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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
  • 5 Stars
    10,973
  • 4 Stars
    6,586
  • 3 Stars
    2,015
  • 2 Stars
    449
  • 1 Stars
    293

Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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    12,689
  • 4 Stars
    4,388
  • 3 Stars
    1,042
  • 2 Stars
    211
  • 1 Stars
    149

Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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    9,656
  • 4 Stars
    5,964
  • 3 Stars
    2,105
  • 2 Stars
    475
  • 1 Stars
    287
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  • Overall
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  • Story

Good Story - Too Many F-words

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

There were too many F-words. Less vulgarity would have made this a lot better.

Has The Cuckoo's Calling turned you off from other books in this genre?

no.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

yes.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

disappointment in the use of so many, un needed F-words.

Any additional comments?

The story is great, the characters and plot are fantastic but seriously - the amount of F-words is ridiculous. Most weren't necessary and didn't impact the story or dialogue in a way that if they were gone the same emotions wouldn't have been felt.<br/><br/>Only read/listen if you are okay with hearing the F-word 300+ times.

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Excellent

Any additional comments?

The book took me by surprised because I don't normally read a mystery thriller kind of book, but I took a chance on this one. I'm glad I did. <br/>Robert Glenister was an excellent choice to read this novel and the author - yes, I know who wrote it, really blew me away with the writing style. Very different from her YA books-- but that aside, I know I would have enjoyed this book even if I had not known who it was. I was drawn to checking it out because I knew she penned them, but I didn't love it BECAUSE it was her, if that makes sense. <br/>Anyway-- take a chance with this. It was great. I loved it.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Wait, what?

I'm one of the rare, handful of people who have never read Harry Potter, seen any of the movies, or even gone on the ride at Universal despite it being a couple of hours away. I just never got around to jumping on the train and now it seems too late for that bandwagon. This may have helped me enjoy The Cuckoo's Calling because I lacked any specific expectations of the author or content. If you consider this book, take that in mind.

The plot was slow to develop. The clues were too many and hard to decipher if they were clues at all. It all felt like a dumping of random facts at the reader. Some details in the end didn't quite fit either. However, it does pick up and all the characters can keep your interest. It feels like an old-timey detective novel, where the main character holds on to all the information, in his/her brilliant mind for observation, and then blasts you with all the incredible solutions in a grand scale at the end. It can leave you saying "Wait...what?!" It's a nice break from mystery books crowded with car chases, explosions, and mayhem.

The nice touch is that the narrator's voice and tone match the description of the main character.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Anxious for the next book "Silkworm"

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Since I knew JK Rowling wrote this under the name of Robert Galbraith I made an effort to read this. She has a unique talent for putting the reader in the story mentally. She creates such good visuals. Story was a bit slower, but made for a perfectly relaxing read/listen. I'm looking forward to #2 - Silkworm. I thought the British narrator was good also. I recommend anything she writes!

Who was your favorite character and why?

They all were important and the writing made them each unique. I thought Robin, the secretary, is the strongest support character. As Cormoran Striker, the lead character, develops I hope to see more 'in control of himself' develop - he's big, strong, smart, but still regrouping after Afghanistan. I envision Robin helping do that in the next book.

What about Robert Glenister’s performance did you like?

I thought he did a great job transitioning from character to character without having it interjected "he said" "she said", which I find very annoying. A good narrator doesn't need to do that, and this narrator didn't. I'll look for other readings he has done.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not really, but that didn't diminish how much I liked it.

Any additional comments?

I also like it didn't have much graphic gore detailed.

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  • Story

Innocent Death

Would you listen to The Cuckoo's Calling again? Why?

This story would be a definite listen again, or read again. the characters are human, with flaws and their weaknesses bring it to life. As you are drawn into the story, you relate to the characters, you are drawn into the mystery and can't help but become a part of the moment.

What did you like best about this story?

The flawed characters drew me in, The story kept me present with it, and the mystery made me consider the possibilities.

Which character – as performed by Robert Glenister – was your favorite?

Cormoran Strike is human flawed, but decent. He is scarred by life, he is struggling, but does not let those around him down. Cormoran is rebuilding himself and you are drawn in to his character, his strengths, his many weaknesses and his process through his journey, that pulling force that draws him forward in solving this case.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Deaths calling for Justice

Any additional comments?

It was great to be a gumshoe and follow Cormoran, You are drawn to believe in him.

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  • Story

I'm Cuckoo about The Cuckoo's Calling

What made the experience of listening to The Cuckoo's Calling the most enjoyable?

The story and the narrator.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Comoran Strike. He's a mess like me.

Which scene was your favorite?

There are too many.

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

Not one in particular. Comoran is an enduring character.

Any additional comments?

I hope Robert Glenister is the narrator for the 2nd installment.

  • Overall
  • Performance
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Protagonist more complicated than I expected

Where does The Cuckoo's Calling rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Top 5% (p.s. pretend you don't know it is J.K. Rowling)

Who was your favorite character and why?

Strike - he was very much less than perfect; so many flaws & he knew them, but just did it anyway.

Which character – as performed by Robert Glenister – was your favorite?

Strike- Glenister embodies Strike. I saw him hobble, be angry with his body.

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

With all his flaws he wanted to be sure his new protege knew he would keep his relationship with her professional. That he appreciated Robin for her mind and willingness to be his student.

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Loved this story

I would love to say I had found this prior to the press outing Galbraith as Rowling'd pen name, but I found it like everyone else did. It's a great detective story and I look forward to more.

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I'm ready for the sequel!

The Cuckoo's Calling possesses all the traits I would expect from a work by J.K. Rowling: mediocre prose eclipsed by expert storytelling; complex characters who are immediately and consistently compelling; an intricate plot with generous background and multiple surprises; and pointed, incisive critiques of the shallowness and hypocrisy of our contemporary culture, balanced by the heroism of characters who have in one way or another fallen through that culture's cracks.

Once again, her protagonist is an underdog. Cormoran Strike has lost a leg and a livelihood in Afghanistan and a fiancée and home in London. He's living in his shabby office, not quite one step ahead of his creditors, when the brother of a now-deceased childhood friend engages his services as a private investigator. The mystery he is to tackle, however, has already been explored by the authorities, press, and public with a fine-toothed comb. Could it be possible that the highly publicized death of Lulu Landry, the celebrated supermodel and sister of Strike's client, wasn't a suicide after all?

Rowling's skill at planting clues and misdirections works in the reader's favor here. The unraveling of the mystery itself is highly entertaining and absorbing. Rowling's experiences with public fame and private family strife inform her insights and descriptions. The greatest achievement of this novel, though, is the creation of the noir-flavored hero Strike and his "temporary" secretary Robin, who are well worth following into their next adventure.

This is the second audiobook I've heard that featured Robert Glenister as narrator. I'll definitely be seeking out more. He has a gift for accents, and he injects the perfect amount of feeling into his reading to captivate the reader without upstaging the prose. Magnificent! Well done indeed.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Patricia
  • CHERRY HILL, NJ, United States
  • 03-29-14

Don't let the title mislead you

Where does The Cuckoo's Calling rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I almost didn't buy this book because of the title, but I actually loved it and hated for it to end. Cormoran is a good character and I hope that the author writes another and starts a series.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Cormoran Strike is very lovable but also highly intelligent. He reflects a typical guy down on his luck but with a heart of gold.

Which character – as performed by Robert Glenister – was your favorite?

Cormoran Strike

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Look out below!