If J.K. Rowling was a man named Robert – The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
The Cuckoo’s Calling
by Robert Galbraith
Mulholland Books / Little, Brown and Company
Published: April 30, 2013
A brilliant mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel’s suicide.
After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.
Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.
You may think you know detectives, but you’ve never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you’ve never seen them under an investigation like this.
Despite very rarely reading mystery novels, I enjoyed The Cuckoo’s Calling, but maybe not for the reasons most people enjoy mysteries.
I’ve read my share of mysteries. They always sound really good when you read the synopsis, but eventually, they all blend together. I find I usually know the killer the moment I meet him or her. I probably wouldn’t even have this one except I needed a book written by a female author using a male pseudonym for the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge.
Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for the legendary J.K. Rowling!
Like most people in the world of books, I love the Harry Potter series. Magical, in so many ways. This book, however, left me with mixed feelings.
Like I said before, my desire for mysteries is already low, so it’s only fair to take that into consideration. This book seemed primarily to be a series of interviews with everyone remotely connected to a murder. That was the part I didn’t enjoy. Interview after interview. Each one lasting a long time. Each one only revealing that person’s opinions of all the other suspects/witness/friends/family/etc. Obviously, one of these interviews was with the killer.
By the way, I did predict the killer when I met him/her. To be fair, it wasn’t because of clues of any kind. I just thought, who would I make the killer if I was trying to trick everyone…
What I did really like about The Cuckoo’s Calling was Cormoran Strike, the private detective hired to investigate the murder, and our main character. He was a phenomenal character. So real he came off the page. Colorful, and completely capable at his profession, but wonderfully flawed at the same time. It was easy to shake your head at him one page, but realize two pages later that you’re still rooting for him despite the things he does.
My favorite bits of the books were usually when Cormoran was just going for a beer and calling an old colleague for a favor. Or talking with Robin, his temporary secretary, who was also a great character. The chemistry between these two was so fun to read.
In fact, I liked these characters so much that I may read the next book, despite my lukewarm feelings for mystery novels in general.
Even if you feel like I do about mysteries, everyone should check out this one just out of curiosity for how J.K. Rowling handles another genre. If you are a fan of mysteries, something tells me this book will be something special for you!