Monday, August 26, 2013

Review: The Cuckoo's Calling (Audio)

Summary: A brilliant debut mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel's suicide.

After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

You may think you know detectives, but you've never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you've never seen them under an investigation like this.

Introducing Cormoran Strike, this is the acclaimed first crime novel by J.K. Rowling, writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. -- Hachette Audio 

By now, you'd have to be living under a rock not to have heard that THE CUCKOO'S CALLING by Robert Galbraith was actually written by none other than J.K. Rowling. While I'd like to say that this novel caught my eye before learning that Rowling was the author, I'd be telling a total lie. Of course, once I heard all of the buzz surrounding it,I had to get my hands on a copy. Fortunately, I received an audio version within the day!

THE CUCKOO'S CALLING was an extremely entertaining murder mystery -- and I'm 100% sure I would have felt the same way even before I knew who the author really was! Cormoran Strike is a private investigator who is most definitely down on his luck. He recently lost his leg while serving in Afghanistan, his girl friend just dumped him, and he's living in his office. Even worse, he's flat out broke and down to his last customer. However one day, John Bristow enters his office and asks him to look into the death of his sister, the supermodel Lula Landry. The police have ruled it a suicide, but John believes there was foul play.

Cormoran and his temporary assistant Robin begin looking into Lula's death and find themselves recreating the final days of Lula's life. Their investigation introduces them to a wide variety of characters.. and suspects; and they get a glimpse into the lifestyles of the rich and famous. Together, they uncover the clues which allow Cormoran to put together all of the pieces and reveal the unlikely events surrounding Lula's death.

I honestly loved THE CUCKOO'S CALLING! I thought the story was intriguing and I was kept guessing until the very end (although I admit I had my suspicions about the culprit but no idea about the motive.) Furthermore, I was extremely impressed with the variety of characters that were introduced in this novel. Lula has some very unique associates and family and friends, but the witnesses were also interesting... and often times mysterious.

However, it was the characters of Cormoran and Robin that I absolutely adored -- their teamwork and chemistry is just fantastic! Cormoran is one of the most interesting detective characters that I've recently encountered in fiction, and I loved how his background story unfolded throughout the course of the novel. I also liked how Robin supported him, and I have a feeling that we'll be seeing this dynamic duo together in future cases.

Another wonderful thing about THE CUCKOO'S CALLING was how the murdered was eventually revealed. The case was quite complex with lots of twists and turns, and I liked how Cormoran summed everything up at the end of the novel. For some reason, it reminded me a bit of those detective shows that I watched on television as a kid; and I think this method of reveal worked well for this novel.

The audio version of THE CUCKOO'S CALLING was read by Robert Glenister, and I thought he did an outstanding job. I'm beginning to realize that I'm a sucker for British accents, but I loved how he did the various voices (both male and female) as well as the accents. Since I am pretty sure that THE CUCKOO'S CALLING in the first in a series, I look forward to hearing Mr. Glenister again, sooner rather than later.

Overall, I thought THE CUCKOO'S CALLING was a very high quality detective novel. Highly recommended!

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel.

Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.


Sandy Nawrot said...

Yeah I do love my British accents!!! I am on hold for this one on audio. I may not get it for six months, but I will get to it.

Mitch Kelly said...

Great review! So glad you enjoyed it!

bermudaonion said...

I turned this one down because I didn't love her last book and now I'm regretting it. I'll have to get a copy if it does become a series.

Itara said...

I've heard the buzz around this book and people mostly enjoy it. Im glad you liked it.