I admit I bought the book because it was written by J.K. Rowling - but that's the end of anything Potter-ish in this delightful new mystery. I love a good British mystery because they tend to be less violent and more intellectual than many of the standard American mysteries. The Cuckoo's Calling has everything in it that makes a mystery worth reading - an interesting main character who is neither perfect nor pathetic, a smart sidekick who thank god does NOT need to be rescued in the final scenes, a lot of clues but no dead give away to the final resolution, and supporting characters who are not simply two dimensional backdrops. No dramatic chase scenes or gun battles - just solid detecting and some intriguing plot twists along the way.
The narration was perfect and captured the voices in a way that was believable and engrossing. I had a hard time putting the book down to get any work done, and when the story ended I could only hope that Rowling/Galbraith is working on the next Comorant Strike mystery. Whether you're a J.K. Rowling fan or not really doesn't matter - if you like a good mystery, this is the best one to come along in a long time!
Love a great book that stays with you long after you've finished it.
This is the best book I've read in a long, long time. What a fascinating story with wonderful imagery. The story swept me away into the characters lives, keeping me guessing. The narrator was perfect. My only dislike is that I am finished it!
I loved the private eye, Cormoran Strike: tough, smart, full of heart, wry, cool, thoroughly flawed -- just great. Great interviewing and extracting of key info and using his imagination to understand when the pieces didn't fit and how to make connections. And although modern and realistic, the book wasn't gory -- phew!And the narration was truly superb.
After I finish writing this review, I'm hunting down Robert Glenister's other performances and will begin downloading immediately. He was fantastic -- so full of understanding and intelligence, empathy and wry humor. He made the experience of listening like being at the movies, bringing all the characters to life with fantastic timing. I'm too American to understand what Strike's accent is supposed to be! Maybe Robert Glenister will explain it to us; I know that mixture of strains is indicative of Strike's motley background, but I don't know how!
Strike's sympathy for his characters -- his moments of really understanding them was always moving. But I was touched by his inner responses to learning key info -- a kind of commitment that was so great. And I was touched by his heart going out to his own mother and Lula --the women who wouldn't or couldn't follow the rules.
Long may JK Rowling and Robert Glenister continue to bring to life the damaged, the great Cormoran Strike.
Anglophile. Prefer only British fiction and mysteries. Good translations of Italian, too.
I am visually-disabled. I cannot read print books. Ergo, only Audible ones.
I would not say it was a thriller that keeps one fidgeting, but the suspense lasted until the very end. It had a lovely, measured pace that marks the best of the British classical mysteries.
The narrator is excellent. Perfect. He does not raise his voice too much and overly dramatize the narrative, which I do not enjoy. Splendid performance.
It made me laugh from time to time. I enjoyed the characters and they were excellently portrayed in a manner that well suited the excellent story.
I have never read the Harry Potter books, but I had already planned to read this novel due to early reviews before knowing the author was JK Rowling. I can certainly understand her success. She is a wonderful writer who knows how to tell a great story. I hope there will be more mysteries with the two main characters to come..
Audible listener who's grateful for a long commute!
Cormoran Strike is the aptly named detective/hero of Robert Galbraith's debut novel "The Cuckoo's Calling" (2013). 'Comoran' is a giant of Cornish legend, and Galbraith's investigator is both physically and mentally huge. Strike is also wounded - he lost part of a leg in Afghanistan, and jettisons a fiancé at the beginning of the book.
Strike inadvertently finds a Temporary Solution in Robin Ellacott, an amazingly tactful and resourceful transplant to London. Her first day of work, Robin ushers in a rabbity John Bristow, the brother of Strike's childhood friend, Charlie. Bristow's sister, supermodel Lula Landry, died months before after falling from a balcony in the upscale high security building she lived in, and Bristow doesn't believe it was a suicide.
Strike and Robin investigate in modern day London, from free rehab clinics and homeless shelters to the top homes and boutiques of London's titled class.
I loved the British English - 'crisps' sounds so much more elegant than 'potato chips'; 'bog' is definitely more descriptive for a bathroom in a pub; and who doesn't like 'mobile' instead of 'cell phone'? Some of it mystified me - 'pork scratchings' turned out to be 'pork rinds' if you live most of the United States, and chicharrones if you live in California; and 'digestives' are biscuits. What really through me was 'Electric Lane'. It took some Google research and an inquiry to an ex-pat friend to figure out it was an actual street name, not special parking for hybrid electric cars. These detours made the book more enjoyable for me, especially since Robert Glenister's narration gave me the pronunciations.
