The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
Published by: Little, Brown & Company
Published on: April 30, 2013
Page Count: 455
My Reading Format: Audiobook review copy provided to me by Hachette Audio for consideration
Audiobook Published by: Hachette Audio
Narrator: Robert Glenister
Audiobook Length: 15 hours 54 minutes
Available Formats: Hardcover, eBook, and Audiobook
Summary from the Publisher:
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.
When I found out that J. K. Rowling was in fact the author of The Cuckoo’s Calling I could have kicked myself. I had an ARC of the novel before its publication. Although I thought it sounded interesting, I opted for reading other novels debuting that month. I almost always enjoy a good mystery, but it’s not one of my go to genres. Each time I finish one, I always ask myself why. The Cuckoo’s Calling is no exception.
Rowling’s second adult novel is a well written and brought to life two characters I grew to love quickly. Cormoran Strike, the novel’s private investigator, is a big man who does his best to hide his disability and the current pathetic state of his life. As the book begins, he has taken to living in his office after leaving his girlfriend. Robyn, a temporary assistant he can’t really afford, pretends she doesn’t notice the way he lives or any personal details about him. She was excited to be placed in a private detective’s office because she’s always found the idea of that kind of work fascinating. She quickly discovers the state of Strike’s affairs and does all that is in her power to keep her job. When the wealthy brother of Strike’s childhood friend comes to him with a job, the unexpected and at first pointless investigation soon provides hope for the future for both Strike and Robyn. I enjoyed getting to know them both and watching their working relationship unfolds along with the mystery of Lula Landry’s suicide. Assuming that there is another Strike mystery novel, I will be first in line to read it.
I devoured this audiobook as quickly as I could, sneaking in 5 minutes here and 5 minutes there whenever I could. Robert Glenister, whose style reminded me a good deal of John Lee, expertly narrated the novel. I wasn’t familiar with him in any capacity prior to listening, but I quickly added him to my list of narrators I enjoy. There are many minor characters that color this novel and Glenister’s performance wasn’t lacking for any of them. The scene between Strike and fashion designer Guy Somé was not only a highlight of this audiobook, but a stand out audiobook moment for the year.
There is part of me that wishes that I had read The Cuckoo’s Calling before the author’s true identity was revealed. As I listened I noticed how the writing felt similar to The Casual Vacancy. Under no circumstances do I think I would have picked up on that had I not known, but I would have loved looking back at the book after first thinking it was written by a first time author. Things have a way of working out for the best, though. I thought this audiobook made for a thrilling read that I wouldn’t have otherwise experienced.
After reading both of Rowling’s adult novels, I think it’s now safe to say that I’m a Rowling fan – one who just happens to have never read her young adult work. Whatever my feelings may be about wizards and fantasy, Rowling has written two very different novels that I have enjoyed. So really is there a reason to not at least give Harry Potter a try?