The Cuckoo's Calling (A Cormoran Strike Novel #1) (Large Print / Hardcover)

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J. K. Rowling wrote the book using a pseudonym, Robert Galbraith, in a bid to separate her new book from her rather prominent name, giving it a chance to be evaluated on its own merits rather than as a J.K. Rowling story.  It caused a stir when the true identity of the author was revealed.  Needless to say, Ms. Rowling doesn’t write for money, her wildly successful Harry Potter series fixed that issue.  She is donating the proceeds from Cuckoo’s Calling to charity.  It seems to me that J.K. Rowling is trying to grow and stretch as an author.  This is a sophisticated, mature work.  If you are looking for fast pace and a high body count, this is not the book.  If you enjoy well developed, quirky characters and a complex mystery, this is just the ticket.  Rowling takes time to let the reader get to know her characters.

Cuckoo is a mega-star super model who went off the balcony of her deluxe apartment falling to her death.  John Bristow, her brother, an attorney, is not persuaded by the suicide ruling.  He hires London PI Cormoran Strike to solve the mystery.  Strike may have a somewhat flexible moral code, but he does have a sense of honor he prefers not to violate, and this case challenges his flexibility.  It seems far too much like taking money when the outcome is foregone.  Cuckoo ran with a fast crowd (think drugs and drink), had just participated in a very public fight with her bad boy boyfriend, and her family background was wealthy but dysfunctional.  All the evidence and her background pointed to the gorgeous young woman leaping to her own demise.  Strike is broke and Bristow is going to spend that detective fee money with someone so he begins his inquiry. 

These are interesting characters.  Strike is a big bear of a man who came back from the fighting in Afghanistan missing half a leg; he far prefers using his powers of observation and deduction to strong arm tactics.  Robin, Strike’s new secretary, finds working for a PI more interesting than her prior secretarial postings.  I liked the repartee and developing relationship between these two characters.  It was also refreshing to have a detective who grows to respect the intelligence and skills of his secretary without any intention of seducing the young woman.  Cuckoo is a lot more complex than her supermodel persona would indicate, Strike carefully peels back the layers of her façade revealing the striving young woman contained therein. 

The writing is excellent, the characters engaging, and the story very moody and complicated, all the elements of good mystery.

— Deon Stonehouse


Published under a pseudonym, J. K. Rowling's brilliant debut mystery introduces Detective Cormoran Strike as he investigates a supermodel's suicide in "one of the best books of the year" (USA Today).
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, creditors are calling, and after a breakup with his longtime girlfriend, he's living in his office.
Then John Bristow walks through his door with a shocking 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.
Fast-paced and sharply drawn, this dazzling detective novel inspired Strike, the BBC crime drama series that has captivated millions of viewers worldwide.

About the Author

Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potterseries and The Casual Vacancy.

Praise For…

"One of the books of the year."—USA Today

"Robert Galbraith has written a highly entertaining book... Even better, he has introduced an appealing protagonist in Strike, who's sure to be the star of many sequels to come.... its narrative moves forward with propulsive suspense. More important, Strike and his now-permanent assistant, Robin (playing Nora to his Nick, Salander to his Blomkvist), have become a team - a team whose further adventures the reader cannot help eagerly awaiting."—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"Rowling switches genres seamlessly...a gritty, absorbing tale."—People (3.5/4 stars)

"[Rowling's] literary gift is on display in this work. She
crafts an entertaining story [and] comes up with an ending that I'll
admit I was surprised by. . . . A fun read, with a main character you
can care about and one you'll want to see again in other adventures."
Washington Post

"An extravagant, alien, fascinating world for its characters to explore...great pleasures."—Slate
Product Details
ISBN: 9780316330169
ISBN-10: 0316330167
Large Print: Yes
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Publication Date: October 8th, 2013
Pages: 768
Language: English
Series: A Cormoran Strike Novel