for a slower paced crime novel, more in the style of Agatha Christie in terms of pacing then you should give this book a try. The main plot of the novel focuses on the question: was Lula Landry murdered, or not? From there the threads spin out, and weave into an absorbing story. Galbraith also weaves into the book threads on both Strike and Robin’s lives, to help give us a feel for them.
Cormoran Strike is an interesting character and the mystery in THE CUCKOO’S CALLING was an enjoyable one, and I look forward to reading future books in this series. I look forward to finding out more about Strike and Robin, and I also look forward to seeing what mystery will need to be solved next time.