Review: The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

The Cuckoo's CallingSource: Library
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Series: Cormoran Strike #1
Edition: Hardcover, 455 Pages
Genre: Adult Mystery
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 4.5/5

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, 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.

Introducing Cormoran Strike, this is the acclaimed first crime novel by J.K. Rowling, writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

Surprisingly I had initially requested to review this about a day before the news broke that it was Rowling’s novel…so needless to say I was never approved for it because I’m pretty sure everyone else did the same the nest day. So I had to wait on a library hold and I FINALLY got to read it. So that aside I feel almost obligated to say, if you want to read it just because she wrote Harry Potter…don’t. It’s not the same, though her writing certainly rings familiar. It’s a serious and lengthy mystery novel, so if that’s not your thing then think twice about it.

The Cuckoo’s Calling is a story centering around Cormoran Strike, a private detective who is down on his luck and hired to work a really well known closed case deemed a suicide. The mystery itself is well worked and full of detail, and I really loved that Rowling worked to add tid bits here and there given you full opportunity to figure it out for yourself. Of course somethings are withheld to draw out the story and add that suspenseful air, but for the most part it’s out in the open. I however didn’t solve it before Cormoran, though I did suspect the outcome but only briefly. I think that Rowling maybe one of my comfort authors, like Anne Rice. We all know I’m a huge Harry Potter fan and as a result a fan of her writing, but now I’m positive that I enjoy her style as a whole. Her writing is fluid and detailed in every aspect, making the characters real and the scenes around them teem with life.

Strike is a gruff character, who is a veteran of the British Army and use to roughing it when he has to. He has his own personal demons and he has to contend with them along with outside forces through out the book. He takes some getting use to because he’s very rough around the edges but he’s quick to pick things up and pretty bright, which put me solidly in his corner. Not to mention his dedication to a case most people would have quickly dismissed. Robin is a temp and his unlikely help during most of the case and I really liked her willingness to go above and beyond what was asked of her; opening mail and searching the web. Her enthusiasm for the work kind of rubbed off on me and I was just as eager as her to see the case to a close. She’s really sharp and thinks for herself, which comes in handy quite a few times. While Strike did most of the work himself they really turned out to be a great team.

I’m looking forward to seeing how their slight friendship goes in the next book as it’s kind of teetering on a line of purely professional and actual friendship, given the ups and downs of this case. There are also a few things I’m curious to see if they come to a head or not, but most of all I’m really ready to see Strike at work on another case. If you enjoy a good murder mystery then I really think you might enjoy this one.

4.5 Stars

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7 Responses to Review: The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

  1. Murder mystery are always so interesting to me. And this one sounds like a good one. Great review, I’m glad that you enjoyed it.

  2. I’m very picky about my mysteries (I love Tana French novels) but I might eventually check this one out.

  3. This sounds like a really good book I love these types of mysteries and it seems to be a well written one too with just the right amount of suspense and anticipation! I also almost always guess what will happen bc I have read SO many mysteries like this but it’s great when it can catch me by surprise even if I guess it right at the end or only parts of it. Anyways, Great review! 🙂

  4. Aw, I’m glad you finally got your hands on the book! I haven’t seen many reviews of this one, so I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it. Great murder mysteries are always hard to find.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  5. I love a good mystery- great review!

  6. I actually hadn’t heard of this book until people started talking about how J.K. Rowling wrote it. It looks intimidating though considering the length and audience it is directed to. However, I do want to give it a try some day.

  7. Aw how sad that you missed out on a review copy! I sadly didn’t finish this one, but I did enjoy her writing for the part I did read and I liked Strike as well.

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