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.
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
I'm going to ignore the hoopla on the author and focus on the book.
First of all, it's easy to get sucked into the story. The narrator is perfect. There are parts of this book that make you think of Jo Nesbø's writing. After a bit, it drifts into long-winded spiels that reminded me of bad student essays. Then it ends. The conclusion - don't worry, no spoilers - is so odd. It's like the author had no idea how to bring it all around with the deftness I've come to expect from Nesbø, James Lee Burke, Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane and other well-regarded authors of that genre.
Would I recommend it to a friend? Probably not to someone who listens to a few books a year. There are many, many other better choices. If you're a voracious reader/listener, you may enjoy it just to experience this author as she stretches out into new territory. I'm going to give her credit for trying something so different from her past successes.
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?
Myst/thrillers and ✨fun fantasies✨are my favorites but always open for a good story.
A beautiful starlet, Lula Landry, plunges to her death and the assumption is that she jumped, the only problem with that is that there was no viable reasoning behind that action. She was a complicated individual but not necessarily suicidal. After the case is closed for several months John Bristow, Lula's brother, walks into Cormoran Strike's office, a private detective who is down on his luck. Strangely Bristow wants to hire him to investigate Lula's death. Cormoran at first thinks that this guy is just grieving or that maybe his cheese has slid off his cracker, but after hearing him out decides to take the case. He figures, what the heck I need the income and something to keep my mind off my recent breakup.
During the investigation many different theory's are voiced by Lula's friends, foes, family and new found family. This is where the plot really starts to thicken. Lula was adopted as a small child by a very wealthy family and had recently been looking for her blood relations. Lula had her own fortune made from her acting career so she was not too concerned with offending her adopted family or loosing any inheritance.
I liked Cormoran's investigative process and strategies, he keeps his discoveries to himself so it kept me guessing. It was enjoyable to watch his much younger new assistant, Robin, become integral to the case and at the same time melt Cormoran's big ole gruff exterior and heart. If there is another book, they and their growing, platonic relationship would be the reason I would read it. The narrator was a good voice for Cormoran.
If you are looking for a continuation of the (in my opinion) fantastic Harry Potter series, you may be pleasantly surprised after you read The Cuckoo's Calling. I love a good mystery and this book certainly qualifies.
Love the characters and the narrator.
Avid audible listener for over 10 years.
I like crime novels that keep you guessing. In this book from Robert Galbraith (Aka JK Rowling) is a great novel set in London. Like many other books of this genre, the main character, Cormoran Strike, is down on his luck and about to lose everything but makes a comeback with some brilliant detective work. Although the suicide or murder victim is a supermodel, the story really reminds you of the sad life of the singer Amy Winehouse. Hounded by the paparazzi, depression, drugs, alcohol and finally death at a young age. I would not be surprised if the author did not use the real life tragedy for the seed of this novel. I hope that the author continues the series since the characters are interesting and the narration great. Great find on Audible
No, only because I seldom listen to stories twice.
It kept me interested but not on the edge of your seat type of mystery.
The ending of the book is really good, it goes in a direction that you really didn't expect.
I would listen to large chunks of the book at a time, so if it was shorter I wouldn't have listened to it all at one time.
I hope there is more books to come and the action picks up more. This was pretty slow in some parts.
The fact that Rowling wrote this book got me to listen to it. Very happy I did because it was great read. Great mystery well written and with a great narration. Only similarity between Cuckoo and Harry was the superb writing. Hope to hear more from Ms. Robert Galbraith.