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The Cuckoo’s Calling – Review

I got my hands on The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith. To be honest, I wouldn’t have bothered to pick it up if I hadn’t known it was actually J. K. Rowling.

Did I like the book?  Hmmm… er… ok. It isn’t bad… no, it is a decent read. But with all the hype around it I was expecting a detective novel that smashed conventional gumshoe accounts. Well, this is just mediocre fare. In my younger days I have read the Harry Potter Series and I know that Rowling can weave quite a tale. So, yes… I am a wee bit disappointed.

I won’t disclose much of the story as it is…you know… a mystery / detective novel, except that it is set in modern London and revolves around the death of a supermodel of mixed race. Her brother hires a private detective with an unusual name – Cormoran Strike, to look in to her death.

The characters in the novel, including our limping protagonist, are quite clichéd… some of their back-stories are unusual but that’s all there is for novelty. There isn’t a feel of the city in it which helps you visualize the scenes… something is lacking despite London being a city with loads of charm and character. In fact, throughout the book what bothered me most was the odd feeling of unfinished characters, lacking a proper fleshing-out.

The book, in spite of its shortfalls is an interesting read and you’d want to read it at one go… cover to cover.

I hear Cormoran Strike is going to feature in more of her novels under the pen-name Robert Galbraith.

In the end, I would have to quote Shania Twain… That don’t impress me much!

© Surya Murali

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