The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“And still there is space for books that defy categorisation, books such as Robert Galbraith's new The Cuckoo's Calling which embraces the best of traditional mystery fiction, private-eye pace and the kind of writing that reminds me why I love this genre.”
Val McDermid, The Guardian
Once a certain Sparkling author had recommended to his fans a book about a girl gone to some place. The book turned out to be a marriage manual, though somehow it was marketed as a thriller. After that incident I was very weary of famous writers recommending books, specially thrillers. But then I found Val McDermid speaking her mind on The Guardian, now this is an author I respect. She has her notes right most of the times she speaks, So, with her recommendation and edging from a friend of mine I decided to pick up one of the most talked about book on this year “The Cuckoo’s Calling” by Robert Galbraith.
What was the plot all about? Nothing fancy, it was about a distraught brother asking Cormoran Strike, the protagonist, to find out the truth behind his sister’s suicide, which according to him had a more sinister shade to it. Strike, limping, dumped by his fiancé, without a home and broke, finds his salvation in this case and his “GIRL”-wonder called Robin. And as McDermid put it so clearly in her essay in the Guardian, the story chugs forward smoothly embracing the best of traditional mystery fiction, private-eye pace and the kind of writing that reminds me why I, i.e, Me, love this genre.
The ending wont floor you, it’s not an ORIENT EXPRESS or a chilling Scandinavian Thriller which would either start your head spinning because of the twists or would make you feel sick because of the gore. Its simple, and its straight. And, this is something I enjoyed, for a first time novelist there is always urgency or rather a desire to write something that would twist the ending into something totally unexpected, and most of the time making it rather funny or boring. Galbraith hasn’t gone that way, rather he opted for an ending which although being somewhat expected, had that perfect amount of that “UNEXPECTATION” which made me say “Somewhere I suspected him as the culprit, but never really believed he could do it”. Now that’s good crime writing. Making the reader feel that he is an expert too, and in the same vein retaining that perfect amount of suspense just to prove him right and making him feel the pleasure of knowing the unexpected.
Cormoran Strike, he is unique, but with a little shade of Jack Reacher. Can’t help, can we?? After all they both were military police. He is gruff, he has failed in love and he is broke. He has a persecuting stepfather, and a cruel ex-girlfriend. He needs a case badly, and he gets one, but his salvation comes in another form. In form of ROBIN, his girl-wonder. NO love lost or romantic liaisons between them, she had just got engaged. I love these characters, and I love them more when they triumph against all odds to show that not only its possible to win under any circumstances, but it’s also that Crime Writing will always entertain me.
Lastly, I am frightened, will this be the only strike of Cormoran we will ever get? After all, the writer will be busy filling up casual vacancies left by untimely death. But then again, she won’t have to spend time on her magical pursuits, now that the boys and girls have grown up and those snakes and monsters have been killed. So, I can lay back and feel the afterglow of a great session with a good-ole type crime novel, and safely feel that this is not the end, and that Robert Galbraith though being angry at his real name being revealed will surely pick up the pen to strike us again.
1. I guess this is what happens when the following equation is laid down:
Sue Grafton(Private Investigator) + Lee Child(Military Police) + J.K. Rowling(?????) = Robert Galbraith.
2. I never wasted a word on the writing style of the author. Cause neither I am an expert on writing style, nor I have the credibility to question Rowling’s style of writing. But, if you still want to judge how she writes, read her Harry Potter books, or get yourself a copy of Casual Vacancy.
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