Friday, November 22, 2013

The Cuckoo's Calling

The Cuckoo's Calling  by J.K. Rowling writing as Robert Galbraith
(I borrowed the audiobook from the Camden County Library System)

I have been so lucky lately with the quality of the audio books I've been listening to on my commute. The books themselves have been interesting and enjoyable and the performers have been excellent. That certainly held true with The Cuckoo's Calling.  

I already knew when I requested the book that Rowling was the actual author.  I have yet to read The Casual Vacancy, with no actual excuse or reason for why I haven't.  I had no idea how Rowling's writing would be for adults. Not that she didn't have plenty of adult themes in the Harry Potter series, but hard boiled detective stories written solely for adults, could very well be a different story.  I am not sure how they used linquistics to determine that Rowling wrote this book, because I knew and didn't see the similarities.

Cormoran Strike, bastard son of a rock star and a world famous groupie, military hero who lost a leg in Afghanistan, recently single, presently homeless and crashing in his office, broke and down to his last client as a private detective.  As his fiancee flees from his office, and he chases after her, he runs smack into his new temp.  A temp that he can't afford.  

Enter John Bristow, lawyer, and brother of Strike's childhood friend, Charlie, until Charlie died when they were kids.  Bristow also had a sister, the famous super model, Lula Landry.  It seems that Lula, very famously, plunged to her death from her third story window.  Her death was ruled a suicide, but Bristow doesn't believe it.  He offers to pay Strike handsomely to find out what really happened.

I enjoyed this story. If you read the first Harry Potter book, you already knew that Rowling can very capably write the standard mystery story.  Honestly, that's what the first book in the series boiled down to.  It could have been written by Phyllis Whitney or Mary Higgins Clark in its very cookie cutter whodunnit(ish) plot line.  In Cuckoo's Calling, Rowling is, once again, covering mystery territory.  This is a well written detective story. The characters are varied and interesting. The subject matter is definitely geared to a more mature audience, yet it's still pretty chaste. There's action and suspense, colorful language (I really want to take up British style cursing, it's way more interesting sounding than regular dirty old American style cursing. I'm overdue for adding to my naughty vocabulary), but no sex and very little violence, considering the subject matter.  

I've heard that this could be the first book in a series and I really did like Strike and his super-temp, Robin. They make a really good team and for some fun and interesting reading. If this is the beginning for the two of them, I'll gladly be following along on their future adventures.

1 comment:

Judy Krueger said...

I agree. I enjoyed this book immensely, especially the character of the temp. Well Strike himself was a good character as well. I just finished Casual Vacancy the other day. Got off to a rocky start I thought but in the end she dragged me in and I HAD to know what was going to happen. But Cuckoo's Calling is hands down a better book.