Review: The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

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.

I finally decided to read this! I was keeping it for a time I could dedicate enough time to do it justice and I’m glad I did now. This definitely is a crime novel to slowly feast on, rather than scoff down whole. I was going to wait until I had bought The Silkworm in the format that matches my copy of this book, but I couldn’t wait any more!!

Everyone knows by now that Robert Galbraith was outed as being J.K Rowling, which is awesome- everyone needs more Rowling. This one feels even more of a departure from the Harry Potter series than The Casual Vacancy, which had more of a Rowling-ish style.

This is definitely a slow book, which I wasn’t really prepared for, so I felt like it dragged quite a lot. Like I said, this isn’t a crime novel to shove down in one go. I had trouble picking it up once I put it down due to this slowness, though I really wanted to find out what happened at the end.

The characters in this novel were all really well done. I really liked both Cormoran and Robin, who both felt really lifelike and three dimensional to me. I’m really interested to see what happens in future books with them. I really hope Robin leaves Matthew though, he seems like such a dreadful wowser.

For some reason, I couldn’t picture Cormoran being the way he was described… I kept seeing Ken Stott in Rebus. No idea at all why I kept having this image!

The mystery itself was really well woven and there were plenty of red herrings. I actually didn’t work out who the killer was, even though I’d considered it… I wrote it off as too obvious. I don’t know if that says something about me or about the book, to be honest.

I really, really liked the descriptions of modern London and how the characters go about the city. Freddie Mercury is even mentioned, who I LOVE, as “a pagan god of music” on Tottenham Court Road, which made me super happy.

Don’t go into this book looking for an action packed, wild ride of adventure. You won’t find it here. This is definitely a slow burner, and I think this is why people haven’t liked it as much as they hoped.

Also, people seem to think there were a lot of unnecessary details in this novel. I tend to disagree, as Rowling likes to fully flesh out a character’s life to make them feel real. This approach requires extra detail. We got plenty of it in the Harry Potter series, so I’m not surprised.

On the whole, this is a really good book- perhaps on the long side, perhaps with some unnecessary details… but still fantastic. I wish I’d have known it was a slow book before I started so I would feel more prepared, but it ended up being fine the way it was. I’m also glad I didn’t throw myself into reading this as soon as I found out it was written by Rowling, as I think I might have been disappointed. It’s no Harry Potter, but it’s definitely a really fantastic crime novel and proves that Rowling can really write, no matter what she sets her pen to.



10 thoughts on “Review: The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

  1. I’ve heard so many mixed things about the Casual Vacancy, so it’s nice to hear that this book is better! I haven’t read anything by J.K. Rowling yet that isn’t related to Harry Potter, which is a problem I really need to remedy soon… I think this might be the first one I read! Great review! 🙂

    • I liked The Casual Vacancy too but this one is definitely easier going 🙂 Just try to separate the book from Harry and it’ll be fine! Thanks!! 😀

  2. I felt similar to how you felt. I was very disappointed by this book, so much that I don’t feel like picking up the Silkworm in near future. I rather wished to read more about a book that’s similar to The Casual Vacancy. I loved that book and finished it in a go. But Cuckoo’s Calling left me quite disappointed :/

    • I’m not rushing to get The Silkworm either. Where The Casual Vacancy has stayed with me nearly 2 years later, The Cuckoo’s Calling isn’t and I only read it last week. All the characters in The Casual Vacancy felt far more real.
      I’m always happy to find someone else who liked The Casual Vacancy! There’s so much hate for it and it’s so undeserved 😦

      • YES! The cahracters were so real! I seldom see such real figures in a novel. Sometimes, I even meet people who I compare with the characters in The Casual Vacancy.
        I also don’t understand why people disliked that book so much :/ It is so sad!

      • I finished reading it at work and was sobbing in the back room, made for a very awkward conversation with a customer about why I was so sad! I felt like she’d killed a real person!
        I think they were expecting Potter and they didn’t get it. It’s a totally different style and I think people began reading it without considering if it actually interested them 😦 hence, the bad reviews.

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