Tuesday, April 1, 2014

THE CUCKOO'S CALLING: A "Strike"-ing review

"I am become a name"

(Minor to no spoilers ahead! go read!)
TITLE: The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike#1)
AUTHOR/s: Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling)
PUBLICATION DATE: 1st of January, 2013
AVAILABLE AT: Amazon | The Book Depository
Growing up, I've had my share of detective stories. From twin sisters' super sleuthing on several occasions (Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield from Sweet Valley Series) to my own personal childhood idol (which started my fondness for this genre.), Nancy Drew. Not to mention some of my favorite guy detectives, the Hardy Boys. And eventually, later on in my life, the ever-famous, Sherlock Holmes.

 And now, years later after reading my last detective novel (as I have been quite busy with other genres like YA, dystopia, etc.), my interest was once again piqued by another brain-twisting "crime fiction": The Cuckoo's Calling. Being a self-proclaimed Potterhead, I'll admit that it was also a plus when I learned that it was written by Rowling though I can say that even if it was authored by a completely different person; a real Robert Galbraith, perhaps, I'd still want to read it anyway. And I did. After 400+ pages, I finished it within a week's worth of reading.

Cuckoo's Calling
Lula Landry (AKA Cuckoo) was at the peak of her modelling career when she went down, quite literally. Found dead in front of her apartment complex after falling from her room's window, everyone developed their own theories on how the star had plummeted to her death. Alas, the police authorities has marked it as suicide but her stepbrother, John Bristow, isn't convinced. Believing that there was truly a foul play, he sought out private investigator Cormoran Strike's help which led the detective (and his temp secretary Robin Ellacott) to the word of bright lights, parties, family ties, secret affairs and betrayals.

It was definitely a "Rowling" work. Meticulously portrayed characters, vast painted scenes, finely structured story plot, it was definitely questionable that it was released as a debut work. I could say that Rowling's writing was quite shown in The Cuckoo's Calling (As of what I've described above) 

The characters were really described in a detailed manner, all of them including the minor ones. I liked especially how Strike and Robin was portrayed ( I loved their first meeting haha :D ) but I'm still really conflicted about them. I didn't really want Robin to leave Strike and well, I was secretly hoping that Robin and Matthew (her soon-to-be husband) would split up eventually. Is that so wrong? Yeah probably. 

Anyway, The scenes were as detailed as the characters presented though some of them were quite dragging that I find myself simply skimming through some passages that were too descriptive (I mean, I do know what to expect inside a high-class boutique even though I haven't seen one for myself. No need to get into full detail with that. But I guess some readers would want to really picture it in their heads. I just think that some imagining should be left for the readers, but meh.)

The plot, for me, was definitely plausible. That is what I like most in this genre. So many things can happen. Almost everyone is suspicious. And TCC is no exemption. In fact, I could have not guessed what happens in the end. I only realized that it was also another possible thing when I was already done with the novel. So yeah, MIND=BLOWN.

All in all, it was a good read. I'm definitely recommending it for those who likes Jo's way of writing (Though, I didn't actually read it simply because it was Rowling's work. In fact, I haven't even read her Casual Vacancy) and also to those who enjoy twisting their brains for some time. It was actually refreshing to take a break from my usual YA stories and come back to my childhood passion. Like Robin, I did want to become a detective when I was younger and I guess reading this brought back my inner sleuth. 

With all that said, I'd be giving it a four out of five rating :) I guess Robert Galbraith had actually "become a name" (out of Rowling's shadow for a small amount of time) just as Cormoran Strike had made a name for himself, away from his famous parents' industry.

4/5 rating :)

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