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The Cuckoo's Calling

Narrated by: Robert Glenister
Series: Cormoran Strike , Book 1
Length: 15 hrs and 54 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (28,276 ratings)

Regular price: $29.65

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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

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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tracey
  • Danville, AR, United States
  • 05-26-13

Unbelievable debut mystery set in London

The protagonist, Cormoran Strike, is an ex-military policeman who lost a leg during service and is now trying to make ends meet as a PI in London. His "girl Friday", a temporary secretary named Robin whom he can't afford (but can't seem to turn away) arrives on a day his life's ebb hits a low point. I loved the rapport between these 2 characters.

I can't overstate how much I enjoyed this novel. One would never know by the lyrical writing, the twisty plot line and well-developed characters that this is a debut for Robert Galbraith.

My only disappoint is that the book ended and I didn't have anything else by Galbraith to read! I anxiously await his next book, which I hope continues Strikes' story.

Robert Glenister's narration is perfect!

370 of 397 people found this review helpful

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took a chance--found a winner

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

I never review--but I found this book by Robert Galbraith and found it terrific in every way. If you want excellent characters, a sharp, believable mystery, perfect pacing--go for it. After finishing it I immediately went to see what else Galbraith had written. This is his first, and Glenister did the perfect job. I am gushing. Sorry. But I loved the book. Title doesn't do it justice. I hope Galbraith is busy with his next.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Always interesting, always well paced--just good.

237 of 260 people found this review helpful

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A Great Book Robert Galbraith, or is it JK Rowling

So I have never noticed this book before I found out that it was written by JK Rowling. But still I have never read her work before, but when i read the summary of the book, and understood that it is not a young reader book, i went for it. I was AMAZED!!!!

This book is a mystery book based in London, and the case which is being investigated is very interesting. I was listening to the book non stop until i finished it, such a great story and so many twists through the whole book. And when I reached the ending I was shocked of the answer and couldn't believe it. Such a good ending for a great book. The characters are well developed and you can feel that each one has their own story and life which they are going through. Every time i thought the book came to its ending I find that still couple of hours left. Nothing better than a book which you are not looking forward to reach its ending from its quality.

Lets talk about the narration here, the narrator Robert Glenister did a fantastic job with this book. His narration gave life to the characters and made it simple to know which character you are listening to., such a good job with the narration.

Looking forward for the next book, don't be late

174 of 195 people found this review helpful

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Download JKR's newest “with renewed optimism”!!

If you tried Casual Vacancy and that makes you reluctant to try JKR’s newest adult offering, this one line from the story should make you change your mind! Unlike the depressing, vacant, jaded pacifism so common throughout CV, The Cuckoo’s Calling is filled with vibrant and engaging characters, exciting story lines and yes, OPTIMISM!
The central character is Cormoran Strike- Private Investigator, Afghan war veteran, lower leg amputee who had a peripatetic (my new favorite word!) childhood and a love life that screams trouble. He has an appealing new sidekick named Robin: a short term temp who lucks into a gig that fulfills her childhood dream of solving crimes and making a difference. While the plot is intriguing, the best part about the book is the characters. They are rich, detailed and fascinating! You'll want to get to know Cormoran! You would even agree to be in Robin's upcoming wedding- even though being a bridesmaid- especially in one ups-man-land London- would be a nightmare!
The criminal story line starts out dramatic and quick- engrossing you completely from the first chapter. It quickly evolves into a complicated Gordian knot of twists, lies and secrets.
This novel feels very British, but not so London-y like Aaronovitch's Rivers of London series. It is nice to read a book that covers aspects of the glam life without being enamored of it.
In many ways this series feels to me like a British Jack Reacher. Not as violent! As Rowling makes a point of mentioning even the police don't carry guns and that Corm had to give his guns back when he stopped being a soldier. I do hope she writes as many books for Strike as their have been for Reacher. I want to know so much more about his past and future!!

107 of 122 people found this review helpful

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An engaging page turner.

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

I probably wouldn't have purchased this book if its writer weren't famous. But I'm glad I did. The plot kept me engaged throughout. I did recommend the audio to a friend and bought a hard copy for another friend.

What does Robert Glenister bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I thought the reader was rhythmically perfect for the book. This is a mystery, not a thriller, and Glenister set the scene very well.

24 of 27 people found this review helpful

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  • connie
  • Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • 07-16-13

Please be a series!

I admit that I bumped up this in my listening cue only after the author was revealed, but I'm glad I did. What Rowling did with the traditional Brit novel of manners in Casual Vacancy, she now does for the traditional Brit detective formula, but with a detective in almost stereotyped US classic noir circumstance (although a leg wound from Afghanistan is a nice nod to the Brit tradition and situation). There is a sort-of-dark male lead character with hints of a mysterious past who has a prickly relationship with a new, younger perkier female sidekick. Rowling enlivens both the formula characters and genre conventions. The dialogue is good - livelier than most UK crime fiction but not "screenplay" like some North American.

