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The Cuckoo’s Calling – JK Rowling – Book Review

Shout out to all our Harry Potter and JK Rowling fans. This one is for you.

JK Rowling live, reading the first pages of Harry Potter: The Deathly Hallows License     Attribution Some rights reserved by Ran Yaniv Hartstein

JK Rowling live, reading the first pages of Harry Potter: The Deathly Hallows
Attribution Some rights reserved by Ran Yaniv Hartstein

Here is out review of her latest book, The Cuckoo’s Calling.

Cuckoo to friends, Lula Landry, a super model beauty and protagonist of ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ by Robert Galbraith, aka J.K.Rowling meets with a fatal fall three months prior to the opening of the story.

In Rowling’s hands, the death of the model does not convert her into a cold corpse but remains a haunting presence full of life and blood throughout the 464 pages of this voluminous crime thriller.

John Bristow, the adopted brother of Lula hires Cormoran Strike, a private detective ostensibly to get at the bottom of Lula’s death, categorizing it a murder, but in reality to impute murder motive to Jonah, Lula’s recently discovered half brother.

Lula herself is a creature of mixed race, sexy, beautiful, and a professional model. She has been adopted by an opulent white family.

But she is pining for some close relations of her own and her quest into her biological roots leads to half brother Jonah in whose favour she changes her will wanting to bequeath him the enormous earnings of the successful modeling career.

At first, Strike – who himself is the illegitimate son of Jonny Rokeby, an ageing, though rich and famous pop star – is reluctant to undertake the investigation.

However soon interest begins to pile up as Strike, ably assisted by the lovely Robin Ellacott, his secretary, starts the probe.  He gradually comes to investigate Lula’s world and meet Lula’s boy friend Evan Duffield, Guy, the fashion designer, Tony Landry, Uncle, Clara Porter, close friend and the Security guard as well as the personal driver among others.

Very adroitly, if a tad laboriously, the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle are joined together at the end.

But this first crime fiction of Rowling smacks of Agatha Christie and Arthur C Doyle’s super investigator Sherlock Homes. In naming of some of the characters and their caricaturist personalities like that of Strike with his girth, his hairy aspect and the prosthetic leg, reader glimpses influence of Charles Dickens lending the Rowling attempt taste of old wine in a new bottle.

The book has surfeit of characters though all seem well delineated by Evan Duffield, the protagonist’s boyfriend, Yuette, Lula’s adoptive mother or Clara Porter, Lula’s friend.

On top Lula’s continual presence, as though rising Phoenix like out of the ashes, imparts the protagonist a notion of life and living.

Rowling’s poking fun at the high brow social values doesn’t fail to entertain, though the copious details of London’s old world charm only add volume and often  get as boring as the paparazzi references.

Rating 2.5 stars

By Joseph R


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