Book of the Week – The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

When I first discovered last Saturday that J.K Rowling had written a new book, under a psuedonym and it had been widely accepted and hailed as author to watch… I couldn’t even begin to tell you how happy and excited I was. J.K Rowling is easily my favorite author. What she has done for me, as a writer, a reader, and just a person, with her Harry Potter series…its incredible. She’s a fantastically talented writer, and she’s an inspiration.

I completely understood why she did this. After seven ridiculously popular books that were translated into eight ridiculously successful movies, JKR had a lot of pressure and expectations on her, as a writer. Then when The Casual Vacancy came out, it was received to mix reviews, most of them fairly negative. I think people didn’t know how to handle something so vastly different from Harry Potter. While a political thriller isn’t exactly the kind of genre that I tend to gravitate towards, I thoroughly enjoyed it and I think JKR’s talent comes across.

With this new book, she had the freedom to write, just WRITE, with no expectations, no pressure, none of that. And it shows how absolutely talented she is, because it garnered much attention, and people were hailing unknown author, Robert Galbraith, as an author to watch. Little did we know that it was JKR.

Now that the news is out, bookstores are scrambling to get this book on their shelves. An unknown author, Robert Galbraith was probably only on a handful of B&N shelves, and probably with no more than a few copies. Stores are selling out, and Amazon is backed up, what with their “1-3 week shipping”, even for Prime. JKR is a little sad that it already came out that it was her, but I don’t think she has to worry too much, and you’ll find out why in my review.

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)

GoodReads / Amazon / Barnes and Noble 

Note: It is currently sold out online at Barnes and Noble, and Amazon said it will ship between 1 and 3 weeks of order. 

adult, contemporary, mystery, crime

Part of a Series?
According to GoodReads, it is Cormoran Strike #1, so I am assuming there will be more novels

You May Like if You Liked:
This one is a bit harder for me. I don’t normally read crime/mystery novels so I couldn’t really tell you :/

Plot Summary: 

Cormoran Strike is an ex-military man, retired from the military after losing part of his leg. When he comes back, he takes the job of a private detective. He’s in immense debt, and he has just a VERY dramatic break-up with his fiancee, Charlotte, and is now living in his office. He is in desperate need of a case, and soon.

Robin is a young woman, just moved to London to live with her new fiance, Matthew. She needs to find a permanent job in London, and is currently temping. She is assigned to Cormoran Strike, even though he doesn’t have a dime to pay her.

Then John Bristow walks into his office, offering him a ridiculous, impossible case, but offering to pay him twice the usual amount. See, John’s sister is Lula Landry, the famous supermodel, who just three months before, pitched herself off her third story flat balcony into the snow below, in what the police are calling a suicide. John doesn’t believe it though, and that’s where Strike comes in.

Strike doesn’t actually believe that Lula Landry was murdered, but he’s desperate for some money and so he takes the case, and soon he’s wrapped up in the case, finding out more about Lula and the life she lived, and discovering that there is more to her death than previously known.

The Bad: 

Nothing. Absolutely, positively nothing. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zip. NOTHING.

The Good: 

I am not a murder mystery fan, or a mystery or a crime novel fan. Its not that I don’t like them, they just aren’t usually what I gravitate towards. My experience that in genre is limited to the Alphabet series by Sue Grafton but that is about it.

After reading this novel, I am interested to see what other mystery novels are out there that I might be interested in. But then, perhaps, they wouldn’t live up to this novel and my expectations would be too high.

J.K Rowling has always been able to spin a wonderful story, with deep and well-developed characters, and with plenty of mystery to keep your eyes glued to the pages until the very end. My very favorite chapter in all of the Harry Potter novels is the chapter in Goblet of Fire where Albus Dumbledore questions Barty Crouch Jr, under the Veritaserum. It brings all the mysteries and unanswered questions of the novel all to one boiling point and you literally are reading that chapter with eyes wide, in such surprise as everything is all revealed.

J.K. Rowling masters this YET again in this novel in such different ways. She accomplishes the same sort of build up, the mystery, the unanswered questions and delivers the same punch, the same sort a-ha! moment. I am really bad with mysteries. I can never guess who did what, and when, and why, or any of that. I just can’t figure that stuff out. I’m terrible. And JKR weaves such an intricate line of clues and stories that I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. There were times where Cormoran was satisfied or he had a knowing smile, and all I could was, what on earth did he just figure out? I couldn’t figure it out at all, and that’s what made me race through the pages to finish. I just had to know how it ended. I had to find out if Lula was really a suicide or a murder.

JKR is an amazing writer. I think sometimes people don’t appreciate her because she’s only really ever had Harry Potter, and after a few successful books, you could almost say the success of the sequels after that were based on her popularity. I obviously don’t believe that because I am a huge Harry Potter fan, and she’s my favorite author. I think people still failed to see the talent she holds in The Casual Vacancy. Anyone who fails to see her talent in this book is kidding themselves. Everything from the story she tells, the subtle clues she creates, the descriptions of places, and people, the development of her characters to the ability to keep a reader enrapt for hours makes her a truly fantastic writer. She has an ability that isn’t granted to most.

So why are you still reading this? Go! If this is the story you’ve been waiting for JKR to create since the end of Harry Potter, then go, find it now. You will not be disappointed. This book grabs you from page one, keeps you addicted to the characters, especially that of Cormoran Strike, and leaves you racing through the pages to get to the end, just like she has always done. There is a reason that this book, by an “unknown” author, garnered attention, high praise and brought the title of “author to write”. No matter what name she writes under, she still commands an incredibly talent, a literary presence that refuses to go unnoticed.


5 out of 5 Stars

Recommended or Not: 

Of course! I was so happy to find out that JKR had written a new book, and I was dying to read it right away. The best part of it was, it turned out to be a truly fantastic book. I read JKR as a child and a teenager, like the characters in the Harry Potter novel, and now that I am an adult, I get much enjoyment from reading her adult novels. Harry Potter will always be my number one, forever, because there is nothing like it, but a book like The Cuckoo’s Calling shows us that Joanne Rowling as talent and literary permanence besides Harry Potter. Go. Now. Find a way to purchase this book because you won’t regret it.

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Hope you enjoyed this edition of the Book of the Week. Don’t forget to check our previous reviews here.

Last week’s review was on The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson, which hits bookstores at the end of August.

Lastly, don’t forget to enter to win an my Tammara Webber ebook contest! You could win the entire Between the Lines series or a copy of her standalone NA novel, Easy!

Happy Reading!

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