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 have to be honest, I didn't buy this until I heard it was really written by JK Rowling. I read A Casual Vacancy and didn't care for it. It's hard to live up to the monumental body of work that is the Harry Potter series, and frankly, that's enough to secure her place in literary history. But with this book, Robert (aka Jo) is back. Great story. Great narration. Can't wait for more.
I got this book because of the large number of positive reviews - and because it's J.K. Rowling writing in dude drag - but I came away feeling a little let down. The writing style is great, the narration is great and the characters are great. But the story is ... not really great. I just didn't find it to be very exciting.
What Rowling - I mean, Robert Galbraith - does well is present the mystery to the reader like a puzzle to solve. There are clues scattered everywhere like puzzle pieces, and as the detective works through the story, he fits each puzzle piece into place one by one until the whole picture is finally revealed.
Unfortunately, the story was about as exciting to me as watching somebody work on a puzzle.
Here's the problem I had: The main character is never in any real danger until the very, very end of the book. There's no suspense, nothing that brings you to the edge of your seat and keeps you there. I noticed early on that the detective was not personally invested in the mystery, and as the story played out the lack of danger just got more and more glaring to me.
There is nothing at stake for the detective - no race against the clock, no looming threat of violence from the as-yet-unseen killer. Most of the story breaks down to either logistics or dialogue. The detective is either traveling someplace or he's talking to someone. That's virtually the entire book - just walking and talking. With too-few exceptions, most of The Cuckoo's Calling is the detective character asking the other characters questions.
Sure, there is plenty of nuance in the dialogue from a parade of varied and well-voiced characters. And the murder plot includes some interesting elements and clues to be uncovered.
But as a reader, I struggled to stay invested in the story because of the complete lack of danger, suspense, and so on. There is a mystery to solve, to be sure, but I just didn't think it was very exciting to watch the detective solve it.
To put it another way, if you like straight-up mysteries, then this book is probably right up your alley. But if you like your mystery served up with a side of suspense and thrills, keep on walkin'.
Cuckoo's Calling is a wonderful listen, read exquisitly by Robert Glenister and written with a craftsman's sense of character and story development.
I can hardly wait for the second and more of the series.
Endless dialogue,unpleasant unlikable characters.Thin plot and by the end I found myself fast-forwarding to get to an end that I really didn't care about
Not the most unpredictable book, but still keeps you guessing. It leads you into London and the lives of the rich and famous through the eyes of the detective. It will keep you entertained.
If you like fast paced books, this one is NOT for you. Rowling really takes her time in developing her characters but she does such an excellent job of it that by the end of the book you feel you know them very well. She has developed the characters so thoroughly that a sequel is inevitable. The book moves along with just a little bit of information conveyed in each chapter to help you solve the crime, but it's not till the last chapter that it all comes together.
Well narrated and interesting book.
Can't put down
this is the first and hopefully many more to come
I read it twice. The reader is great, which makes it all the more fascinating - I love mysteries but this introduces a very special detective when's the film?
Yes. I liked the characters and the plot.
The whole book was good.
Neither. Just right.
Just that I wish it were an on going series.
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
Mr. Glenister is the perfect reader for this book. If this becomes a series, which it has all the makings of becoming, I hope the reader remains the same. It's a home run combination. The perfect description of and attention to minor details is exquisite. The character development is perfectly paced. The sense of humor just wry enough to real, In short, there was nothing I didn't love about the writing, the reading and the story.
Yes.... each well crafted sentence carried the real possibility of adding another clue or nuance to the mystery.
Cormoran Strike....masterful. I hope we see more of him. Robin, of course, also remains ripe as a character for development in future stories. Lots of potetial here for more.
Not really but there were many many well turned phrases and passages that were just so rich and delicious....I wanted more.
Keep it up. Can't wait for the next one!
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