The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

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.
Introducing Cormoran Strike, this is the acclaimed first crime novel by J.K. Rowling, writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

This is not your average crime/detective novel.

My usual encounters with that genre is the very acclaimed Scandinavian crime novels and the more British stuff like Midsomer Murders (TV) as well as the very American style (also TV) like CSI / Special Victim Unit / etc. I cannot compare The Cuckoo's Calling to any of those.

Many say it's too long winded and take ages to get going. And it is and it does. But this book I discovered, isn't really about the crime committed. This is about the characters, and most of all it's about Cormoran Strike (which, by the way, is really the stupidest name ever). Like her previous non-Harry Potter novel, The Casual Vacancy, this book is very much about psychology and sociology and I freaking love it. I did also enjoy the detective work, but found it a tad hard to follow. It annoys me a bit when you're not given enough pieces of the puzzle to figure out at all what went down.

All in all though I really enjoyed the book and remain Rowling's dedicated reader. She's brilliant. The writing is as great as always and I love how well she writes people. Every single character matters, every single character has depth of some sort. Like I said, the crime plot isn't the most important part of this book, it's just what happens to be the red thread in the depiction of these people.

I also can't wait to read the second book in the series, The Silkworm, that's only just been published, here in June 2014.

The Cuckoo's Calling
Cormoran Strike #1
by Robert Galbraith
[ Pseudonym = J.K. Rowling ]
ISBN13: 9781408703991
449 pages / published in 2013

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014


  1. I can imagine that Rowling excels at writing characters over anything else. She has a great way of bringing them to life no matter how small a part they play. I haven't had much experience reading crime novels but if ever I were to pick one it would be one of hers. Also agree with you about the name of the protag in this one!

  2. I am glad that you liked this one! I thought it was okay, the writing and character development is there and a lot better than The Casual Vacancy I think. I liked the mysteriousness of it all as well.


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