After creating the phenomenally successful Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling could have sat back and enjoyed her fame and the huge fortune it created. But she did not. “Cuckoo’s Calling” is the first book in her mystery series written for adults. The second in the series “The Silkworm” was published in 2014.
Writing as Robert Galbraith, Rowling has created a very likable detective. Cormoran Strike is an ex-British soldier, who lost his leg while fighting in Afghanistan. Struggling to build his detective agency, he encounters a number of personal problems. He has borrowed a good deal of money to get his agency off the ground, he has finally left his on-and-off girlfriend, and now has no where to live. Everyone connects him with his rock star father, a man he never has had anything to do with.
In the midst of all these problems, John Bristow, the brother of a deceased childhood friend, walks through his door. Bristow is the member of a well-known, wealthy English family. His sister, all the Bristow children were adopted, has recently committed suicide. Or at least that is what the police have concluded. Bristow is not convinced, and he hires Strike to investigate.
Lucky for Strike, the temp agency has sent him one more secretary, Robin Ellacott, who has agreed to work for him until she can land a permanent, and better paying, position.
At first, Strike is convinced, like most of London, that Bristow’s sister, the famous but troubled model Lulu Landry, did take her own life. But a job is a job, and Strike desperately needs the money.
With Robin’s help, she becomes more and more involved in the investigation, Strike interviews everyone connected with the case and follows up every lead that could possibly answer the questions: Did Lulu kill herself or was she murdered? And if she was murdered, who among the many possible suspects could have shoved her off her balcony?“Cuckoo’s Calling” is a well-plotted, murder mystery. There are several characters who could have been responsible for Lulu’s murder. The truth is not revealed until the very last pages, when the author neatly wraps up all the loose ends and the killer is revealed. A person the reader would least suspect.
Let’s hope that Robert Galbraith has another case ready for Cormoran Strike to solve.