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The Cuckoo’s Calling

Robert Galbraith

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Sphere

Published : 2013

Copyright : Robert Galbraith 2013

ISBN-10 : HB 1-40870399-8
ISBN-13 : HB 978-1-40870399-1

Publisher's Write-Up

When a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts, and calls in private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into the case.

Strike is a war veteran - wounded both physically and psychologically - and his life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline, but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model's complex world, the darker things get - and the closer he gets to terrible danger...

A gripping, elegant mystery steeped in the atmosphere of London - from the hushed streets of Mayfair to the backstreet pubs of the East End to the bustle of Soho - The Cuckoo's Calling is a remarkable book.

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

'The Cuckoo's Calling reminds me why I fell in love with crime fiction in the first place.'

Val McDermid

'A scintillating debut novel... Galbraith delivers sparkling dialogue and a convincing portrayal of the emptiness of wealth and glamour.'

The Times

'Galbraith demonstrates superb flair as a mystery writer.'

Birmingham Post
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Reader Reviews

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Review by Chrissi (311013) Rating (9/10)

Review by Chrissi
Rating 9/10
This book caused a bit of a to-do when it was revealed to have been written by J.K. Rowling under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. I loved the HP series and part of that was the way that J.K. Rowling writes, but the Casual Vacancy did not appeal to me, so I thought I would give this a go.

On the surface of it, it feels like a very old fashioned detective story, with a Private Investigator with the requisite daft name who is a tortured hero down on his luck. He is almost destitute when a man walks in asking him to investigate the death of a famous woman, an adopted sister who, he believes, did not kill herself by leaping from the balcony of her penthouse. He wants Strike to investigate as he is sure that she was murdered, although everyone who knew her believes that she fell to her death.

Strike begins the investigation, struggling his way around London looking for witnesses, and on the way we see a reflection of our obsession with celebrity, the relationship between photographers and the most-pictured people that we see in newspapers and magazines. We see the hangers on, the people whose talent is not what makes them famous, but their ability to play the fame game. On a less attractive note, there are the people whose foibles make them such an object of fascination, I was struck a couple of times of a similarity to the late Amy Winehouse, and the well-documented self-destruction so vividly illustrated in the press.

It is not the most complicated detective novel, there is little violence, there are no car chases, and it may be a valid observation that we have an Agatha Christie type reveal close to the end of the book, but the joy of the writing is in the humanity of the characters, in the style and the details, not in the grand plot (although that is pretty good too).

I am not going to discuss the role of J.K. Rowling as arbiter of all things suitable for children, or the suggested cynical manipulation of the summer reading market by the revelation of the identity of the author, but would suggest that if you like a quite old fashioned detective story, then give it a go, it is all you can ask for, intriguing, engaging and if you spot the twist, then you are much better than me.
Chrissi (31st October 2013)

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