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 never read anything else by J.K. Rowling, but I have read a lot of mysteries over many years. This has the potential to be a fantastic series. Strike, the protagonist, has the hard-boiled detective cliches that make him immediately familiar to readers of the genre, but with enough twists to make him new and interesting. His assistant, Robin, is unlike any other sidekick that I am familiar. I hope to watch her character grow in future stories. Both characters are developed nicely during the course of the book, but there is plenty of room for them and their relationship to grow in future novels.
The narrative is penned in the classic mystery style; more of a 'who dunnit' than an action adventure story. There is relatively little direct action, but the reader is kept engaged throughout by well-paced reveals of evidence and information. Both the major and minor characters are sufficiently developed to make them convincing.
The narration was as close to flawless as any I have ever heard. It was so well done as to become nearly unnoticed.
I was given this audio book as a gift for Christmas and I loved it. I appreciated the light touch of the author, the interesting character portrayals, and the fun of a good mystery. I heard that "Robert Galbraith" would be writing a series, and I can't wait for the next installment. Strike and Robin need to go on to another adventure.... please!
The narrator was wonderful. Mr. Glenister is going to be up there with my favorites from now on.
First of all, I DID know that this was written by JK Rowling before reading it. However, the problem I had was that there weren't any characters in the novel worth rooting for. It was also very boring. I took it on my vacation to Florida over the summer and kept falling asleep every time I turned it on. I gave up about 3 hours in when I realized I didn't care what happened.
The British reader and story were very enjoyable to this New England girl. The story got a bit muddled in the middle, but redeemed itself at the end.
Strike and Robin made a great pair, and I hope there will be more books with these characters in them.
I'm a journalist, columnist and slave to a great tale, well told.
I recommended this book to several friends. I didn't expect to love it, but I really couldn't put it down (er, turn it off). Great main characters, colorful portraits of secondary characters, a real mystery until the end. Well-crafted and smartly sewn together.
Say something about yourself!
The story held me captive from the start! This is one of those books where I sit outside in my car while I wait for a chapter to end. I highly recommend this novel to anyone that enjoys a good who done it!
The story gave me lots of hints here and there but I could not figure this one out until the very end. Also, the author did well with the character development.
Excellent!!! He had perfect pace, pause and inflections. A wonderful story teller without over or under acting. Robert WAS Cormoran in this audio book for me!
I don't really care that J.K Rowling wrote this under as nom de plume. I don't really care who wrote it. I am simply glad that I found it as it is a very good book and, I hope, the first of many Cormoran Strike detective stories.
If you happen to be a fan of Michael Connelly's "Bosch" detective books, you will be right at home with this book. I don't mean that J.K. has copied the formula, but just that whatever grabs you about Connelly's books will grab you here, too.
As the book unfolds, you can tell that the main characters are being written for the long haul. Rowling's touch with character development has, if anything, improved from the Harry Potter days and she has written some very flawed but likeable ones here.
The overall story is one that left me saying "I have no idea where this is going" the entire way. Stories that end up with some implausible conclusion that no one could have figured out bother me. Stories like this one, though, that are challenging to figure out but make sense in the end are what you want.
Finally, Robert Glenister is an exceptional reader and I trust that he will be kept around for all of the series--I hope so. Jim Dale MADE the Harry Potter books to me and Robert Glenister seems after this first book to be in that same league.
From all accounts this novel was better than the last by Ms. Rowling, but for me, there was a flaw in the drawing of the murderer, central to his motivation, which kept the story from holding together. In addition, there were many subplots/red herrings/secondary characters that were never fully fleshed out.
The writing is polished, as expected from this author. One hopes this first outing---promising but not perfectly satisfying---in what feels like a series, will be followed by a sequel that is better plotted and has a bit more depth.
Tell us about yourself! Attorney/Rancher - eclectic taste in books in both fiction and non-fiction. Preference for British authors in mysteries, love well written dialogue and hate historical fiction.
A contemporary indictment of the British tabloid mentality in the press and the paparazzi, is the backdrop to a larger theme of self indulgence, extreme and sudden wealth, and a plethora of characters who live in the moment in catering to the insatiable demands of a society which lives vicariously. This is a setting for a death of a famous model, a damaged detective who is greater than the sum of his parts, and his skills in finding the truth, in dogged investigation of the discounted and overlooked.
Much like a skillful deposition, this novel, carefully moves from the basic, "Who are you," and "Where do you live," opening questions of a very good interrogator, into seeming innocuous questions of apparent little import, until the pieces begin to fit together and a true picture of actual events and participants begins to reveal the facts.
The author has proven that the ability to develop a plot which demands the reader continue, and characters who are well drawn, was not limited to one genre, and one is eager to follow their development for good or evil.
If you live or have lived in London, you will like the book. If not, it is hard to remain interested, since the things being describe are all dark and ugly. The story drags.
Not sure, the narrator's accent made the narrative at times hard to understand.
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