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Review: The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith, J. K. Rowling

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.

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.

Introducing Cormoran Strike, this is the acclaimed first crime novel by J.K. Rowling, writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.”

There are many things in this world that will cause us to have immense pain. It is quite commonly said that “there is no stronger pain than seeing the person you love, love someone else”. However, there are many other pains in this world, such as seeing the person you love feel pain, experiencing the death of a loved one, or simply feeling the pain of the world. 

The Cuckoo’s Calling experiences pain through the death of a loved one, by having John Bristow, the victim’s brother, unable to accept that his happy, loving sister would ever have a reason to commit suicide. As a result, he hires childhood friend Cormoran Strike, a run-down private investigator to learn the truth about what really happened to his sister the night she fell to her death in the blistering cold evening.

Cormoran Strike is another story altogether in the novel, along with the murder investigation. He himself is ashamed of having a prosthetic leg which he lost it in the war. He has just been dumped on the streets by his girlfriend Charlotte and is very behind on the rent as a result of having no clients. As a result, he has to live in his office and has to do so by hiding it from his new Temporary Solutions secretary Robin, who is trying to make income while finding a job after she has graduated university. It is during their first awkward meeting that John finds Cormoran and convinces him to take his case, even though everyone else John has gone to has turned him down.

Having always been fascinated by criminal investigations, Robin becomes Cormoran’s partner and together they investigate, the life of deceased famous model Lula Landry, known to her friends as “Cuckoo”, and the people around her which make them very unpopular people. Even though the people they investigate have more wealth and material items, they still suffer the same battles everyone else does, and have the same motives to kill one of their own.

The Cuckoo’s Calling is a crime novel that gives you real characters in real-life situations that have regular problems to deal with on top of being suspected of murder. It will amaze to see what people can do when they are under pressure and the plot has more twists and turns than you can handle. It is a great introduction to a series that seems to have a lot of potential. This is definitely a novel you want to read if you want a shocking ending! 

Reviewed by Mercedes Olivas

Book Information
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Publication date: 4/30/2013
Pages: 455

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