the wonderful world of veena.

09 December 2014

book review: the cuckoo's calling [robert galbraith].

This was one of the better books I've read this year, mostly because I don't think I was expecting to enjoy it quite as much as I did. I really didn't know much about it except that it was JK Rowling writing under a pseudonym, and it was supposed to be the first book in a new series. Otherwise, I was pretty in the dark.

I am a huge fan of Rowling's Harry Potter series, and although the last few books in the series were targeted at an older demographic, I wasn't sure how Rowling would approach writing entirely for an adult audience. I hadn't heard great things about her first attempt, but as soon as The Cuckoo's Calling released, it received nothing but praise.

The book found its way into my library and then languished on my shelf for a while until I pulled it off after finishing Midnight's Children. I needed something that I could enjoy without necessarily needing to concentrate too much, and The Cuckoo's Calling provided me with just that.

In this book, Galbraith introduces us to Cormoran Strike, a down-on-his-luck detective asked to look into a suicide-that-might-not-be-a-suicide. Oh, and the deceased was a famous model with friends and acquaintances of all sorts. As he navigates the case with his temp secretary Robin, he uncovers a number of inconsistencies that were swept under the rug by the original investigating officers.

It's an easy book to get sucked into, and it didn't take me long at all to suddenly find myself at the end of the story, on the edge of my seat [or bed] waiting to see if my suspicions were correct.

Cormoran Strike especially was an interesting character to see develop over the course of the book. The illegitimate son of a British rock icon and his favourite groupie, he turned to the military as a young adult until suffering an injury, and as the book is beginning his long-time relationship is ending. As the case unfolds, so does Strike's story, and I found myself liking him more and more as the book progressed. Yes, he is a bit rough around the edges, but all the great guys are, and there's no doubting he's got a heart of gold.

Strike reminded me a little of Kate Atkinson's character Jackson Brodie, a detective who like Strike makes appearances in multiple books. Also like Strike he is rough around the edges and has a lot of secrets in his past, but he's a strong character.

Overall I really enjoyed this read, and I'm looking forward to reading Silkworm, the second Cormoran Strike novel that released a few months ago. If you enjoy detective stories and flawed characters with hearts of gold, you'll love this one.

Happy reading!

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