When a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts, and calls in private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into the case. Strike is a war veteran - wounded both physically and psychologically - and his life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline, but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model's complex world, the darker things get - and the closer he gets to terrible danger…
A gripping, elegant mystery steeped in the atmosphere of London - from the hushed streets of Mayfair to the backstreet pubs of the East End to the bustle of Soho - The Cuckoo's Calling is a remarkable book. Introducing Cormoran Strike, this is a classic crime novel in the tradition of P. D. James and Ruth Rendell, and marks the beginning of a unique series of mysteries.
Robert Glenister has performed with both the National Theatre and the RSC. He has worked extensively on radio and television and is probably best known for his roles as Ash Morgan in the BBC's Hustle and as the Home Secretary in 5 series of Spooks.
©2013 Robert Galbraith (P)2013 Hachette Digital
"The Cuckoo's Calling reminds me why I fell in love with crime fiction in the first place." (Val McDermid)
"One of the most unique and compelling detectives I've come across in years" (Mark Billingham)
"One of the best crime novels I have ever read." (Alex Gray)
Surely the sign of a really good book is when the last words have been spoken and listeners find themselves disappointed at having been abruptly separated from people and events that have been a real part of their lives (in this case for nearly16 hours). Well, if that is the case then this qualifies as a Really Good Book -- it ticks all the boxes.
The narrator: great voice, acted out the roles very convincingly (change of accents and voices very well done) and, best of all, didn't differentiate male and females voices through changing pitch. The writing was vivid. Elegant and succinct prose endowed each sentence an energy which created settings and personal characteristics.
While this was a crime mystery, that was only part of it. In fact, despite the urgency of the plot, for me the people became the most interesting aspect because The Cuckoo's Calling (clever title) was also the story of the lives of many individuals. Cormoran Strike, for example, is the detective, but he has his own compelling story which entwines throughout the central plot. I found myself caring about his well-being along with the decisions that Robyn will make about her life direction, and I was also repelled by, or drawn to the many other characters that moved in and out of my life through this book.
I had not read any of J K Rowling (Robert Galbraith) before but this book demonstrates what a talented writer she is and why she has been so very successful. I hope this is the beginning of a series.
I hope that JK Rowling's outing as the author of this novel doesn't discourage her from publishing any followups, because I really enjoyed it.
The style is very paced. It is a mystery that slowly unfolds, with no car chases, or mad escapes against the odds, just a pair of intelligent, observant people making steady progress towards solving a mystery.
The dialogue is engaging, and the reader (Robert Glenister) does a fantastic job with the voice characterisations. I only lost track of the characters (and there is quite a large cast) one time.
I liked how the scenes were painted in the mind's eye. You could feel the light in the room, or hear the sounds of distant children playing. It was literature written with a painter's eye.
The resolution is satisfyingly twisty, you will likely deduce some or most of the story, but probably not all of it.
A couple of minor issues:
The police characters were caricatures of ineptitude, and a little unbelievable. The quantity of swearing from some characters was a bit distracting though again, the narrator does a great job. Otherwise a very fun read, and I look forward to more in the same vein.
Wife, mother, nanna, part time actor, avid reader, world traveller, golfer, bridge player, lover of life.
I am getting ready to listen to this book again and I have only just finished it.
The way this book has been structured there isn't one moment that isn't memorable
Robert Glenister gives a superb performance of this book. He is now my second favourite reader on Audible.com
Definitely Robyn and Cormoran Strike.
I am aware who has written this book under a different name now and I am absolutely of the opinion that the books to come from this series, and I hope there will be more, will be as much awaited as those this writer has penned before. With the exception of the last book under the writer's real name that I didn't enjoy. I don't want to spoil it for those who don't know who it is but there is so much detail in The Cuckoos Calling combined with the research and style in which the book is written makes it impossible to put it down. I can't wait for more to come.
Though this book didn't have the blood and gore of many mystery fiction available today I found this book fascinating and compelling to listen to, it was well written, beautifully described so that many of the images related to by the author were very vivid in my mind's eye. I have to say that I couldn't put it down, as my wardrobe, my bedroom drawers are now perfectly tidy and sorted because I wanted to know "who dunnit". I hope to hear from this author again. May Cormoran Strike like lightening again!
Cormoran himself, his big bulky and affable (in his own way) nature became very endearing as the story unfolded.
Cormoran and his delightful secretary - just so I too could pretend to take notes and hang on their every word.
I love all genres of books. However, when I listen to audio books as I clean, garden, drive they are better with a lot of heat!
I must admit I bought this book when I learned that J.K. Rowlings wrote it. I wanted to see how she would write a mystery. I have to also admit that I have never listened any of her books and I was buying on her amazing reputation. With that said, I really liked the book, but did not love it.
