Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Review: The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith
AKA I've read J.K. Rowling's crime novel!

Money, mysteries, fame, drama, dysfunctional families and jealousy are keywords for J.K. Rowling's latest novel - a crime novel titled The Cuckoo's Calling. I finished the story yesterday and even though this is not YA I wanted to share my review with you guys.

Three different book covers for The Cuckoo's Calling, all targeting a different audience. Which one appeals the most to you?

With the Harry Potter series Rowling delighted millions of readers all over the world and with her first adult novel,The Casual Vacancy, Rowling's writing reaching a whole new group of readers. Earlier in July "the bomb" dropped, Rowling had written a crime novel and hidden behind the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith. I threw everything else aside and jumped over to Amazon clicked the novel and voila it was in Norway and on my Kindle in no time. An excellent argument pro e-books by the way!

Times are hard for private detective and ex-military Cormoran Strike. He just left his fiancee, he is sleeping in his office and on top of it all he is penniless. The creditors is pounding at his door and Strike is in dire need of a case that can solve his financial problems. As if heaven sent John Bristow shows up at Strike's office. Bristow claims that his sister, the supermodel Lula Laundry, was killed. The police filed the case as suicide  something Bristow refuses to accept and he insist that Strike has to investigate the death of Lula. 

It looks to be an open-and-shut case, but Strike's got his professional pride and he works is way through every single detail of the case. With excellent help from Robin, Strike's clever and resourceful secretary, he discovers that the police neglected to follow up on a lead that might just be crucial to the cause of death in the case of Lula Laundry.


A highly entertaining read, but Rowling haven't revolutionized the genre

Before I start my constructive criticism I have to point out that I very much enjoyed reading The Cuckoo's Calling. I want to give Robert Galbrait or J.K. Rowling excellent marks for delivering an almost unputdownable story, but I was hoping Rowling had gone for a little more creativity and originality when writing a crime novel.

For good part of the story I was suspicious towards, almost, every single character connected to the case. Still when the solution came it didn't wow me, I wasn't surprise, I was more like yeah it just had to be like that. And the killer had to be the luckiest person to walk on this earth to pull off something like that, and to fly under the radar for so long without being found out.


The characters

Strike as a character is reminiscent of what I am considering a typical Nordic, fictional mind you, detective. He is brooding, keeping people at a distance, he has a handicap and trouble with the ladies. However some of these traits are not a part of who Strike really is, I know he is between a rock and a hard place right now so his spirit will hopefully lift a bit in the next Cormoran Strike novel. I wouldn't want to see Strike ending up as a grumpy middle aged man, anyway he his way to young for that with his 35 years. 
Robing, the secretary  is a lovable and clever character and she has a really good nose for detective work. The duo is complementing each other very nicely, and I have to say that I've fallen for this odd "couple". You know that the detective just HAVE to have a nice sidekick in a whodunnit novel, it says so in the rule book(I know sometimes I want the author to follow the rules and other times I want her to break, or at least, bend them. I guess I can't have it all). 

The characters involved with the murder investigation was at times a bit to one dimensional for me, I wish they were a bit better built. Some where but not all of them.

A hint from the authoress?

A comment made to the main character, Cormoran, captured my attention:

'You ought to give up detecting and try fantasy writing, Strike.'
If the media hadn't revealed the author due to an anonymous tip might  this have been an itty bitty clue? Or at least J.K. Rowling having a bit of fun herself. I at least found it a bit witty when I knew who the real author was.

I'll have an other one, please!

I am smelling, and hoping for, a series with Cormoran Strike and Robin and all I can say is yes, pretty please. There are several hints throughout the book, hints to Strike's colorful past and a few on Robin's past as well, there is so much more that I want to know about him. Honestly... Cormoran makes me go a bit weak in the knees and that is a good sign.
And that is why I was thrilled when I found out that a new book about this private detective is due to release in 2014.
So final words - an addictive and entertaining read, but I do not think this story is deserving of a five star rating. Perhaps the next installment? 

What do you think? Will you be picking up The Cuckoo's Calling?


  1. Great review:) I do not think I'm going to read it. By all means the author is very good ( I love Harry Potter), but I do not like this genre :)

    1. Thanks, Elin! I think perhaps that one could like a genre novel if one likes the authors writing :)

  2. The last one looks a bit chick-lit

    1. Right? Nothing says murder case on that cover at all, we have "girl in a dress" on every other YA cover the trend does not need to rub off on crime novels.

  3. This story is so good it will keep you up nights as you won't want to put it down. A real page-turner. Perhaps she will write again about this great modern complex detective and his smart assistant, both of whom claimed my heart.
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Thank you for sharing your thoughts =)