Title: The Cuckoo’s Calling
Series: Cormoran Strike, #1
Author: Robert Galbraith
Genre: Mystery, Crime
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Release Date: April 30th, 2013
Source: Gifted to me
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.
If you like classic detective fiction, you’ll find comforting familiarity with this contemporary crime novel. The pacing is done well, so that you feel really engaged with the story the whole way through. Not being British, I have no idea how close to reality the concept of the crime and the major players are, but it didn’t feel forced. Robin is a great character, Cormoran is a great character, and the way characters were described in the story was wonderfully complete.
In terms of the mystery, I did entertain the notion of whodunnit, and it turns out I was correct but I didn’t see the whole backstory coming. I wouldn’t say there’s a shocking twist, or anything terribly surprising, but neither did Galbraith/Rowling project the ending too early.
Overall, I found it a good, quick read and I look forward to the next novel in the series. Also, props to Rowling for having a disabled main character. When we talk about books needing diversity, there’s a lot of emphasis on sexuality, gender, and racial diversity…it’s just as important to have a realistic portrayal of disabilities, and I think this is the first time I’ve felt that.