What I loved about it.
* Fantastic job on character development (but would you think anything less?) I got to know and love Strike and Robin right from the beginning and warmed up to all the other cast very shortly.
* The story was a good mystery.
* I liked that the ending gave way to a sequel to this book as I am interested where Strike's business and personal life take him.
* I loved Strike's crazy ex girlfriend and hope to see/hear more of her in future books as she was just briefly mentioned in the beginning and snippets throughout the book.
What I didn't....
*The book was OVERLY long. At almost 16 hours it dragged at times. She is an amazing descriptive writer but at times it just went on and on and I just wanted her to get on with it.
* As in the above sentence, it took ages, sometimes chapters to wrap up a small part of the story line. Perhaps I like books that move faster.
Having said that I still could not put the book down despite some frustrations.
All in all a good solid listen and something you would expect from this caliber of writer. I looking forward to the next installment of the series.
Robert Glenister was fantastic with the delivery of the story.
Worth a credit, very much yes from me.
I have a busy career, travel a lot and don't have much time to read, so I listen to Audio books. I love reading!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was thrilling and gripping and kept me captivated for the full length of the story. robert Glenister narrates beautifuly and his tones, accents and portrayal of women's voices was very good.
The overall story was exciting and plausible and was a really good detective story.
Worth the read!
Wow I have finished the book and feel a little sad. The story kept me guessing right to the end. Robert Glenister told the story so well and made the characters come alive. I cannot wait for the next in in the series J K.( Robert) please hurry!!
Yes it did I could not guess what had happened and loved the characters each giving their version of the other characters and events
Strike himself!! He is such a well drawn character and the author has a wonderfuk creation here and can develop him as the series progresses.
Kept me on the edge of my seat if that is possible when you are walking
Next Book Please
I can understand why JK decided to write it under a pseudo name, but if I hadn't known it was her I probably wouldn't have picked it up for quite awhile, but I am glad that I did! I really enjoyed it and look forward to more in the series. It kept me guessing and wondering all the time.
I would have given it 5 stars all around, except for the language. Although it was used in context of the characters, because I don't speak like that, it could be a bit jarring at times.Thankfully it wasn't over the top or used excessively. (And Strike even apologizes for it! :-) )
Marketer. The Engineer-MBA stereotype. Sports-fiction writer. Poor reader of text. Thus at Audible. God Bless.
I am a fanboy, so let me get done with the gushing first. JKR is such a legend! Love her!
Ok, let's talk about the book now. Ms. Rowling has an incredible ability of putting word after word, and making you look forward to the next word. A natural-born story-teller to compare with the very best. Even while reading the Potter novels, I had always thought that mystery would be her natural habitat, she is so brilliant and ingenuous at plot and storytelling. And this here is a proof. Does it hurtle through like, say, a Lee Child novel? Nope, the story builds up gradually -- this is a classic detection novel, the thrill is secondary to the detection -- but it is still effective, you can still not put the book down. I couldn't.
Characters: Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott are both such interesting characters! I'd very much like this book to be Cormoran Strike #1, a part of a long series.
Writing: there's craft here. The characters are almost uniformly well-developed (as you have come to expect from JKR), the sexual tension between characters is brought out really well (without being explicit -- this is JKR, folks. She is a children's writer, remember?), and it is well-researched, again another JKR trait.
And okay then, let's have the acid test for all private-eye books --- Could I guess the killer? Nope. Not till the very end I couldn't.
I like Fantasy & Science Fiction but not into Zombie. Due to Health issues, listen to Audiobooks/read ebooks where I can enlarge the print
The narrator does an excellent job and i would like to listen to more of his work. from what i understand he has been involved in TV shows, radio dramas, and audio drama to note just a few.
I found Cormoran Strike to be too self absorbed and overall not a pleasant character where as his new temp is a much more engrossing. That said the characters are on the whole well rounded. but in the most cases extremes of their particular niche in society as portrayed in this novel
The story reallies heavily on incidents in just about every major characters life that just all happen to occur at the same time thus causing guilty and innocent alike to cover for one another on the same evening a model dies.
Also Robert Galbraith aka J. K. Rowling appears to think that an excessive use of the "F" word etc needs be be used in abundance to ensure that this is taken as an Adult style book. In some areas of the book it is inserted between just about every second word. I felt it was used in excess. But I guess it ensures it wont been seen on shelves next to Mr Potter :)
I don't think that Robert Galbraith aka J. K. Rowling has much affinity for the Paparazzi or the news media in general by the way they portrayed in this novel . . . not that i disagree
Overall the book is a decent read but the excessive use of profanity might put some people off. The story also reallies of to much coincidence to make it a really great plot . . .
