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The Cuckoo's Calling Book Review
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The Cuckoo\'s Calling Book Review

JK Rowling takes one more step away from wizards in her new book under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. The Cuckoo’s Calling is a mystery novel that follows the death of a famous supermodel from an interesting family background. While fans of the supernatural may not take to the mystery genre, Rowling’s writing and plot development are done so beautifully and naturally it makes the book a wonderful read. The novel brings back the noir of crime fiction with all the twists and turns, suspects, grittiness, and mystery.

Set in modern day London, the story follows the solving of an apparent suicide of supermodel, Lula Landry. Not accepting her death as suicide her brother, John Bristow, hires a down-and-out private detective, Cormoran Strike. Strike is an illegitimate son of a famous rock star whose mother was a supergroupie. While this does not help in his everyday life as a broke army veteran with one leg, it assist him to have some credit with the shallow friends that revolved around Lula. The story follows Strike has he tries to solve Lula’s murder. The story takes him through the high fashion world of London with models, movie producers, and fashion designers. By his side is his new temp, Robin. Robin is a young, just-engaged woman whose secret dream has been to become an investigator. After an awkward start, Robin and Strike make an interesting pair that work with each other to figure out the mysterious death of the supermodel.

Rowling makes her characters very real. She strips away the vanity and gloss of the famous, and turns them into people with deep suited problems that are just increased by the stress of being famous. She also focuses on self-identity. Strike, even though he has a famous father, has created his own life that has nothing to do with fame. Whereas, the victim Lula is adopted and wants nothing more than to find her true family, even if it hurts her adopted family. Lula’s fame throughout the novel is set as a double-edged sword. Most believe she jumped to her death due to the stress of the press and her past mental troubles, which makes the suicide believable. Strike, however, learns that the fame and money caused familial tensions and led her to find her identity.

The Cuckoo’s Calling is an excellent novel that will keep you guessing who-did-it till the very end. The classic mystery story is given an update with a whole new type of detective, but still gives an ode to the classic crime fiction genre. Rowling is an amazing writer that can truly show the juxtaposition of grittiness and fineness next to each other.


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