Book Review – The Cuckoo’s Calling (Robert Galbraith).


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I actually started reading this as my ‘February Reading’ book.  After a few of distractions here and there, through March, I have actually finished it later than I thought I would, but I have decided to review it.

Pseudonym.

Unless you are undergoing intense training to be one of the lucky (or unlucky? depends how you see it) people for the Mars project, you’ll know that Robert Galbraith is the pen name for the one and only J.K Rowling.  Although I knew this and having read all the Harry Potter series, I think I would have had my suspicions, if I didn’t know, due to the style of writing found in ‘Cuckoo’.

The Rowling signature style is, I think, present on the pages. The characters are, dare I say, typical of Rowling’s style; complex, quirky, interesting, well defined & sometimes humorous.

Crime Novel.

The story centres on ex Afghan war vet, turned private detective, Cormoran Strike, who takes on a case pretty much at a time when his personal life is just about to implode.  The death and (seemingly) murder of model Lula Landry is a welcome distraction; as is the girl, Robin, who appears at his office as a ‘temp’ secretary.

Together they set off on an adventure to prove to the police, Lula’s already fractured family, and the public, that her death was not just the suicide of a high profile and troubled model, but a murder interlaced with jealousy, greed and intrigue.

Along the way, Rowling manages to introduce an array of interesting characters with plenty of memorable moments as Strike meanders through his investigations, interviewing the key players and movers in Lula’s ever confusing life.

Style.

Just as in the Harry Potter books, Rowling’s descriptive writing always manages to set the scene and play with your imagination, only the way she does best.  Rich with detail, colours, smells, people, surroundings and the British, London weather, the story unfolds in a very natural way.  Although, at times, the random descriptive tangents kept me almost re-reading passages as they were, but only very slight, distractions from the story. (I’m being picky ;p)

I have to admit, there were times that found me reaching for the dictionary, as Rowling uses some words which were not entirely familiar to me.  So, I guess a good literary education and a great story all in one! I really enjoyed it, although it did take me longer to read than I’d expected.

Any fan of J.K Rowling would do well to read ‘Robert Galbraith’; there are two books – The Cuckoo’s Calling and the follow up ‘The Silkworm’   I might have to wait to read ‘Silkworm’ as my ‘to read tower’ is growing day by day it seems!

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