That’s right – J. K. ROWLING!!!
You know, author of my favorite series EVER?
The story was in the media for quite some time: Lula Landry, gorgeous young supermodel, plummeted to her death from her balcony. Yet once the fervor calmed down and the police deemed it a suicide, it quietly became less and less of a scoop.
For Cormoran Strike – missing a leg from his time in Afghanistan, freshly and painfully separated from his longtime girlfriend, and barely getting by as a private investigator – the buzz around Lula never registered much. He had enough of his own problems.
But when Lula’s brother steps into Cormoran’s office – desperate to find someone willing to investigate further – it becomes front and center. Lula’s brother is convinced Lula did not commit suicide – and he’s willing to pay Cormoran handsomely to look into it.
Diving into the scintillating world of fashion, fame and wealth, he is introduced to the dark underworld of the desperate, the addicted and the miserable.
They’ve never been confronted with a P. I. like Cormoran Strike…
Well, I already knew I’d have to set aside, somewhat, that this is J. K. Rowling – as obviously this is not an 8th Harry Potter novel.
The Cuckoo’s Calling is very adult – full of coarse language, crime and grit.
Yet, very quickly, “Robert Galbraith” establishes the characters and gives them personality and backgrounds. There’s that identifiable way that environments and people are described – in the perfect amount of detail - that hearkens to the author’s talent.
Cormoran is likable, if a scruffy, disheveled man. Robin – as his temp – is probably my favorite character in The Cuckoo’s Calling. She’s clever, determined and intrigued by the industry she’s been thrust into during her time in temporary employment. She and Cormoran have great scenes together.
The Cuckoo’s Calling has a ton of clue finding, in-depth interviews with realistic dialogue and all kinds of detailed, private detective goodness.
These are great, layered characters combined with a complicated, engrossing mystery that had me guessing and happily surprised by the end.
Is it Harry Potter? No. Do I love it more than Harry Potter? Heck no.
Will I be reading the next Cormoran Stike novel?