The Cuckoo’s Calling – Review


Title: The Cuckoo’s Calling

Author: Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)


I’ll be honest and say that I had not heard of this book before it was revealed that J.K. Rowling had written it. After I found out I downloaded the preview for my Kindle and was instantly hooked. I’m not really a fan of her writing. (I love the stories of Harry Potter and have read them all for that reason, but I have always struggled with her writing style.) If the book wasn’t a crime/detective novel then I wouldn’t have bothered with looking into it, but as it’s one of my favourite genres I thought I would give it a go.

Lula Landry, a supermodel, has fallen from the balcony of her apartment to her death. The police investigate and believe it to be a suicide. Lula’s brother thinks differently and hires, Cormoran Strike, a P.I., to look further into her death. At first he doesn’t want to take advantage of a grieving brother but the worry from constant looming debts get the better of him and he takes on the case. Initially not expecting to find anything that the police didn’t, Cormoran Strike, along with his new secretary Robin (Rowling does mention the Batman and Robin thing) start to uncover clues that Lula’s death isn’t as simple as it originally seemed.

The characters are really well done. Both Strike and Robin are really believable and I think they were the highlight of the book. Their own dramas and interactions took the book from an average crime/detective novel to a new level. 

I didn’t mind Rowling’s writing in this book either. I haven’t read The Casual Vacancy yet (But the paperback is now on my shelf), so I can’t tell whether I have grown up and accepted Rowling’s style, or she has improved since the Harry Potter books. There were a few parts where I had to reread sentences to make sure I had read them right, but this isn’t a big problem.

The twists were clever and some were unexpected. I did feel that the final reveal was a little underwhelming. While I had an idea who the killer was I wasn’t certain until it was revealed at the end, which is always a good thing.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes crime novels. It’s really well written. The characters are great and I look forward to the second installment which is due out next year.

Thanks for reading,



About ashleymanningwriter

Young Adult Fiction writer. Horror and fantasy blended together.
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6 Responses to The Cuckoo’s Calling – Review

  1. Carrie says:

    I loved The Casual Vacancy and I’m slowly making my way through the HP books, so I’m keen to check this out. Rowlings ability to make the mundane intriguing (The Casual Vacancy) is all in her character development, so I’m excited that you say the characters are the highlight! 🙂


    • Thank you for the comment. I hope you enjoy it when you get round to reading it. I’m going to be reading The Casual Vacancy in a couple of weeks after I’ve finished reading the books I’ve already started. I’m happy to know there is good character development in that book as well. 🙂


  2. Amy Lee says:

    J.K. Rowling is also a pen name I created along with the Harry Potter. “Malfoy” is an anagram for “of Amy L”…and that is me.


  3. Margaret Fisher says:

    Thank you for the review Ashley, I have it downloaded onto my MP3 player ready to read (listen to!) when the one I’m on at the moment is finished … one book at a time on there! I really enjoyed ‘The Casual Vacancy’ because it demonstrates all of her trademark expertise in character creation as well as her skill at recreating the sometimes claustrophobic feeling of living in a small village, where everyone knows everyone else’s business! I think, like you, that she draws her characters very well in everything she writes. She also has the uncanny knack of drawing her readers into the story and enabling them to feel part of the action. I hope you review that one too when you’ve read it – it’s always interesting to hear other people’s viewpoints on the books that I’ve read.


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