The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

The Cuckoo's CallingSuicide or murder? A beautiful, but troubled model, Lula Landry, falls to her death from her balcony and her brother John hires Cormoran Strike, private detective, war veteran, and old school chum, to help him prove that she was murdered. Simple private detective mystery? Could be, but Robert Galbraith (a.k.a. J.K. Rowlings) spins a tale of family feuds, jealousy and inheritance, as well as introduces many quirky characters to give this book an edge. And most of the characters have motive and opportunity to do the deed. There’s the boyfriend with whom Lula quarreled with the night of her death, the neighbor who “witnessed” the fall, the girlfriend who lost her shopping friend, the uncle with questionable financial issues, the worried brother, and Lula’s other biological family. More than half way through we are still lead to believe that suicide is still a possibility. But Strike, who is troubled also with a crazy ex-girlfriend, and intrigued with a secretary who is darn good at sleuthing herself, but not his type, keeps poking and drilling down methodically and smartly to get to the facts.

The book is well written and hard to put down. However, it’s not the murder mystery necessarily that captured me but the complex character of Cormoran Strike. Might be that the theme of the book was really about his life and what falls in front of him: bad girlfriends, homelessness, murder plots, angry clients, painful injuries, not so much about solving crimes. I think we’ll see Strike again soon.

Find and reserve this title at the library.

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