Monday, 28 October 2013

''The Cuckoo's Calling''- Book review

Author: Robert Galbraith (J. K. Rowling)
Published: 2013
Genres: Novel, Mystery, Crime

Rating: 4 out of 5


The Cuckoo's Calling is the first crime novel by J. K. Rowling, written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

Earlier this year I had read J. K. Rowling's first adult book, ''The Casual Vacancy'', and I had really liked it. I found it emotional, with depth and good characterization. This novel, ''The Cuckoo's Calling''... it was just amazing. It was a really delightful and engrossing read, a cleverly written mystery. And the chemistry between the protagonist, the private detective Cormoran Strike, and his secretary, Robin, was really wonderful. I found it a very enjoyable read.

Well-known model Lula Landry dies after falling from the balcony of her penthouse apartment. It is guessed that she committed suicide, after some investigation.

Cormoran Strike is a private detective. He does not get many clients. One day, John Bristow, the brother of the late Lula Landry, comes to him and tells him that he suspects that Lula didn't commit suicide. She might have been murdered. Bristow asks Strike to investigate the case. Because it isn't really likely that Lula committed suicide. A neighbor of Lula, Tansy Bestigui, claims that she had heard shouts and quarrels from Lula's apartment just before Lula fell. Also, two mysterious figures were noticed around Lula's home in the CCTV footage. Strike accepts the case, and with the help of his temporary secretary, Robin, he starts investigating.

Cormoran Strike had once been in the army. He had lost a leg in Afghanistan. He is going through personal problems after having broken up with his long-term girlfriend, Charlotte. Homeless, he is forced to sleep in his office, and he wants to hide the fact from Robin. Robin is Strike's temporary secretary, but as she helps Strike with the case, she develops a deep friendship with Strike, and regrets the fact that she has to leave him within a few weeks. She helps him, a lot, in the investigation.

The investigation brings Strike across a lot of people. The security guard, Wilson. Lula's handsome driver and aspiring actor, Kieran Kolovas-Jones. Tansy Bestigui, the woman who claimed to have heard quarrels from Lula' s apartment but whose claims were not taken seriously because she was on drugs. And Lula's closest friends. Lula's boyfriend. Lula's unpleasant biological mother. And a lot of other people. The case is not simple, as it requires a lot of research and investigation.

I really found it an enjoyable mystery with a good premise, puzzling storyline, and depth and good characterization. The character of Cormoran Strike is deep and really well developed. We get to know a lot about Cormoran, his childhood, his relation with his family members, his sad and problematic relationship with Charlotte. These backgrounds give the character much depth. Much focus, a lot of focus, actually, is given on Cormoran's personal life and background. ''The Cuckoo's Calling'' was not just a mystery; it was about Cormoran Strike as well. Strike's secretary, Robin, gets much importance and depth as well. Most of the novel is told from Strike's point of view, but some parts are also told from Robin's point of view. I really liked how Strike and Robin form a close and deep friendship, and how she helped him with the case. She was such an intelligent, understanding character!

The cast of characters is quite large. We come to meet many people who Lula knew, her friends, family, acquaintances, even people whom she barely knew. 

Strike's investigation of the case was really enjoyable and I couldn't really guess the solution! I couldn't even guess it! 

Though the novel was a bit slow paced at the beginning, it was really engrossing. It was such a cleverly written, well developed mystery with excellent characterization!

4 out of 5

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