Excellent! Just excellent! Buy it, read it, you won't be disappointed.
Such an immensely thick plot, with so many variables. I was enthralled throughout the whole book and tried as hard as I could to figure out "whodunnit" (as they say) and was not able to figure it out. Masterful!
I love to read books set in interesting places or historical settings. I especially love mysteries and thrillers.
This book was fun from the first chapter. Detective Cormoran Strike and his temporary secretary, Robin, are well developed with back stories that support how they act and think throughout the story. The mystery is interesting as the police have closed the case as a supermodel's suicide. Could it have been murder as her brother believes? The twists and clues will have you guessing until the end. I loved the story.
As you learn more about the "unlucky" Cormoran, you will find he is a reluctant British war hero with one leg. His parents provided little guidance or assistance, yet he has strong morals and values. I would buy any audio book that includes this wonderful character in the future.
Mysteries don't always have satisfactory endings. The ending to this mystery surprised me, but all the clues were there for me to figure it out myself. I was so satisfied with how the story ended for several of the characters. I am still smiling when I think back over this audio book. I hope J K. Rowling will continue with a series -- I would look forward to any book with Cormoran and Robin.
The narrator, Robert Glenister, did a fantastic job. His performance caused me to get so involved in listening that I had two occasions where I stayed on the train past my work stop. Mr. Glenister presented each character with a unique voice and many different British accents. I felt like it was a performance more than a narration. He kept the interest high even when some of the scenes got a little long and wordy. I wish there was a higher rating I could give to the narration of this book.
If it weren't for bad luck, P.I. Cormoran Strike would have no luck at all these days. You could even say he's struck out -- romantically, his long-time girlfriend has returned to the guy she left for him; physically, described as an intelligent giant of a man with a "bulging forehead" and a face that looks like it "had taken to boxing," he's let himself go since he returned from the war, where he lost "half a leg;" economically, booted from the home he shared with his ex, he's now curling up on his office couch, and the only business calls coming in are from debt collectors.
But, things are about to look up when the resourceful Miss Robin Ellacot shows up to temporarily fill in for Strike's former assistant, and, one Mr. John Bristow knock's on the door seeking out the sleuth's services. Bristow is the perfect character to be included in the game Clue: an uppity nose-to-the-ceiling kind of British chap with pinched lips that pucker around 2 protruding front teeth. He wants the down-and-out detective to prove the death of his super model sister, Lulu (aka Cuckoo) was a murder -- not a suicidal plunge from the balcony of her posh apartment at the Mayfair. Bristow is a man used to getting what he wants. Cuckoo's Calling is populated with such quirky dimensional characters: paparazzi, rappers, models, addicts, and wanna-bes. Intriguing, likeable, or despicable -- it's a memorable cast (Rowling's depiction of Guy Somé was hilarious). Cormoran Strike is the charismatic leading character that you can't help but like, a smart and warm hearted guy that will sell a series, hopefully still assisted by Robin (I'm sure you've already heard the second installment is on the way).
Rowling is a sensational storyteller, and once again proves that she can create magic. London is the perfectly conceived and drawn backdrop, rich with the local flavors -- you are enveloped in the scene, pounding the streets with Strike and the curious Miss Ellacot as they hunt down the clues. And though this isn't a heart-pounding blood-pumping paced story, it is a tightly constructed crime mystery that, as it unfolds, gains depth and builds suspense. Every step provides a wealth of clues, or intended distractions, and the story seems to fly by -- often in a direction you didn't expect, thanks to the honored British tradition of the red herrings (a reason the UK gives out the prestigious Crime Writers Association's Red Herring Award). And, it did reminded me of the traditional British-mysteries, where the Investigator painstakingly uncovers the clues and takes the reader along as a partner (think Agatha Christie, Inspector Morse, Poirot). Rowling builds her characters as you read , filling in the details of their back stories and personal lives, keeping the development of story and character in a forward tandem path with no string left loose.
Talent like Rowling's shines through, evidenced by the much deserved pre-leak rave reviews for a "stunning debut novel." Of course we have hindsight, but the intelligence and the rhythm of the words is immediately familiar and comfortable, with an obvious virtuosity. On some level, the writing is recognizable. Some author's develop the kind of talent that distinguishes them and becomes almost like a fingerprint. (The name of the deceased model, Lulu Landry seems like a glaring nod to Harry Potter's Luna Lovegood.) Reading Rowling is always an experience. Robert Glenister gives a stellar performance that deserves every star. His is a perfect voice already, and perfect for Strike -- as well as the words of Rowling.
I was hesitant to review when I first finished, watching the rave reviews come in, and thinking it would be hard to give a review from "the purity of obscurity rather than the distracting glare of hindsight" [Mark Lawson, the Guardian] as a few reviewers were able to do. I didn't see this as a 5* read, and even reading just the summary I might have passed. Luckily, The Cuckoo's Calling was blasted out of the obscurity of 4,709th place on the publisher's sales list to number 1; thank you Loose Lips for the leak -- it was well worth the read (at least for us--hope it doesn't cost him his job). An enjoyable read that I can give an enthusiastic recommendation. I'm one that will be looking forward Strike 2.
*FYI* I thought this was interesting:
Fictional biography by the publisher (Little Brown Books): "Born in 1968, Robert Galbraith is married with two sons. After several years with the Royal Military Police, he was attached to the SIB (Special Investigation Branch), the plain-clothes branch of the RMP. He left the military in 2003 and has been working since then in the civilian security industry. The idea for protagonist Cormoran Strike grew directly out of his own experiences and those of his military friends who have returned to the civilian world. 'Robert Galbraith' is a pseudonym." (There it is right in our face) "Hagrid in a trenchcoat"...Maureen Corigan/NPR Books
This book was too slow paced for me. I found myself dreading the start of a new scene as it would be endless description of every irrelevant detail of the scene, down to the dandruff on the medical examiner's coat. If you like a lot of flair and artistic scene setting, this may be the book for you. However, if you want a plot that moves along without telling you how worn the carpet is, or what color shoe laces a passer by has, this would not be the book for you.
The performer of this book was fantastic.
I enjoyed the Cuckoo's Calling every step of the way. The author melds the stories of the detectives personal and professional life into a fascinating journey, holding your interest throughout. There were many moments that I had to take pause and realize that a single actor was reading all the parts. Bravo.
Mysterious, entertaining and gripping.
Just when I'd think I have it figured out, I realized I didnt. Good story line, easy to listen narrator and believable characters made this a very good listen. Glad I tried it out. Book 2 in my cart.
Main character was my favourite.
Love J.K. Rowling. I dont like this version of her though. Language is rough. wouldn't recommend for your kids who live Harry Potter. She shoukd stick with what she does best .... fantasy.