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
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.
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.
I loved the characterization of each person, the plots with it's twists and turns, and the intelligence with which it was rendered.
The plot was intriguing because many different facets of the mystery were exposed amidst the sub plots which included the personal lives of the main characters.
Each character had a different voice and it was easy to tell who was speaking even without the written clues. There was no difficulty understanding the ends of sentences like other novels I have listened to and despite the unfamiliar accents I could understand every word. The orator definitely brings a level of excitement and authenticity to the story, as if you are living inside it.
I bought it after reading in the NYT that JK Rowling wrote it, and it's a winner. I was ready for her to write an adult winner, even after reading her "A Casual Vacancy" and finding it lacking. What a depressing dirge of a novel that was, quite the contrast to her Harry Potters. I wondered if she were going to continue to save her energy and humor for children, and pour on the grim for adults.
This book is the answer, and it's a resounding no. Great writing, Brilliant, seemingly tossed-off descriptions that lodge each character in the head as real. Great detective plot. Wonderful characters, none stereotypes. Surprises abound. I bought it because of the reviews, and because I love the Potter series, which I read aloud to a niece as each came out. This is as good as the Potters, and completely different. Rowling is a writer for the ages, our Graham Greene, maybe. Also, fabulous narrator.
I love everything about "The Cockoo's Calling," even though I'm not interested in celebrity culture. Turns out that I'm very interested in Rowling's version. That's what great fiction can do - take you places you didn't know you wanted to go. .
Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.
Everything works. J.K. Rowling is a master craftswoman. Each plot-part locks tautly with its mates. The whodunnit's plotted tighter than a CD wrap. OKAY, it's cinematic. Uh-huh the characters are tailored to fit Hollywood's best character actors. Or maybe Britain's. But so what? And yeah, Cormoran Strike, a rugged, 6' 3", one-leged war hero turned PI, might be a bit of stretch for most of filmdom's munchkin leading men (Oh I hope that Tom Cruise doesn't buy the rights then surround himself with all the little-people who played Hobbits).
But look, I buy mystery stories for entertainment. Rowling's as entertaining a writer as any who's working in the genre and I cannot wait to get The Silkworm to hear Robert Glenister bring this ensemble back to life.
Thank you Ms. Rowling for bringing your perfect craftswomanship here to the mystery-lover's space.
I might have passed this wonderful story by (like many other's probably) had I not found out who the author was--and so glad I did.
The two main characters, P.I. Strike, and office temp Robin, play off each other beautifully. A winning combination of characters moves this story along so well, I hated to see it end.
Lula, supermodel with an unusual (to say the least) family history, is dead when the book starts. One of her brother's begs Strike to take the case, as the police have all but closed the book on it, assuming it is a suicide. But is it? Did she jump from her apartment building, or was she pushed? P.I. Strike is persistent and clever in figuring it all out.
Rowling is brilliant in her remarkable ability to leave the Potter stories behind, and go forward with a completely different writing style. I look forward to her next surprise.
Avid listener on my daily commute!
Within minutes of beginning this page-turner, I was hooked! Rowling's prose here is flawless (much better than in Harry Potter series), her characters richly drawn and interesting, and the plot riveting. I couldn't wait to discover what would happen next, and the final revelations were NOT what I had suspected and anticipated, so the ending, while believable, was a complete surprise. Grade: A+. Bechdel test: Pass, I think (if Robin's conversation with a shopgirl about clothing counts). I'm beginning the next volume in the series as soon as possible.
When I read The Silkworm, also by Robert Galbraith, I did not realize that the name was a pseudonym for JK Rowling, but I enjoyed it and gave it a favorable review. When I did discover that fact while reading the blurbs for The Cuckoo's Calling, I had to smile. The first and only Harry Potter book I ever read (first story) came across to me as slightly dull, and had I known the actual author of the Robert Galbraith books, I would have skipped them. That would have been my loss, as The Cuckoo's Calling is even better than The Silkworm.
Way to go, JK!
Give me a good mystery and I am happy!
I don't usually like books narrated with English accents, it is usually difficult for me to understand. However this narrator did an excellent job. I loved this book. I hope that there will be sequels. I really want more from Detective Cormoran Strike and Robin. Great entertainment.
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!
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