The world of celebrity doesn't interest me but the fictional world of London crime, created by generations of crime authors, does. This is not a masterpiece but highly enjoyable, and isn't "enjoyable" the gift that Rowling brings to adult fiction?

If you enjoyed Casual Vacancy and traditional Brit detectives, you'll love this. Like most Brit detectives, this is PG listening -- but I'd still not give it to the kids -- content is similar in tone to Casual Vacancy. I felt cheated that I did not have Harry Potter when growing up, so perhaps Rowling will now create a detective series for my generation.

120 of 142 people found this review helpful

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Rowling makes it look easy! What a GREAT writer!

I must admit when I read the summary of this book I was like "ehhh, I guess I'll give it a try". I was pulled in almost immediately and never wanted to put it down until the end. I was completely impressed. This story was gripping and the characters rich and intriguing. I LOVED this book and it is one of my favorites of the year. By the way, not to ignore the performance - the reader was excellent. I had never heard one of his performances before but I will look for him again. The subtle differences in English accents were excellently performed so that each character was vivid and believable. The pacing was nice too.

74 of 88 people found this review helpful

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Not worth the credit or price

This book was a standard detective novel, and not a very good one at that. Plot was basic and predictable. Characters were dull and obvious. Narrator was good though. The book was filled with foul language and a ton of "F" bombs. I would avoid this book.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

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Worthy of multiple listens!

I have been fortunate to discover many top rated mystery/ thrillers on Audible. This one ranks up there with the best of them. It's well written, well read, and a really smart mystery.

However, it's the two main characters that make this book so special for me. Cormeran Strike, a broke detective, former war hero with one leg is smart, brooding, humorous and resourceful. But aren't there a lot of peculiar and great detective characters out there already? Of course, but what sets him apart is the synergy between he and his temporary secretary Robin. She's efficient, sensitive, and equally resourceful. Her curiosity and eagerness to learn detective work stands in the way of a more lucrative career, not to mention her relationship with her fiancé.

Virtually every modern author and critic has hailed the Harry Potter series the best work of fiction since Lord of the Rings. All I can say about this effort by JK Rowland is, "there she goes again!"

53 of 65 people found this review helpful

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A stunner...even the second time around!

With the release of the fourth entry in the Strike series upon us, and a desire by a friend to read it together...I asked for permission to get caught up with the series and reintroduce myself to Cormoran, Robin, Wardel and the lot. Upon reading this book for a second time - and starting off on "The Silkworm" soon after - I appreciate that these books can serve as stand alones, but also make an effort to connect to the previous in the serious for those new to the series.

As I worked through it a second time, with a faint notion of who I remembered to be Lula Landry's killer, it afforded me the opportunity to truly listen and engage in the story and see the connecting dots that led to the resolution. For the majority of the book, even though it was my second time, it kept my attention - when really, it's just a standard, typical private investigator novel. But Strike, Robin, and all the suspects are unique characters who are written in a way to pull you into the story. The only drawback was some of the narration was a bit annoying - everyone who wasn't Strike seemed to have a cockney accent!

The story is immersive - and you're immediately drawn into the central mystery Strike is investigating. Did Lula Landry kill herself...or was it murder?! Each suspect, witness, or periphery character adds more to the central mystery or to the background of Strike, an amputee war veteran who is a bit down on his luck in life, work and love. We meet him first as he's welcoming his temp, Robin Ellicott to his office. Their relationship is unique...albeit a bit cliche - but never bordering on a will they or won't they - but more a mature relationship between trainer and protege. I remember as I read this the first time hoping that Galbraith (JK Rowling...duh) didn't go down the tried, true and TIRED route of having them sleep together. It would mess up the unique chemistry between the two. With Robin in the picture, we see more of Strike's soft side, which makes him a multi-dimensional, nuanced character.

JK Rowling is known for creating a colorful wizarding world, but she paints as a colorful world in London with her diverse, unique characters. They are well written, and as we've come to expect, Rowling is very descriptive, although never being overbearing. It's an intense novel, but written with her light touch. She makes a dialogue and exposition heavy book exciting because the characters jump off the page.

After her first attempt at a non-Harry Potter book, "A Casual Vacancy", I think some people questioned her ability to write an adult novel that takes place in the real world. With this one, she sets the stage for a strong and successful series with compelling leads and the potential to entertain and engage readers for years to come as Robert Galbraith.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful