The problem with reading a book by an author using a pseudonym whose identity you already know is comparing the work you’re reading with their previous works. There were a lot of times while reading The Cuckoo’s Calling that I had to remind myself that this wasn’t going to be the next Harry Potter although they were written by the same author. I don’t usually read mysteries though and I kind of remembered why as I read this book.
The Cuckoo’s Calling is about a private detective named Cormoran Strike – a war vet, the son of a famous celebrity, and a guy who’s down on his luck – as he tries to solve the case of the potential murder of the famous model Lula Landry. The only problem is, this model died three months ago, but it wasn’t a murder, it was a suicide, or so the police and coroner concluded in their investigation. But Lula’s brother, John, doesn’t think so. He thinks she was murdered, and comes to Strike for help. Strike doesn’t want to take the case, because the police have already deemed it a suicide, but his private detective business is in financial trouble, and John is willing to pay more than double the usual fee. So against his better judgment he takes the case.
What follows is countless pages of interviews of Lula’s old friends, coworkers, and family members. This girl was very troubled. Her rise to fame threw her into the spotlight too quickly, and she was paranoid about who she could trust.
I don’t usually read mysteries because I don’t have the patience for them. I get more captivated by the story then I do the actual clues, and it usually isn’t until the killer is revealed that I start to realize the clues that were dropped along the way. The same goes for this book, I had suspected that the killer was someone else, and when it was revealed who it actually was, I was like “whoa, what?”
Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. I liked this book. Galbraith/Rowling still has her usual flair for setting the scene so you feel like you’re actually there, and the dialogue was quick and snappy. Some sections of this book were a little dry though, and I wished there could have been more emphasis on the character of Robin (Strike’s secretary).
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