I would still recommend this given the disclaimers above
Truly excellent story and great narration. Well written characters to care for whom I hope will return.
"very good intro to the main characters"
great one man detective story. loads of wit and human interest. I will look forward to follow on books.
"A perfect crIme listen"
Definitely one of my best listens of the year. A crime novel on a par with early Rendell and PD James. It was so refreshing to listen to a classic crime novel that wasn't full of either violence, melodrama or psychological plot twists. Of course I enjoy the latter in my crime listening but Robert Galbraith's more classic approach makes it quite unique in the genre today. It is well written, fantastically narrated, has perfect characterisation and the plot moves along at a good pace. Highly recommended.
I didn't get round to reviewing this earlier and now it's all a bit of a waste of time - all I can say is well done JK - I loved this - couldn't stop listening - the reading was brilliant and the story very entertaining and indeed quite gripping - loved the characters. I even went on line to see if the author published a sequel as I'd enjoyed the first so much - or indeed written any other books.....!!
"A fantastic book"
;loved listening to this book.Would like to recommend it to my friends and family.;loved listening to this book.Would like to recommend it to my friends and family.
Imagine Raymond Chandler crossed with Douglas Adams, and you get something approximating this excellent debut novel from Robert Galbraith. The plot is centred around the death of a supermodel; suicide is the obvious verdict, a verdict that her brother cannot accept. There is little to add about the plot, and laid in such bare terms it sounds like a cliche of countless other novels of this genre. I can assure the listener, however, that both the plot twists and the prose themselves make this anything but a cliche. The author's use of the English language makes the book a must-listen in its own right, the construction of the words themselves are a delight; a number of idiosyncratic similes and metaphors are simply inspired, the description of one model's attempt at a pout making me laugh out loud. Whilst all the characters are colourful in their own right, the book is based around a one-legged gumshoe detective and his temporary secretary, who has harboured a secret desire from childhood to work for a private eye. He is a world-weary former member of the military, she a fresh-faced and somewhat naive Yorkshire girl recently arrived in London. Again, these sound somewhat cliched and two-dimensional when described in such basic terms, but they are so well written that they are anything but. With audiobooks, the narrator is arguably just as important as the book itself. Robert Glenister does a sterling job here, especially with the vocal characterisation of all those we meet. His skills definitely added to my awarding the full five stars to "The Cuckoo's Calling". Anybody who enjoys a good crime novel will love this; anyone who doesn't, won't. This may seem pedantic, but it is worth saying as a great review can sometimes tempt listeners into books that are patently unsuitable for their taste. This may be just another of many detective tales, but I, for one, cannot wait for the sequel.
Having read several of the rave reviews, I was looking forward to a good listen. I ended up being very dissappointed. I made it to the end (just), but found the plot contrived and the characters undeveloped and rather one dimensional. I wanted to understand more about the background of the main protagonists Cormoran and Robin.. their back stories, their inner worlds, their lives. But, alas... Not to be. Not a patch on books such as Reginald Hill's "The Woodcutter"
Less cliche, more development of the characters and their inner motivations.
None stand out.
Passable.. But not wonderful. Just discovered today, after finishing it (struggling to listen to this for three weeks or so) that its actually by J K Rowling. Even more disappointed, as I felt she did a lot better with Harry Potter et al.
The narration was good.
"Boring bland book - expected more"
More substance to all characters.
It was just so flat and boring. I kept on expecting it to liven up a bit. It never did. I was not surprised at the ending, sussed it out very early on. Never seemed to pick up pace.
A delight to listen to. The only reason I carried on listening. If I had been reading it I would have given up and skipped to the final pages just to confirm what I had sussed out.
There would be none left!!!
I was beguiled by the authors past history.So disappointing. I expected a book of twists, turns and surprises. It was more like a book written by someone trying hard but with no real idea of how to write a gripping mystery or interesting read. I seem to be in the minority as most have given excellent reviews. Perhaps I should listen to it again, on second thoughts, life is just too short!!!
I was so worried, after the disastrous "The Casual Vacancy" (all copies of which should be rounded up and recycled), that J K Rowling might have been a one trick pony and that the brilliance of the Harry Potter series might never be replicated in anything else she wrote.
I am delighted to discover that my fears were unfounded. This is perhaps not quite in that league but it's very good indeed, with the central characters well conceived and a good story. Finishing this first one leaves you waiting for the next one, and she's clearly laid down the foundations for as long a series as she can keep thinking up the ideas.
The narrator is very good too. Some of the Audible books I've listened to recently have had American narrators whose grasp of punctuation has been tenuous so it's been nice to listen to somebody for whom reading is clearly not a chore.
Listened to it twice which is my bench mark for a good book. Looking forward to the next book so can see the characters develop along with another excellent tale.
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