The Cuckoo's Calling is a 2013 crime fiction novel by J. K. Rowling, published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.
A brilliant mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel's suicide.
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.
©2013 Robert Galbraith (P)2013 Hachette Audio
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.
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!
This book is extremely well thought out and written. I kept finding myself surprised at the amount of detail and depth JK Rowling put into this novel. I knew she could write, but this book is so different from "the series" she is so famous for and yet just as well thought out and detailed. I grew to love the main Character, Strike, and his assistant Robin. I thought I would hate the Hollywood Glam aspect but JK tells the tale from a very rational "this is what this sh%t can do to you" stand point. Its an incredible tale woven with the utmost care. I wasn't sure how I would like the narrator but he did an amazing job! I'm recommending it to all my friends.
Not from the author, maybe from narrator
Shorten it, take out extraneous info
Does a good job will varied voices, awful job on Latin
The book started if ok, the main characters seemed good, but somewhere around the halfway point it started to seem long. It just went on and on. The ending was disappointing as to who done it.
The ending explanation was painfully long.
To make matters worse the epilogue was even longer. I got the impression several times she used words and ideas specifically to demonstrate that she was a serious author, writing for adults.
I wouldn't have finished it but I didn't have any credits left for the month and wanted to have something to listen to on a long drive.
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.
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
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.
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