Book Review: The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

The Cukoo's Calling
Title: The Cuckoo’s Calling (Book 1 in the Cormoran Strike series)
Author: Robert Galbraith
Social Media: Facebook and Twitter
Publisher: Sphere
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Source: Book provided by Collins Booksellers – Bacchus Marsh

About The Author:
This is a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling.

About The Book:
When a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts, and calls in private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into the case. A war veteran, wounded both physically and psychologically, Strike’s life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline, but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model’s complex world, the darker things get – and the closer he gets to terrible danger.

A gripping, elegant mystery steeped in the atmosphere of London – from the hushed streets of Mayfair, to the backstreet pubs of the East End, to the bustle of Soho – The Cuckoo’s Calling is a remarkable début. Introducing Cormoran Strike, it is a classic crime novel unlike any other book you will read this year.

General Observations:
~High Standards: I love Crime/Mystery novels, I have a huge weakness for Agatha Christie, Midsomer Murders, Castle, and Law and Order (I like regular Law and Order, but I prefer Special Victims Unit). So what I mean is, I would consider those to be of standard quality and therefore I’ve got a pretty high standard for other Crime/Mystery books to live up to. However, this might not be the case for other people.

Aspects I Enjoyed:
~Character Orientated: Like Midsomer Murders, The Cuckoo’s Calling is more Character orientated (interacting with people and observing their reactions) and not say Plot Orientated (one clue leading to another in a clear chain of events), there was also minimal forensic evidence involved outside of a laptop being restored. Now, I generally prefer Plot Oriented over Character Orientated, however The Cuckoo’s Calling worked for me

~Interesting Characters: Everybody had their own Agenda, Every Single One of Them, and normally I find that sort of petty drama annoying, but it worked, it was enough to imply that the majority of the people involved had decent motive, but not enough evidence that it gave the game away

~Relationship Dynamics I really liked the relationship dynamics between Lucy (Strike’s sister) and Robyn (Strike’s secretary), both of them provided genuine sources of conflict, however I would consider his relationship with his sister and nephews positive (if not complicated) and his working-relationship with Robyn positive and healthy. A good contrast to the complicated and messy relationship he previously had with Charlotte.

Aspects I Had Problems With:
~Slow Pace: As I previously stated, the novel was more Character Orientated, which made the plot lag in places and the clues to the crime difficult to decipher and put together.

~Concealing Clues For The Sake of Plot Strike kept his thoughts and possible ideas pretty close to the chest, even from the reader, and the couple of big moments of Motive-Reveals to other characters came across (to me) as info dumps. The clues and elements of plot were well-concealed from the reader. I often wondered how Strike was able to put the right theory together with so little pieces of provable evidence. It just seemed like the reader was receiving a lot of information right at the end of the book

~Relationship Dynamic: I really didn’t like the romantic relationship drama between Strike and Charlotte, it wasn’t interesting and it didn’t add anything to the book.

Overall, a good read if you’re into the genre and are looking for something intriguing but not overly complicated, I’d definitely read Robert Galbraith’s books over James Patterson’s books.

PSA: Collins Booksellers

Collins Booksellers - Moving
Collins Booksellers will be reopening at the location of 137A/1 Main Street, opposite Bacchus Marsh Newsagency in May (a specific date has yet to be determined).

RMFAO 2015 Genre Challenge

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