Wednesday 18 January 2017

Book Review - The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (2013)

I’ve been meaning to writing a review of this book for ages and ages, so I thought with my new year’s resolution that now would be a good time to catch up.

Obviously by now everyone knows that The Cuckoo’s Calling was really written by J.K. Rowling, who used the pen-name Robert Galbraith for a series of crime novels featuring the detective Cormoran Strike.

I was never a big fan of the Harry Potter books. I don’t mean I didn’t like them, just that I was never a mega-fan. But I love detective novels so I was really curious to read The Cuckoo’s Calling.

And I wasn’t disappointed. I loved this book so much!

Cormoran Strike is a private detective who previously worked for the SIB. He is disabled after he lost part of his leg in a bomb in Afghanistan, and he’s also the illegitimate son of a famous rock star. Strike is hired by John Bristow to investigate the death of his half-sister, the model Lula Landry. The police have deemed it a suicide but John doesn’t think that’s the case. Strike isn’t sure whether he wants to take the case, but he’s persuaded to investigate Lula’s death. Along the way he gets a new secretary, Robin Ellacott, who starts out as a temp but ends up being more like his assistant.

As Strike begins his investigation, he soon realises there’s more to Lula’s death than meets the eye. He interviews the various people in the model’s life, and starts to uncover all their secrets.

The main reason I enjoyed The Cuckoo’s Calling is that it is a complete page-turner. I just couldn’t put it down. Partly this is because of the mystery – I just had to find out what happened. Each chapter had a new revelation, and I found myself unable to put the book down as I wanted to discover the truth. Rowling (or Galbraith) really has an amazing way of keeping you hanging on for the next revelation.

The other thing I liked about The Cuckoo’s Calling was the characters. I was a little bit unsure at first as they (especially Cormoran Strike) felt a bit larger-than-life. A lot of the names are a bit dramatic – Cormoran Strike isn’t exactly run-of-the-mill and Lula Landry is also a bit OTT. But it turns out that doesn’t matter, as I found myself warming to the characters from the off. Strike is larger-than-life, but he’s also a really likable and sympathetic character. His friendship and working relationship with Robin is a very enjoyable part of the book (and the others in the series, which I’ll review at a later date).

The Cuckoo’s Calling is a big recommendation from me. It’s a fun read that I found very hard to put down. Saying that though, I liked the sequel, The Silkworm, even more! But I’ll write about that in another post.

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