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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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    11,122
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Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Story

Perfect Mystery--Perfect Narration

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.



12 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Ted
  • Lancaster, PA, United States
  • 01-22-15

Perfect!!!! 15 Stars.

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.

15 of 24 people found this review helpful

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  • Mo
  • 01-17-15

captivating Story and a great performance

JKR has done it again. She managed to create a mystery so unpredictable while maintaining a great character developing timeline.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Hope this is the Start of a New Series

I admit that I chose this book out of curiosity to see if J.K. Rowlings could write about muggles, but I recommend the book as a terrific story with wonderful characters and a superior narrator.

I hope that the one-legged detective and his not-so-temp help come back in many more books by Galbraith/Rowlings.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Excellent

I bought this book out of curiosity knowing it was written by JK Rowling and was pleasantly surprised. I enjoyed the story line and the narrator. She has an excellent writing style which was very easy to listen too. There is a little bit of language that some people may find offensive but which seemed to be used appropriately. Overall I absolutely enjoyed listening to this book and hope that it is the first in a series featuring Mr Strike and Robin.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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There's a Red Herring, too.

Audible uses the word 'classic' to describe The Cuckoo's Calling, but 'intentionally and experimentally hackneyed' might be more appropriate. The phrasing, descriptive writing, dialog, characters and story are a modern exploration of the gumshoe cliche. Sometimes it really works; there is an exciting freshness and ease to the images and dialog created anew from the old style that was a joy to listen to. Sometimes it doesn't; the story and it's characters become bogged down by strict adherence to traditional structure resulting in a predictable and dull ending.

The extraordinary talents of narrator Robert Glenister kept me listening, even after this modern twist on an old cliche lost my interest.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Fabulous characters and just plain great writing!

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.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Great Mystery, Amazing Performance

What did you like best about this 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.

Have you listened to any of Robert Glenister’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

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!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

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.

Any additional comments?

Long may JK Rowling and Robert Glenister continue to bring to life the damaged, the great Cormoran Strike.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Masterful!!!

A fascinating crime thriller with a lot of heart between the lines. I loved the characters in this novel. I enjoyed that the two main protagonist found their nitch in life, just as the author has seemingly once again found hers. After that last clunker that she penned, I couldn’t be happier for her success with this novel.

I found this interesting story to believable, current and simplistically straight forward. The story hooked me from the beginning – and right up to the very end I was surprised at the ending. For me it was most refreshing that the author left it as simply. No one needed any big title or badge. It was two people with a good working relationship. No one needed to get hot and heavy or be best friends.

Robert Glenister reading this is just like adding cream.

9 of 15 people found this review helpful

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Harry Potter Brings You Cormoran Strike

This book is very readable, and a credible entry into the crime fiction genre. It is written by J.K. Rowling of Harry Potter fame, under the nom de plume Robert Galbraith.

Plotting is tight and moves well, keeping the reader's interest from start to finish. However, it's the characters that really drive this book.

Cormoran Strike, the sleuth and our hero, is a veteran of Afghanistan, who returned with one leg, the other having been blown off by an IED. His struggles with his prosthesis are devoid of self pity. Indeed, he succeeds despite his injury in large part because he simply refuses to allow it to take over his life. He's the illegitimate son of a famous rock star (I thought of Mick Jagger), who has never met his father. His mother, a famous groupie, had drug and alcohol problems and although she apparently loved Strike, wasn't' much of a mother. Following her death, ruled as a suicide but believed by Strike to have been murder, he leaves Cambridge (who paid for that?) and enlists in the military. He served as a military cop. He could have continues to be one even after the injury, but chose instead to go into business as a private investigator. His motives for this are obscure.

Strike's business is struggling, and he's a step away from insolvency, when Robin Elacott enters his life as a temp he can ill afford.

As Robin begins her week, Strike is hired by the (adoptive) brother of high fashion model Lula Landry to prove that her plunge from her balcony, written off as suicide by the London metropolitan police, was murder, not suicide. They discover that Robin is much more than a secretary, and that they make a good team.

They make good reading too.

The narrator does a good job, although I found some of his pronunciation to be a bit quirky.

Pay attention to this book. Several times there were single sentences that explained quite a bit and added a lot of weight and interest; had I not rewound, I'd have missed them. The truth behind Mr. Gillespie's collection efforts almost shot by me unnoticed! I won't say more because it would definitely be a spoiler!

This is the first of a planned series of seven books. It's a good start. There are three of the seven available at this writing. Having read all three, I'll also post reviews of the other two, Silkworm and Career of Evil. Those reviews will build on this one. Suffice it to say I didn't care for Silkworm because of the gratuitous mutilations that are repeated far too often. Career of Evil, although still gruesome, didn't play on the mutilations as much as Silkworm.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful