The Cuckoo’s Calling – Robert Galbraith

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This is a book I had wanted to read for some time as it was written by the genius that is JK Rowling better known for the Harry Potter series. I am a massive fan of the Harry Potter series and knew before starting this it would be nothing like it but held out hope for the powerful writing and plot twists that littered the series. Knowing that this was written by JK Rowling, I couldn’t help but look for clues or similarities and the slightest things such as journalists and paparazzi, or alliteration in the names or even the style of writing really stood out to me.

A classic murder mystery in its own right as Detective Cormoran Strike is hired to help solve the murder of supermodel Lula Landry. Already ruled as a suicide by police, it is only when her brother gathers evidence and approached Strike that the death begins to look more suspicious. This leads Strike into the world of rock and roll, celebrities and fame. This is an interesting plot as immediately we find out about Strike’s past and his current situation too, throughout the main plot regarding Lula Landry, the reader also finds out about Strike’s life and back story.

In the usual format of mystery and detective novels, there isn’t a lot going on. It isn’t an action packed plot as the reader is finding out information about the characters, the supposed murder and basically piecing together the clues and information as Strike finds them. However this can be intriguing as the reader begins to delve into this world with Strike and the rest of the characters, it can become just as addictive as any other novel. There is also a constant sense of tension and suspense as the plot unveils and the truth comes out.

Whilst following the plot, it became slightly predictable how it would end. Although it made sense and was a satisfactory ending as the clues develop and the mystery unfolds. It feels like as a reader you are looking over the shoulder of Strike, there is an omniscient feeling to the book so the ending wasn’t predictable in a disappointing sense but more acceptable and believable.

This genre is a difficult area to debut in as the crime, murder and mystery royals of England fall into the likes of Sherlock HolmesPoirot and Miss Marple. All of these series interest me and I am fascinated by their writing styles and abilities to create such enticing plots and surprising characters in a time when creativity and imagination were looked at differently. Yet I can’t help but wonder whether this book would have received a following because it was written by JK Rowling and whether its merit would have held in the idea it was a debut novel by Robert Galbraith. Before the news was released that it was in fact a JK Rowling novel, this book wasn’t doing as well. However I think the genre of crime, murder mystery has dropped in popularity as there doesn’t seem to be many authors out there able to develop such a thrilling plot as Agatha Christie or Arthur Conan Doyle have done in the past.

JK Rowling is without doubt a phenomenal author who succeeds in drawing in the reader and developing characters in the plot and in their personal lives. However I am giving The Cuckoos Calling a 3 out of 5 stars on goodreads. I did enjoy the book but for some reason or other I didn’t love it. Maybe I fall into the stream of people who have left behind the classic murder mystery genre for a more fast paced and intense plot. I found this book difficult in parts to read but forced myself to continue to the end. I would have liked to have read it in the period of Robert Galbraith to see if my opinion would have differed in not knowing it was a JK Rowling creation. It’s hard to admit but I also wonder if I would have even bought the book or read it. I think for me I am chasing after the author of Harry Potter whilst she is running into a new identity for herself. I don’t think I will read the rest of the series but those are the famous last words as usually curiosity gets the better of me.

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8 thoughts on “The Cuckoo’s Calling – Robert Galbraith

  1. Sam says:

    I also wasn’t overly impressed by this book, but I like a good mystery and I thought JKR wove it well. I’m trying to get my hands on the audiobook of the sequel this year. I liked Cormoran as a character; I wonder what else he’ll get into.

    Happy reading!

    • mrsmamfa says:

      I’m really happy you commented Sam and felt the same about the book. It was an iffy one to review because JK Rowling is such a massive and respected author. I reckon the audiobooks would be better and maybe less of a struggle to read. I hope you enjoy it! 😄

      • Sam says:

        The audio narrator for Cuckoo was really good and that might have helped. I think Casual Vacancy was harder for me to review because JKR’s name was on it and there was no denying that I didn’t like one of her books.

      • mrsmamfa says:

        Did you not enjoy The Casual Vacancy? I haven’t read it but honestly haven’t wanted to either after a friend read it and wasn’t impressed 😕

      • Sam says:

        I didn’t like it, I’m sorry to say. There were a few good characters, but I found a lot of them over-the-top and unlikable. That was fine in the fantasy world of HP, but didn’t work for me in a modern setting. I think she’s much improved with Cormoran.

      • mrsmamfa says:

        Ah, I did like Strike as a character and would be interested to see what happens to him and where he goes in the next book…but it would take a lot of motivating. I think you sealed my decision on The Casual Vacancy, I probably won’t read it lol

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