- published in 2013
- narrated by Robert Glenister
- length: 15 hours 53 mins
- available from Audible
When a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts, and calls in private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into the case. Strike is a war veteran - wounded both physically and psychologically - and his life is in disarray.
The case gives him a financial lifeline, but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model's complex world, the darker things get - and the closer he gets to terrible danger…
A gripping, elegant mystery steeped in the atmosphere of London - from the hushed streets of Mayfair to the backstreet pubs of the East End to the bustle of Soho - The Cuckoo's Calling is a remarkable book. Introducing Cormoran Strike, this is a classic crime novel in the tradition of P. D. James and Ruth Rendell, and marks the beginning of a unique series of mysteries.
To be honest I read this knowing that it was J. K. Rowling's first venture into crime fiction. I'm not a Harry Potter fan although I have read a couple of them.
In THE CUCKOO'S CALLING Rowling has created a sleuthing partnership - Cormoran Strike and his temporary office help, Robin Ellacott - that works really well. Cormoran Strike is a good detective and Robin provides invaluable backup.
The novel has an interesting timeframe in that it is firmly set in the first decade of the 21st century, referring to the war in Afghanistan etc. The characters really come alive and the plot, though it has lots of twists and tangles, is plausible and enthrallingly constructed.
So this is J. K. Rowling for adults and I thoroughly enjoyed it, and Robert Glenister was the perfect choice for the narrator. The blurb says this is the beginning of a series and I certainly hope Cormoran and Robin get a second outing.
My rating: 5.0
Other reviews to check
Robert Galbraith site - including Rowling decided to write under a pseudonym (see FAQs)