The Cuckoo’s Calling
by Robert Galbraith
Before word got out that this noir novel was written by the beloved author of the Harry Potter books it was almost unknown. The few people who had read it seemed to be giving it pretty good reviews. I can't help but feel a bit sad for Rowling because she obviously wanted to see how her book would do without her name behind it. Granted this just means more money and sales, but I understand the desire for anonymity when you're already successful.
The novel tells the story of Cormoran Strike, an Afghanistan vet who became a private investigator after getting injured in the war. His love life is in shambles, his personal history is a complicated mess and nothing seems to be going his way. A temp agency assigns him a new secretary and an unexpected case comes his way all in the same day. The case is an investigation of a supermodel’s suicide. The secretary is a clever girl named Robin. I love the relationship they develop. He quickly learns not to underestimate her intelligence and to rely on her intuition.
I tend to love a good mystery though this one didn't move as fast as I would've hoped. It's a great character study and I really loved Cormoran and Robin. I think the author does a really great job revealing bits and pieces of the main characters past instead of giving it to us all at once. The mystery itself is interesting and like any good detective novel it introduces us to a half dozen interesting characters, all potential villains, along the way.
BOTTOM LINE: A solid P.I. novel from an author who creates memorable characters no matter where the book is set. A bit slow in parts, but worth it in the end. Do NOT go into this expecting Harry Potter. Read it if you like old school detective novels and aren’t stressed out if it runs a bit long.
I read this for the R.I.P. Challenge hosted by Stainless Steel Droppings.