the-cuckoos-calling-coverTitle: The Cuckoo’s Calling (Cormoran Strike #1)
Author: Robert Galbraith
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Release Date: April 18th 2013
Pages: 455
Genre(s): Mystery
Purchase: The Book Depository | Amazon

❝ 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.❞

It must be noted that this review was written solely about the plot, characters and writing of this book, regardless of the fact that this was written by the one and only J.K. Rowling. Yes, I might have bought the book because  it was written by Rowling (I plead guilty!) but my opinion has not become biased because of it.

I have read my fair share of crime novels, which has made my somewhat picky in which ones I like. Fact is that many authors in the genre tend to get one or two things right, but never the complete package. Some books have brilliant plots, but the characters are boring or cliche. Others have all of those things, but the writing is mediocre. There are very few authors who can pull it off to get the whole thing right. To my surprise, Robert Galbraith/J.K. Rowling is one of them.

Everything in this novel just came together perfectly. The plot contains a big mystery that kept me occupied from beginning to end. It was so well executed that I could not really figure out until the big reveal whether it concerned murder or suicide, and if so, who did it. For me, that  was what made me keep turning the pages and not put the book down. This book contains an amazing plot twist that I’m sure most of you will love, because you do not really suspect for it to happen.

In addition I thought the characters were interesting and funny. They weren’t really special or original, but  serve a good purpose to the plot and sometimes give you a break from the mystery, with their back stories and details from their lives.

This is a simple matter of taste, but I liked the descriptions in the book (especially the ones about London). For me they added something to the mood of the book. I appreciate stylistic devices and a more complex use of language. But don’t worry: If you’re not a big fan of descriptions this could still be the book for you!

One thing I must add is that the book was slightly too long for my taste. Especially towards the second half of the story, things were dragging on a little bit. It was still a page turner for me but a few things could have been left out and I’m sure it will put some people off. Regardless The Cuckoo’s Calling surprised me in every way possible and I enjoyed it immensely!

The Cuckoo's Calling

The Cuckoo's Calling
9

Characterization

8/10

Plot

10/10

Writing Style

10/10

Pace

9/10

Setting

9/10

Pros

  • Interesting mystery
  • Unexpected plot twist
  • Descriptive writing
  • Real page turner

Cons

  • Slightly too long