Guest Review: The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith / JK Rowling (Coroman Strike #1)
Stanley Dimitrious, who has never read JK Rowling before, is here today to review the book she wrote using her other’ personality. I’ll tell you this much…he liked it. He really liked it!
April 18 2013
Yummy Man – Coroman Strike
Kick Ass Chick – Robin Ellacot
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.
Introducing Cormoran Strike, this is the acclaimed first crime novel by J.K. Rowling, writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.
Having never read anything by J.K Rowling, I jumped at the opportunity to give The Cuckoo’s Calling some attention. I remember being somewhat entertained at the Harry Potter movies and that Emma Watson was hot so that meant that this book that has nothing to do with Harry Potter or the movie would be good right? Okay, so maybe I jumped in for all the wrong reasons and had high expectations for entertainment but in all honesty I wasn’t left being disappointed but wowed and wanting more.
The book takes place in a dreary and cold setting of London England and I realized quite quickly that Rowling had a knack for painting a very nice picture with her words without going overboard and loosing the reader a la J.R.R. Tolkein. Perhaps it’s her experience writing a successful children’s saga that helps her with her imagery but it was fresh and immersive. You could feel the cold and damp of the British climate flow from the pages and the structure detail and finer points are all given their fair share of crisp description.
It’s not hard to see how popular the Harry Potter characters were when you are introduced to the main and supporting cast for The Cuckoo’s Calling. Our main character, the detective Cormoran Strike is a damaged yet strong character. He is portrayed as someone who you can love and hate in the same breath yet you always end up cheering for him to succeed in the end. His faults are overshadowed by his iron will to fulfill his promises and to be better from an overall perspective. In the beginning it’s tough to determine whether you love the guy or hate him but as the story progresses you find yourself a fan of the detective.
The female lead (Robin Ellacot) is almost the polar opposite of Coroman Strike. She’s recently engaged, happy and seems to have everything under control in her perfectly balanced world. She’s a perfect sidekick to Coroman as their differences and subtle similarities play off of one another beautifully. This give and take relationship that Rowling fabricates is fun and believable. As Rowling has been confirmed to continue writing books in this series I can only speculate where and how Robin will develop. There is a forbidden attraction that Robin doesn’t want to allow herself to believe and that Coroman may be too blind to see but if anything it sets up all kinds of story arcs for future installments in the series.
I was glad to have read this before it got picked up and tossed on the movie screen as The Cuckoo’s Calling is written in a way that works well for film and I can only imagine that in time it will have its due on the big screen. I guess I can kind of understand why Rowling would publish this book under another name. The book is very different than the Harry Potter books and is much more mature. It also gives Rowling an unbiased review for her literary work as she is not judged against her blockbuster series. Was the book good enough to make me read the harry Potter books? Not quite. But it does allow me to appreciate the writing talents of Rowling where the only appreciation I had was from the movies.
At the end of the day, The Cuckoo’s Calling delivers on all fronts and is an immersive and enjoyable read. Take a time to give it a shot as you will be left wanting more just like I was. Rowling takes you away and has you grinning and wide eyed from the first page to the last page.