The Cuckoo s Calling
Robert Galbraith
Mulholland Books 2013


The Cuckoo’s Calling is the debut mystery novel of ex Royal Military Police officer Robert Galbraith (pseudonym).  It begins when wealthy, gorgeous rebel and supermodel Lula Landry tumbles to her death from her London apartment, sparking a firestorm of paparazzi, speculation and scandal. Kindle at Amazon

Police label it a suicide, but her adopted brother John Bristow begs to differ.  He hires former family friend, PI Cormoran Strike to investigate.

Cormoran Strike, unbeknownst to Bristow is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and personal failure, short on clients and long on debt.  His secretary Robin secretly dreams of PI glory, but knows her days are numbered.

Amidst the complicated and convoluted dynamics of the extended Bristow/Landry family and the glamour and affectations of the fashion world, Strike uncovers much eccentricity, deceit, and envy in an array of colourful disparate characters who have conflicting reactions and suppositions about Lula’s untimely descent.

There is good news and bad news about The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith.  The good news, is that at times Galbraith displays a great vocabulary, and uses very nice descriptions, making segments of the book enjoyably visual.  His ideas are interesting and have promise, but his execution leaves room for a tighter plot and a faster pace.  Unfortunately, he repeats phrases, description and information enough that you realize that you’ve heard them before.

Cormoran Strike’s investigation amounts to little more than gathering testimonials, which I suppose is what investigators do.  However, in book form, it becomes tiresome and lackluster.  Here, nothing happens beyond interview after interview, and Strike’s storytelling and retelling.  There is no action.  Strike provides his own speculations, explanations and conclusions, going to great lengths to inform suspects and witnesses what they themselves were doing, thinking, and feeling at many given times.  Important details seem to simply materialize out of his head.  His almost psychic perpetual accuracy is annoying, given the often lack of concrete substantiating information evident to the reader.

There are some surprises, and the complex story is tied up neatly in the end.  The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith however wasn’t as entertaining as this reader expected.