Let’s start with an obvious joke. I hope Robert Galbraith puts out a whole lot more books because he is really great at it.
Okay, that is out of my system now, mostly, and we can now get down the serious business of murder.
For those Muggles who are incredibly out of the loop, The Cuckoo’s Calling is a very thick murder mystery book that just came out a few months back. It was labeled as authored by newcomer Robert Galbraith and was receiving rave reviews. But due to a colossal blunder, it was revealed it have actually been written by Harry Potter writer J.K. Rowling. Cue media frenzy.
Which is where I come in, having quickly acquired The Cuckoo’s Calling by J.K. Rowling, and having recently completed it, I can now proclaim my love for this book.
The Cuckoo’s Calling stars Cormoran Strike, a very down in the dumps private eye who on a particular day gets a new temp receptionist, the young, intelligence, and newly engaged Robin Ellacott. That same day, another guest arrives, an actual paying customer, named John Bristow.
He wants Strike to re-investigate the death of Bristow’s famous celebrity sister, world renowned fashion model Lulu Landry, who three months earlier had taken a plunge off of a balcony on a cold winters night. The police have ruled it suicide. Bristow is convinced it is not.
And so begins an epic journey of Strike, ably assisted by the clever Robin, of tracking down the details of not only Lulu’s death and final days, but also so many parts of the rest of her life. From the interviews with Lulu’s driver and building security guard to tracking down her homeless friend to meeting her modeling colleagues, a portrait is gradually filled in by Strike of who Lulu was.
And that concept of her shows a young lady with various problems, thrust into instant fame, and living in the shadow of constant hounding by the gossip rags. Everyone Strike talks to gives a slightly different version of you they consider Lulu to be, and also offers their opinions on all her friends as well. Truths, half-truths, rumours, and innuendos are spread out to Strike, by some trying to dazzle him, others to confuse the investigation. As the tons of information slams in, Strike and you the reader, must filter all through the debris of Lulu’s life in order to find out if she really was murdered.
Along the way of this probe we also get a very indepth look at her avenging angel himself, Cormoran Strike. J.K. pulls together a complex character, one with a tumultuous past, lots of emotional baggage, and a very messy love life. And to make Strike’s present day abit more complicated, he is trying to navigate professional waters with Robin. This delicate balance can definitely be explored more in future volumes, which J.K. has promised.
Be forewarned, this is a mature read because of language and subject matter, and has a rather large cast to keep track of. But for J.K. fans that later part should not be a problem, since we are used to a big canvas.
I completely enjoyed The Cuckoo’s Calling and was constantly guessing as to if and who the murderer was. Some predictions were proved correct, others were not. How would you fare with The Cuckoo’s Calling?
…is currently reading The Death And Life Of Superman by Roger Stern.