Book Review: The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith


Rating: 3.5 / 5

Private investigator Cormoran Strike is barely making ends meet. His business is far from thriving, and he has a loan officer hounding him for repayment.  On top of that, there is no new business, and his relationship with his girlfriend is on the rocks.  Then temporary worker Robin arrives due to a miscommunication, and Cormoran now has an extra expense.  Then John Bristow walks in, and seemingly saves Cormoran’s business.  Bristow wants Cormoran to investigate the death of his supermodel sister Lula Landry three months prior.  Lula had fallen to her death from her third floor balcony, and the police ruled it a suicide, though no one has seen a suicide note.  John believes that Lula was murdered, and wants Cormoran to find definitive proof of this, and to find her murderer.

I’m torn between really liking The Cuckoo’s Calling because it had twists and turns and was somewhat suspenseful, and not liking it because it was just so darn long.  I have to admit I didn’t see the ending, but on the other hand I almost didn’t make it to the end.  Like the Harry Potter books, I thought The Cuckoo’s Calling was a tad bit long.  By now everyone knows that Robert Galbraith is really J.K Rowling, and like the phenomenally successful boy wizard books, she rambled too much for my liking.  The Cuckoo’s Calling would have been superb if shortened by 50 pages.  Some parts in the middle I ended up skipping over because I just got bored. The last 40 or so pages were important, and moved quickly, and I just wished that the whole book moved at that pace; there was a lot of detail that added unnecessary length to the book, and ultimately did not move the plot forward.  And since this is a murder/mystery, I think that moving the story along is more important that flowery language.

Overall, my main gripe is that The Cuckoo’s Calling was too long.  I did like the plot and some of the subplots, but ultimately, if Ms. Rowling decides that write another Cormoran Strike novel, I will likely pass.

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