The Cuckoo’s Calling ???
In my first blog I mentioned that although I loved J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books, I had not read any of her Robert Galbraith-Cormoran Strike Books.
Well the good people of The Crime Vault (www.thecrimevault.com @TheCrimeVault) kindly sent me a copy of the Cuckoo’s Calling, the first of the series, and asked me to review it. So here is my first ever book review, I’m not going to give the story away by rambling on about the plot I’ll just tell you what I thought about it as a book.
The story introduces two main characters, Cormoran Strike, Private Detective, and Robin Ellacott, a Secretary from a Temping Agency.
I have to admit to a hint of dread when Strikes character was first described; the thought “oh no not another Detective with a stereo-type flawed character”; but although he’s got all the usual traits, from a broken family, recently out of a rocky relationship, homeless-sleeping in the office, and a new one on me, a false leg following an injury whilst serving in the army, I have to say I quickly took to the guy.
Robin, his side kick secretary, a plain-Jane who quickly shows her worth and skills for research, compliments Strike perfectly.
The story revolves around the death of a young Model/Socialite who’s famous for being famous. I think we can all think of people who fit into this category but being so soon after her own tragic death the only person I could think of was Peaches Geldof.
Galbraith (we know its Rowling but let’s respect the name on the cover) takes us to rough London pubs, a top fashion designers studio, and a multi-million pound property in Mayfair, each of which is described in such a way that you feel like you are there, and you belong.
She introduces a string of characters from an overly camp fashion designer, to a street girl with mental issues; from over-bearing lawyers to a drug addict who has lost her children. In each case the person is there for a reason, there is no writing for writings sake, each person has a role in the story and to be honest they are all perfect for the role. In my professional life I have met all of these people; they might not have the same names but believe me she has described people I have met, and she describes them well.
The story itself is mainly told from Strikes point of view but there are a couple of times the reader is kept in the dark about his thoughts. There is one scene where he asks Robin to look at a series of photographs, the reader is told what they are of, but they are not described. She is told if you look at them you will see the vital clue that leads Strike to solve the case, or rather explain a key part of it. I can see this being a big reveal if the books are ever made into a TV series, or films, but it was frustrating to have this one important part of the story being described vaguely, until it was explained much later in the book.
Did this spoil the book, no. I have read a lot of this genre and I have to say I can usually see the end coming from a mile away, not this time.
The story, unlike so many others, did not make it glaringly obvious from the beginning what the outcome would be. Nor did it, like many others, introduce a twist 20 pages from the end which would have made it impossible for the reader to guess the ending. The plot starts with a death, and ends with it being solved. There is nothing in between to confuse the reader, the ultimate reveal comes as no surprise but I cannot quite work out when I knew how it was going to end.
The book meanders through the crime and opens up a few side stories, and characters, which I can see being revisited in later books,
Will I read any more Robert Galbraith books? The Silkworm, the second of the series, was on my Kindle before I’d finished The Cuckoo’s Calling.
I recently read that Rowling has stated that she has at least seven books in mind for Robert Galbraith to write. We all know what happened the last time she wrote a series of seven books. So whether she calls herself Galbraith or Rowling I will definitely be looking forward to the next release.
Did the Cuckoo Call???? Oh Yes!!!