The Cuckoo’s Calling by J.K. Rowling writing as Robert Galbraith
This intriguing murder mystery was recently revealed to have been written by one of the bestselling authors of all time, J. K. Rowling. Her work on Harry Potter inspired wonderment, and her recent Casual Vacancy gave readers an idea of how versatile her writing could be, but The Cuckoo’s Calling by J.K. Rowling is another animal altogether. This suspenseful […]
This intriguing murder mystery was recently revealed to have been written by one of the bestselling authors of all time, J. K. Rowling. Her work on Harry Potter inspired wonderment, and her recent Casual Vacancy gave readers an idea of how versatile her writing could be, but The Cuckoo’s Calling by J.K. Rowling is another animal altogether. This suspenseful mystery has a quick pace, flashy characters, and a lot of those fun details that Rowling was known to use in Harry Potter.
Lula Landry is a gorgeous supermodel who was recently plastered all over billboards and magazines in an ad for accessories wearing nothing but some angel wings and some strategically placed handbags. This superstar was the talk of the town as she partied with other supermodels, was serenaded by famous rap musicians through his songs, and was off again on again with a swoon-worthy actor boyfriend. The girl had it all until she took a swan dive through the window of her high-rise flat. The police looked into a few leads, but closed the case a suicide since Landry had a history of depression and there was no sign of foul play. However, some that were very close to her are shocked at the idea and won’t accept the police’s conclusion. Lula’s brother in particular can’t believe that she would take her own life and decides to hire a private detective, our narrator, Cormoran Strike.
With purposeful and patient steps, the hulking detective walks the reader through each interaction and interview with care and intelligence. Strike has a way of being either forceful or silent, this detective is very effective at getting the answers and putting them to good use. The mystery is very well-written, giving the reader all the clues down to the last detail, giving them the opportunity to solve the crime right along with Strike.
Some Colorful Characters
As is expected with a hard-boiled detective novel, the dossier of potential suspects includes a colorful list of personalities that are brightly illustrated for the reader in detail. Prepare to meet some truly eccentric people with a bunch of contradictory testimonies. Our detective, Cormoran Strike is a large man, both wide and tall, which gives him quite the advantage against some of the more unsavory characters, but he’s got the handicap of his war injury, a prosthetic leg replacing the part he’d lost in Afghanistan. Though he’s mostly irritated by it, Strike’s biological father is some famous rockstar who had temporarily hooked up with one of his supergroupies and it seems to be common knowledge to most people he meets. Having just broken up with his long-time girlfriend, Strike is sleeping on a cot in his office, brooding through the pain. Robin, his new temporary secretary sent by an agency, turns out to be clever, tactful, and turns out to be a great amateur detective who helps with the crime-solving.
The Fun Factor and J. K. Rowling
This book is suspenseful, compelling, and entertaining. Rowling has clearly written this one for her own enjoyment as well as the readers, indulging in scenes with a lot of dialogue, some comedy, and some situations that are just downright satisfying to read. This reviewer suspects that the she wrote this under a pseudonym because the book doesn’t take itself overly seriously. Readers can rest assured that they can read it for fun and know that the ending doesn’t leave you hanging.
This book was written for adults because it employs some very adult language and themes along with some complexities that just can’t be appreciated or understood by children. I would recommend this book to anyone over 17, but a mature 9th grader who is familiar with popular mysteries would be able to handle this one as well.
Those who enjoy a good whodunnit will enjoy this one immensely. It follows a basic pattern, but executes it with style, grace, and a beautiful vocabulary, employing a whole lot of words that might require a dictionary. Fans of J. K. Rowling will notice the familiar way she characterizes the people in her books, with striking qualities and quirky behaviors. The fun, little details are also recognizable from her earlier books, employing some fashion knowledge and even a little bit of rhyming rap music from the fictional Deeby Macc.