Book Review – ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ by J. K. Rowling

Mar 17, 2014 by     Comments Off on Book Review – ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ by J. K. Rowling    Posted under: Book Emporium

After much waiting I finally got around to reading the much talked about bestselling thriller, The Cuckoo’s Calling written by our very own J.K. Rowling , the author of the Harry Potter series. We all know by now that Robert Galbraith is the queen herself, J.K. Rowling. She wrote that book under a pseudonym which was unveiled mysteriously and fans rejoiced to find that our favourite had written yet another book.

Now after reading the book we are left with one question – is the book any good?

I have heard a lot of good things about this book so naturally I had high hopes and also because it was the famous J.K. Rowling but maybe my expectations were a little too high because I must admit to myself I couldn’t help feeling a little let down. The story is a straight up detective novel, in the English crime tradition. Since we are so used to associating Rowling’s name with Harry Potter so it’s very different reading this book which is the complete opposite of the Boy Wizard’s world yet is by the same author. But soon enough you are caught up in the story narrated in Rowling’s usual captivating style and it is nevertheless very captivating.

We open the narrative following the death of a supermodel Lula Landry, whose apparent suicide has the press in a frenzy. Three months later, private detective Cormoran Strike is approached and is asked to investigate if, in fact, Landry’s death was a suicide or a result of foul play.

Together with his new secretary, Robin, Strike begins to divulge into the murky waters of celebrity culture, attempting to bring peace to Lula Landry’s family and put Lula herself to rest, once and for all.

Potter fans be warned: as I said before , The Cuckoo’s Calling is the next step in Rowling’s clear decision to try and do things completely different from The Boy Who Lived. But maybe The Casual Vacancy has told you that by now.

To me the writing in this book seemed very different to what I’m used to in the Potter books but that’s just my opinion, nevertheless I will this: Potter fans are likely to find certain forms of writing they do recognize. There is a familiar focus on names, like bird names have a significant spot in this novel, and you can bet that the most die-hard of fans will already have checked out their various meanings and connotations.

The physical descriptions are like the wave of a friend, reminding you of Rowling’s immense skill in bringing a character to life with a few swift strokes of her pen. She brings life to her characters in The Cuckoo’s Calling just the same way she did with her beloved Potter characters.

As the two main characters, Cormoran Strike and Robin (both bird-related names, for those keeping score) leave a lot of room for development. In the beginning there is something strange about the large, burly detective and his small , attractive side-kick.

You finish the novel hoping that there is more to come for these two characters and of course the crime which is after all the center of the whole but there is just something about the ending that makes you think that it had the potential to be more. Being so accustomed to the language and writing style of those wonderful Potter books, I felt a little shocked at the language Rowling used in certain parts in this book.

The Cuckoo’s Calling , being a crime novel , does give you curiosity one associates with crime novels, where they make you turn the pages over and over because you just have to know what happens in the end. You read it with the certainty that all loose ends in the Lula Landry case will be resolved by the final end.

Despite all that, there is the unsettling feeling that Rowling is doing nothing here that hasn’t been done before by generations of writers. There is nothing in particular about The Cuckoo’s Calling that makes it stand out from the shelves of preexisting crime novels.

Our Dynamic Duo will be coming back in the sequel to The Cuckoo’s Calling which is called The Silkworm and will be coming out this July.

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