Review: The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith 4 Stars
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.
What a difference the typeface makes when reading. As I mentioned previously, I had purchased this book in paperback many years ago, but somehow could never finish it. See my previous post HERE
After purchasing it again for my Kindle Fire, I began, with some skepticism on whether I would like the story, to read it from the beginning. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself drawn into the mystery of who killed poor Lula Landry.
It might have been that I attributed the actors’ faces and mannerisms to the reading, but the HBO series only skims the surface of what drives both Cormoran and Robin. Here, I found myself deeply moved by Cormoran’s plight. A wounded vet, his business as a private investigator failing, and his personal life in shreds, I could not help but fall in love with his character, even as described, as a burly, hairy, and somewhat unkempt man. Robin had her own issues with being recently engaged and at a crossroad with her employment. Her assignment by an agency as Cormoran’s temporary secretary, opened up a whole new world to her, one that she found she excelled at.
J.K. Rowling, writing under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith, does not disappoint. Her writing style, reminiscent of her Harry Potter series, draws you in. The only negative to the story is how Cormoran pieces together the evidence of who murdered Lula. I kept reading, waiting for some clue, anything, even if it led me down a wrong direction. The fun of a mystery is to think you know who did it, but be surprised at the end. Cormoran’s thought processes on the case were never written or explained. When he arrives at his conclusion, we are not privy to how he came to arrive there.
Still, I enjoyed getting to know the characters, and the book as a whole. I admit, I will be purchasing the other books in the series, if only to find out whether Cormoran and Robin’s chemistry develops further. You cannot help but root for these characters.