Cuckoo’s Calling


Cormoran Strike is a one-legged Afghanistan war hero, the illegitimate son of an aging rock star, and a PI in London.  Strike is completely broke and living in his office due to a rather nasty breakup with his insane fiancé when in walks John Bristow, the brother of a supermodel (known as Cuckoo) who plummeted to her death from her balcony.  The cops have ruled it a suicide, but her brother doesn’t believe it and wants Strike to find the truth.  Finally, a paying job!  With the help of Robin, his latest temp secretary (that he didn’t mean to hire, because of course, he has no money), Strike enters the world of the rich, famous, and powerful to try to unravel the secrets of this beautiful woman’s tragic life and death.  Did she kill herself or was she pushed?  Was she using drugs again?  Who would have pushed her?  The strung-out boyfriend, the controlling fashion designer, her rude uncle, her friend from rehab, or someone else?

I’m a fan of mysteries, good and so-so, and this one definitely fell into the good category.  I was relieved, having read it after knowing the true identity of the author.  I am a huge fan of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series (who isn’t?) but was unimpressed with Casual Vacancy and was tentative when I began reading her latest work.  It is no Harry Potter, but it is engrossing.  It’s a classic gritty detective novel, but one of the better of its kind – the characters are well-developed and the descriptions of the scenes and interactions are vivid without being overly wordy.  I didn’t see the ending coming, but neither did I keep notes as meticulously as Strike!  I’m definitely looking forward to more books in this series, regardless of whose name is on the cover.

Title:  The Cuckoo’s Calling
Author:  Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
Pages: 464
Publication: Mulholland Books, April 2013