Overview & Rating


The Cuckoo's Calling is a new genre for the brilliant author we have all come to admire. J.K. Rowling. Cormoran Strike, a private English investigator, is hired to solve the mysterious murder of famous super-model Lula Landry. What Cormoran discovers has you questioning the relationships Lula had and who had the most to gain from her death. Had me guessing who the murderer was till the very end. This crime novel will leave you wanting more tales and adventures of Cormoran.

Overall Rating: 9/10

When it was discovered that J.K. Rowling had used a pseudonym for the publication of The Cuckoo’s Calling, I hurried to purchase the book. (As many others did as well since the sales shot up once the author’s true identity was revealed) I read Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy and had been a little bit disappointed. Though the story is dark and gripping the pace of the book had been too slow for me and I could not find myself connecting to any character long enough to be fully immersed in the story line. I think that it is due to her last book that she chose to not publish The Cuckoo’s Calling in her own name. She had said in a statement she enjoyed getting unbiased opinions from editors and not having to live up to a certain expectation. Fortunately for us (unfortunately for her), an employee at the law firm she employees told a big-mouthed friend that let the confidential information out. Consequently, J.K. sued the firm and won damages from the firm. The multi-millionaire doesn’t need more money so she donated the damages paid to the ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and said she would donate the next three years of royalties to them as well due to the increase in sales. “I always knew that if and when I was discovered I would ask for my royalties to be paid to ABF The Soldier’s Charity,” Rowling said in a statement. “This is partly as a thank you to the people who helped with research, but also because researching and writing the character of [detective Cormoran] Strike has given me an even greater appreciation and understanding of exactly how much this charity does for serving soldiers, ex-servicemen and their families, and how much that support is needed.” She’s just brilliant.

The Cuckoo’s Calling kept me interested from start to finish. The book begins at the scene of the crime: A famous model is found dead outside of her London apartment. Investigators are unsure if she jumped or if the death was due to foul play. Though all signs point to suicide the grieving brother of the deceased Lula Landry refuses to believe that her death was a suicide. In an effort to uncover some more facts and the truth of what happened to Lula, John enlists the assistance of Cormoran Strike. Cormoran is a private investigator and an ex-army vet. He is in a financial crunch when this case is presented to him so he eagerly takes the business. Comoran is rough around the edges and not a heart fluttering kind of handsome, but there is something about his confident ways and strong demeanor that draws you to him and his story. We follow Cormoran as he retraces steps, interviews prospects, and gets thrown into the famous super-models life. Robin, a temporary assistant that Cormoran initially begrudgingly keeps around, turns out to be extremely sharp and helpful in gathering data and assisting Cormoran throughout the process. As a reader you begin to wonder and even hope for a romance between the two. I will not go far into that however, so that nothing will be given away.

The world Rowling creates in this novel is not as strong, deep and vivid as her surroundings in Harry Potter, but the characters in The Cuckoo’s Calling are fun, complex, profound, and engaging right off the bat. You imagine yourself following Cormoran and imagine him hobbling around London trying to solve the case. (Did I mention Cormoran lost a leg in the Afghan war?) The plot is well written and I found myself intrigued throughout the book. I was left wanting to know more about Cormoran. I look forward to following him around London some more in June, when the sequel to this novel will be released on June 19, 2014.