The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith


As a book blogger and reviewer, I receive countless requests from authors and publishers to read their latest offerings. These requests flood my inbox with such volume that it is impossible read every book that I'm asked to. My "to be read" pile is already unmanageable! Every once in a while, I pass on a request that I end up regretting. I'm still kicking myself for not jumping at an advanced copy of Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad. Now that I've read The Cuckoo's Calling, I can add it to my list of regrettable passes.

I remember reading the summary and request for the debut novel by Robert Galbraith. I had so many books on my schedule that I couldn't justify adding one more to the list. I didn't thing about The Cuckoo's Calling again until the news broke that Robert Galbraith was actually a pseudonym for the famed author J.K. Rowling. I instantly added the novel to my languishing pile of books to read.

The novel follows two people who are searching for their place in society. Cormoran Strike lost his leg in Afghanistan. In coming to terms with his physical condition and the stress of adjusting to civilian life, he ended up losing the woman he loved as well. Now he lives out of the office where his fledging private investigation business is beginning to look like another failure in his life.

Robin is searching for a career. With her impending marriage, she is close to building a perfect life. While she continues the job hunt, Robin takes on various duties from a local temp agency. She is beginning her first day as a secretary for private investigator Cormoran Strike when John Bristow enters the office. Bristow's sister was the famous model Lula Landry who tragically died in what has been ruled a suicide. Bristow suspects foul play and wants to hire Strike to investigate. Desperate for any way to keep his struggling business afloat, Strike agrees to investigate the mysterious details surrounding the superstar's death.

The Cuckoo's Calling is a refreshingly straightforward murder mystery. Rowling allows the details of the characters and the investigation unfold at a natural pace without relying on any narrative tricks for suspense. Instead, the thrill of reading the novel lies in the way the protagonists battle their personal demons while dealing with the family drama that surrounds Landry's death. True to form,  Rowling fills the novel with the kind of detailed descriptions and tangents that readers either appreciate or loath. I feel like these details ultimately add to the overall story, even if the pace of the action is occasionally sacrificed. The Cuckoo's Calling is a fantastic mystery that kept me guessing until the very end. With this novel, Rowling proves her flexibility as an author and provides a start to what promises to be a great detective series.


For more information, visit the author's website, Amazon, and Goodreads

(2017, 7)


This entry was posted on Monday, February 20, 2017 and is filed under ,,,,,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

6 Responses to “The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith”

  1. I haven't yet picked up anything by Robert Galbraith. I don't know why, because I enjoyed her non HP book a lot. I should put this on my list :)

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  2. I have considered reading some of her books under this name, but have decided not to go for it yet. Maybe they are something for my future. It sounds like there were a couple of pacing issues, but for the main part it was enjoyable.

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    1. I think you'll only find the descriptive moments to be "pacing issues" if you find they don't add to the story. For me, they absolutely added to the depth of the characters and mystery, so I didn't find that they caused any lag in story.

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  3. Here is yet another book I need to read. Like now, tonight! My mom read this book and just loved it. I enjoy a good mystery. I've been reading a lot of fantasy and YA lately and want to get more into a different genre. I think my goal for 2017 will be to finish this YA series I'm reading and then the rest of the year can be dedicated to mysteries!

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    1. There's lots of reading in your future! As I've matured, I try to vary the genre of books from one to the next.

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