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{December 12, 2013}   {Review} The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

16160797From Goodreads: 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, thelegendary 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.


As I was reading this novel, I couldn’t help but think of Who Framed Roger Rabbit.  In my mind, Cormoran Strike is Eddie Valiant (i.e. Bob Hoskins), living in his office, drinking his life away, and not doing very much of anything.  But here’s the thing: I didn’t like Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and I didn’t care for The Cuckoo’s Calling much, either.  For one thing, the novel is extremely long (500 pages long), and not much happened to keep my interest.

Strike has no money and no place to live, so he’s staying at his office. He hires a temp secretary who really likes the job and decides stays a while, even though she might not get paid much (this is a side story that, in my mind, really had nothing to do with anything). A model throws herself from her balcony, and her brother hires Strike to investigate. What ensues is an investigation that is long, long, long, without much of anything happening. Strike interviews many people—some who are suspects, and some who aren’t—but no one seems to know what really happened, and the police want to close the case. Yep. That’s about it.

I just wasn’t interested throughout much of the novel, which is a shame because I absolutely adored the Harry Potter Series.  However, this adult fiction novel just didn’t do anything for me.  I didn’t care about any of the characters, especially the model who died; her hang-ups and “whoa is me” attitude about being adopted actually put a very bad taste in my mouth, mainly because I’m adopted and I’m so tired of people making adoption out to be such a terrible thing.  It’s not, yet books and movies continue to depict it as a crushing “event” that will ruin the child’s psyche and make him/her dysfunctional in the world, and I have to disagree.  Adoption doesn’t do that.  Bad parenting does, as is evidenced by her crazy adoptive parents.  Where was the screening process here?

But, I will hold my rant.  All in all, this novel just wasn’t all that interesting.  But neither was Who Framed Roger Rabbit… so, different strokes for different folks.  I’m thinking that if you enjoyed that movie, you may like this novel; it’s just not for me. Two stars.

2 stars

I borrowed this novel from the library.

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