The Cuckoo's Calling
Cormoran Strike Series, Book 1eBook - 2013
Published under a pseudonym, J. K. Rowling's brilliant debut mystery introduces Detective Cormoran Strike as he investigates a supermodel's suicide in "one of the best books of the year" (USA Today).
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, creditors are calling, and after a breakup with his longtime girlfriend, he's living in his office.
Then John Bristow walks through his door with a shocking 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.
Fast-paced and sharply drawn, this dazzling detective novel inspired Strike, the BBC crime drama series that has captivated millions of viewers worldwide.
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How could the death of someone you had never met affect you so?
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Unless you have been taking an extended tech and media vacation this summer, you will have heard that J.K. Rowling – author of the über-successful Harry Potter series - was outed as the true name behind Cuckoo’s Calling, using pseudonym Robert Galbraith. As any high-powered author would do, she sued the law firm that leaked her identity for a six-figure sum and then donated it, plus proceeds from the sale of the novel for the next three years, to The Soldier’s Charity, an organization that supports veterans and their families in Great Britain. She did this as a thank-you for those in the military who helped her with her research, leading her to create one of the most hard-boiled detectives to hit pages since Sam Spade, Cormoran Strike (how could he not be hard-boiled with a name like that?). A wounded veteran with an infamous set of rock parents, Strike grew up with his half-sister in care of his aunt and uncle. He joined the military as an investigator, went to Afghanistan and came back missing part of a leg (but is far too proud to admit it to those who don’t know him), and opens a detective agency. Unfortunately he has some hard luck with women and alcohol, until he literally runs into (and nearly knocks to her death) fresh-faced, and newly engaged Robin Ellacott, recently arrived in London from Yorkshire, who is assigned as his new temporary office worker. Robin, secretly thrilled to be working for a PI, by far the most efficient tem Strike has ever been assigned, and she proves herself both resourceful and intrepid as Strike gets his first big case – a model falls to her death and three months later her brother shows up, asking Strike to prove it was murder and not suicide. Strike is no hack – he is thoughtful, driven and methodical – much like his creator, Rowling. She slowly unveils the threads of the mystery with great care, precision, a host of fully-formed characters, more than a few red herrings and loads of wit. In fact, it is a far better book than Rowling’s last non-Potter novel, Casual Vacancy, and leaves the reader wanting to know more about Cormoran Strike. Let us hope that being outed as Robert Galbraith does not keep JK Rowling from creating further mysteries for him to solve. Cuckoo’s Calling is a first rate mystery, no matter who the author really is.
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