The Cuckoo’s Calling
written by Robert Galbraith (a.k.a. J.K. Rowling)
published by Mulholland Books
Today, I would like to welcome my friend Belinda to the blog! She is a member of the book group that I belong to and she wanted to try her hand at writing book reviews. Hopefully, she will become a regular contributor here at EFC.
Why did I pick this book: It’s the second book J.K. Rowling has published since the phenomenally popular Harry Potter series. And I’m a huge fan of mysteries/crime solving stories.
Did I enjoy this book: Overall, I did enjoy this book.
The Cuckoo’s Calling is written in the third person and begins with the unlikely meeting of Robin, a secretary working for a temp service and a burned-out, overweight, recently dumped by his girlfriend, nearly bankrupt private detective, Strike.
Strike gets an extraordinary and unexpected opportunity to investigate the much hyped, sensational story of a lovely supermodel that has tragically fallen to her death from a balcony in her upscale, secure London apartment building. Police rule it a suicide. But her bereaved brother is confident they are mistaken.
The book has all the necessary elements of a murder mystery: beautiful, famous, wealthy victim as well as an unlikely protagonist solving the crime against all odds, sexual tension between co-workers, and power hungry millionaires who stop at nothing to derail the investigation to protect their own interests.
J.K. Rowling is undoubtedly one of the most brilliant literary artists of our time. She unfolds the story layer by complicated layer with meticulous detail, realistic character portraits, plot twists, and unexpected villains.
All the elements are present, but(for me) fell a bit flat. The investigation seems to drag on, the sexual tension fails to sizzle, and the villains are more annoying than menacing.
But she is J.K. Rowling and I’m . . . well – not. So all things considered . . .
Would I recommend it: I would recommend this book. The level of artistic writing and the story are compelling enough to recommend it not only to murder mystery fans but book lovers in general.
Will I read it again: I will not.
~ Belinda ~
About the book – from Goodreads: A brilliant debut 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, thelegendary 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.