Well, since my love of John Sandford and J.K. Rowling seemed to meet in The Cuckoo’s Calling, I had to read it. I will admit that it was hard to get into. It took me a lot longer to read the first third of the book than the last two. Rowling (I’m not going to pretend that Robert Galbraith exists. She’s Jo. You know it. I know it. Rob knows it. Get over it.) seemed to be unsure in the start who her main character was. So the narrative starts and stops, jerking me in and out of interest. However, the moment I met Strike, I was hooked.
Rowling continued her skill of creating a world that is engrossing. For someone who has never been to London, I felt like I could navigate its streets with only this book as my guide. The sights, smells, cool air, all felt as real as Hogwarts. It has always been her way of weaving in details that not only make her characters and setting come alive, but complicate the mystery until the last. No character is ‘throw away’ each one is as alive as the two main characters of Strike and Robin. I am reminded of early Harry Potter books final chapters where the mystery is explained by one character to the other in a big reveal (Remember Riddle in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets), but I don’t know how else she could do it.
Aside from the slow start which could have been my reading issues – I have always had trouble digging into a new novel with unfamiliar characters – and the throw away title; The Cuckoo’s Calling is a new favourite. It’s up there with Eyes of Prey. This is never going to be a crime novel version of Harry Potter, but if it weren’t Rowling, I wouldn’t be comparing the two anyway.
View all my reviews