[Review] The Cuckoo’s Calling, by Robert Galbraith

[Review] The Cuckoo’s Calling, by Robert GalbraithThe Cuckoo's Calling by J.K. Rowling, Robert Galbraith
Series: Cormoran Strike #1
Published by Mulholland Books on April 30th, 2013
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 455
The verdict: three-half-stars
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Cormoran Strike, after losing a leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, is now working as a private investigator and only barely making ends meet.

Then one day a new customer walks in. John Bristow's sister, supermodel Lula Landry, jumped to her death a few months earlier. John however is convinced it was murder.

I’m about a million years late to the party (as usual). Last month The Silkworm, the second book in the Cormoran Strike series, was published and I felt the pressure to finally read The Cuckoo’s Calling. It’s been on my shelf for a year, so it was about time!

I finished The Cuckoo’s Calling at the end of June and let’s be honest: this is typically one of those books that I have mixed feelings about.

For the most part, I absolutely enjoyed it. I found the writing style pleasant and easy to read, although from reading other reviews I gather most people actually didn’t like the style. So maybe I’m missing something. Anyway, for me it was one of the good things about this book, and on top of that I also greatly appreciated the short chapters.

The characters were interesting on the whole. A nice variation, which we also saw in A Casual Vacancy. Perhaps a little forced but it worked. Then there are the main characters: Cormoran and Robin, and they especially were very likeable.

Anyway, most of all, at the time of reading The Cuckoo’s Calling I simply needed a straightforward detective story and this book did the job just fine.


To me, it was also predictable. The kind of I-guessed-who-did-it-on-page-two predictable (figuratively speaking, of course).The story on the whole did not have as much depth as I had hoped. It seemed to move in one line, to unfold in a straight line. I like my detectives to move back and forth between possibilities. I like to be kept wondering. I like to guess. But there was nothing to guess at for a long time, and then the unfolding happened kind of awkwardly, if I’m making sense.

Now I know the story should be the most important aspect of a book. And it really wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t as clever as I had hoped.

Despite all that, I did enjoy it. On Goodreads I keep going back between 4 stars and 3 stars, I haven’t quite made up my mind. Will I read The Silkworm? Yes, yes I will. For one, I am hoping it will be better story-wise than The Cuckoo’s Calling. But I also really started to like Cormoran and Robin and I want to read more about them.


    • I went into it without any expectations really (same as with A Casual Vacancy) so perhaps that’s why I enjoyed it despite everything. Since you’re big on Agatha Christie (right?)… yes, yes you will be disappointed 🙁

  1. I’m not really a guesser which is why mystery isn’t really my favourite type of book. Maybe that’s why, unlike you, here I actually liked how straightforward the guesswork went: the putting together of clues using the barest technological help. I do agree with you about the characters – very likable! I want to read The Silkworm, if only to see how Strike and Robin get along. 🙂
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