The Cuckoo’s Calling


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, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing 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.

~ Synopsis from goodreads

OK. I take back my opinion of Strike. When I read The Silkworm, I thought he was a bit of a tosser.

Now after reading The Cuckoo’s Calling, I am starting to warm up to him a bit.

That said, I still struggled with this book. Where in The Silkworm, I enjoyed the sly references to real-life people, I found that same strategy a bit tired in this one.

So many of the characters were stereotypes – right from Lula Landry (the Naomi Campbell-esque) troubled model, to the designers, her friends, I found no surprises in the characters at all.

The mystery also was not a huge surprise. Never mind, that I had read a way too spoilery review in the past, still there was one big clue very obviously placed in the middle of the book that pointed out the murderer to me.

To Miss Rowling’s credit (yes, it is J.K.Rowling herself writing under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith), she did surprise me with the way the murder was done. The final dénouement when the killer and their method is revealed is brilliant, just brilliant.

That said, the actual motivations of the killer does not make logical sense. The murder yes, but what the killer does after that to cover up his crime – nobody would ever do something so illogical.

Anyway, that was my beef with the story, and since this forms the crux of the entire plot, I was forced to dock a few points from my review, even though I really enjoyed the rest of the book very much.

Overall, a nice book to read, very well-written, but the plot as such didn’t work for me.

I am going to give this series one more try though, and hope that Career of Evil works better for me.

Have you read the Cormoran Strike books? What’s your opinion on them?

You can also purchase a copy of this book from Amazon.

  • I own these first two, but have yet to read them. Maybe in May? 🙂

  • I am hoping to read this one sometime this year. I wasn’t interested in it when the book was released but later, I started getting more intrigued after reading all the reviews out there.

    • Nishita

      @athirac:disqus It was the same case for me. Wasn’t too kicked about it at the beginning, but the buzz convinced me to give it a try. That. and the numerous copies of these books stacked in my local library’s shelves.

  • I was not wild about The Cuckoo’s Calling — I agree with you that it felt heavy-handed — but then I quite enjoyed The Silkworm. There may be something to be said for reading them in order, though, because I’ve enjoyed witnessing the development of Robin and Strike’s relationship. If you didn’t like either of the first two, this maybe isn’t the series for you, though?

    • Nishita

      @readingtheend:disqus I preferred Silkworm to this book. I still want to give it one more shot before I decide either way. It is Rowling after all, and I wasn’t too kicked about the first two Harry Potter books either. It was only the third book that got me on the HP bandwagon. So, maybe the same thing will happen here?

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