Book Review: The Cuckoo's Calling ★★★★
I think I, like most other Harry Potter fans, when I found out that J.K. Rowling had released a book under a pseudonym had a couple of heart palpitations and immediately tried to get my hands on a copy. I wasn't near any shops at the time and the eBook companies hadn't jumped on it yet so instead I reserved it through the library, I got to the list before most others so it didn't take long for my copy to come in and within a few days I was immersed in the world of Cormoran Strike.
The Cuckoo's Calling is a detective story based around the murder of supermodel Lula Landry, her brother refuses to accept the police verdict that her death was a suicide and hires an old family acquaintance Cormoran Strike, a down and out private investigator, to dig a little deeper. Strike is reluctant at first, but with increasing debts and no clients he decides to take a look into the case a bit more, and discovers things were not all sunshine and roses in the limelight for Lula.
Unlike most other Harry Potter fans who have now grown up, I didn't jump on The Casual Vacancy when it came out, it is still sitting on my shelf unread. There were such mixed reviews about it, I decided to give that one some time before I got stuck in. When I found out that not only had Rowling written another book, but that it was a crime novel however, well, I couldn't wait for this one.
I picked up The Cuckoo's Calling and near enough didn't put it down. It was a great mystery, featured a great detective with a lot of character and the potential for more as the series progresses. He was compelling, we didn't know everything about him, he was hard to read into and that is exactly as a great detective should be. They feature the great mind that can solve the mystery, they should be somewhat elusive. The characters all intrigued me, they were, as always with Rowling, a bit of a study of human nature. they all had faults yet you could identify with them. Robin in particular I enjoyed for her reluctant assistance and her compassion for Strike's situation even without fully understanding. She created a lot of humour also and I loved how inventive she was when dealing with situations.
I didn't solve the mystery, it was a clever one, and I was far too busy enjoying the read. The story flowed from point to point without straining to jump forward as some mysteries do, and the conclusion was lead into gently, without all of a sudden appearing without any suggestion. Definitely a well plotted solving of a crime.
I was surprised to laugh while reading this book, after hearing how serious the Casual Vacancy was I had prepared myself for this being completely different to reading Rowling's Potter works, but actually I found myself getting the same warm feeling of happiness while reading this. It is by no means the same of course, I wouldn't want it to be, but I am surprised that no-one pegged this book as Rowling's work before the lawyer let slip.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story, and look forward to the next, I feel I should only give it four stars purely because I don't want to peak too soon, as the next could be even better!
The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith/J.K. Rowling is £12.74 from The Book Depository