Thursday, March 6, 2014

Jenn's Review: The Cuckoo's Calling

Author: Robert Galbraith (Pseudonym), J.K. Rowling
Series: Cormoran Strike #1
Publication Date: April 30, 2013
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Pages: 455
Obtained: purchased
Genre:  mystery
Rating: 4.75
Bottom Line: a modern, classic English mystery
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab it
Blurb:  A brilliant debut mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel's suicide.

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.

Review:  This is a classic English detective novel in every sense of the phrase.  Rowling as Galbraith has taken it and modernized it beautifully.  ...and I found it hard to put down.

As with Harry Potter, the world created through the writing, though non-magical, is palpable.  You can't help but be pulled into the story.  But that is where the comparisons ends.  Galbraith is heavier and wordier; I even learned a few new words.  That said, however, it never seemed to be forced or cumbersome in any manner.  The prose are fluid, mellifluous and throughly entrancing.

Cormoran's trying hard to fit back into the world and every time he seems to almost have it together, it falls apart.  He is downtrodden, but not broken and it was easy to fall in with him.  Robin, on the other hand starts off a little fluffy but proves herself to be solid and resourceful.  I'm glad that she stands up to fiance about finding a job that she loves, even though it's not the pay or the ideal he holds.  Galbraith does a fabulous job of keeping Robin's relationship with Cormoran strictly platonic in this first novel, leaving room for it to grow but leaving the direction ambiguous.

The pacing is steady (it is not a thriller by any means) but never seemed sluggish.   The mystery itself doesn't seem very twisted, but appearances are deceiving.  The more Cormoran learns the more intriguing things become.  As the body count rises, you know Cormoran is on the correct trail, which is why the ending is so completely shocking. Galbraith leads you right up to the final reveal with three solid suspects. I thought I had it all figured out, but I didn't have a clue.

This is the beginnings of a beautiful series.  The next novel, The Silkworm, is due out in June and it's already on my wish list.



Anonymous ,  March 14, 2014 at 10:42 PM  

I'm so out of the loop on this one that I didn't even realize it was the start of a new series! I'll have to look for it.

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