The "who dunnit" was well plotted, and the answer was never easy.
I am aware, of course, that Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for J.K. Rowlings, but I'm respecting her choice to write under another name. "The Cuckoo's Calling" is a different genre than the "Harry Potter" series, and Galbraith's language and descriptions are very different than those in Rowling's "Harry Potter." Galbraith is a more mature writer. I hope this is a 'Cormoran Strike #1.'
I'd also like to give props to my fellow Audible reviewers Tracey of Danville, AR and Deborah of Burbank, CA who found this Audible book and loved it before the secret author was revealed. I'm following both of them now, hoping that I won't miss any more gems like "The Cuckoo's Calling" just because I haven't heard of the author.
[The title of this review is from a line in this book. If you found this review helpful please let me know by pressing 'helpful.' Thanks!]
I am an avid eclectic reader.
I enjoyed the description of London and the various British accents of the narrator Robert Glenister. The story is about a former military police investigator Cormoran Strike who lost a leg in Afghanistan and was discharged from the military. He opens up an office as a private detective. He is hired by attorney John Bristow to investigate the death of his sister a famous fashion model Lula Landry called Cuckoo by her friends. Is it murder or suicide Strike is to find out. The story goes from high fashion to the poor areas of London. Strike hires a temporary secretary Robin who helps in the investigation. The author provides us with nail biting suspense to twisty plots, some humor and action. My only complaint is the foul language. The story is well written and the narration is great. Hope this is made into a series.
Sure, I'd love to hear your story....
I admit it. I only read it because of the hype. So glad that I did. This is a wonderful concise book that paints characters so real and vivid you can't help but feel their pain, joy, humor, and sorrow. Put those folks in a mystery that fascinatingly unfolds and you have one of the better who-dun-its in the last few years. This is just a really good fun story.
Retired teacher of literature with an interest in religion and in science and in history. I have loved reading for 50 years.
Excessive unnecessary details, too much description that is ordinary, not vivid, and the plot drags along so that I wished the story was a long short story or novella rather than its present length. The main character is interesting, as are one or two other persons....but the book is loaded with so many people who pop in and out that you had better keep an alphabetical list to remember them....or maybe you should just ignore them once you figure out who is important to the story...which is not easy the first half of the book. The author's style seems to be that of a first-time novelist....as I said but must repeat: wordy wordy wordy. Were the reputed author not JKR, this book would not have been published. And I do wonder if JKR did write it or if she is boosting someone else's effort to break in to publishing...but if JKR is doing that, did she even READ the book?
Robert Galbraith, nom de plume of J.K. Rowling weaves a delicious tale of intrigue for anyone who loves to indulge in a good mystery. The characters are revealed slowly, the plot throws enough curves to keep you guessing "whodunit" and the writing style, is second-to-none. All that being said, there is an excessive amount of profanity in this story. I understand that it was included to reveal the edginess of the characters, but plenty of good novels have been written without quite so much foul language. If that is not an issue for you, then enjoy a fun murder mystery. If you are like me and wish to not listen to a lot of profanity, this isn't a good book for you.
Glenister switches between accents and characters fluidly. He performs both male and female characters without making you cringe and is able to make each character stand apart from the other.
I can see why Rowling chose to use a different pen name to write this book, as it is so dramatically different from the Harry Potter series. She demonstrates her skillful ability to weave a devilishly intricate plot and her masterful use of the english language to unfold her plot.
This is a new series for this author. Who would think the same author could write Harry Potter and then write something as gritty and grubby as this series. The protagonist makes you want to know more about him right from the start. He is a sympathetic character who is very smart but dumb in romance. Not unusual I guess. Anyway, Cormoran is now living in his office after breaking up with his abusive girlfriend of 12 or so years. He is contacted to look into a suicide which his client believes is murder. The story takes off from there and gives the reader a good story. It is a sophisticated storyline and the author inserts lots of references to let you know that Strike is no dummy. I like the deep voice of the narrator and his accent which adds to the strength of Cormoran. He is a big man, 6'3" and weighing 16 stone (224 pounds). The descriptions of his disability and his unusual hairiness are important to seeing him. I hope there are lots of books to follow.