- Published: New York, NY : Mulholland Books, 2013.
- Year Published: 2013
- Edition: 1st North American ed.
- Description: 455 p. ; 25 cm.
- Language: English
- Format: Book
- Private investigators -- Fiction. -- England -- London
- Afghan War, 2001 -- Fiction. -- Veterans
- Murder -- Fiction. -- Investigation
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The cuckoo's calling
There are no copies available (4 Zoom Lends available) and 246 requests on 57 copies
Where To Find It
Available Copies: Downtown 1st Floor, Pittsfield Adult, Traverwood Adult, West Adult
Originally published: Great Britain : Sphere, 2013.
"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, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, thelegendary 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."--Dust jacket.
Reviews & Summaries
First, it's a classic detective mystery. It fulfills all the expectations of the genre and doesn't try to be anything bigger or better or different. It fits with all the familiar patterns of this kind of book. It also isn't one of those dark mysteries where everyone is scum. The detective and his secretary are unusually appealing characters, I think I may like them better than any Potter characters I have previously encountered. Some of the people they meet are nice too.
If I hadn't known it was Rowling, I would have thought this a promising beginning for yet another of those mystery endless series, so we'd be seeing books labeled "A Cormoran Strike Mystery" for the next twenty or thirty years. Who knows, maybe we will. I'm past trying to predict what Rowling will write next. (Except that I'll bet that someday, years and years from now, she'll return to fantasy (but not to Harry Potter).)
Second, as mysteries go, it's pretty good. It avoids at least two of the major cop-outs of lazy mystery writers. In a lot of mysteries, the "detective" flails around at random, hitting a clue or two by luck, until the villain panics and attacks the detective, thus revealing himself as the villain and absolving the "detective" from any need to do any actual work. Cormoran Strike is not that kind of detective. He actually investigates systematically and plausibly, collecting lots of information by talking to lots of people. The other lazy trick some writers use is maintaining suspense by not giving the reader all the information the detective has, until the final revelation. Rowling lets us know everything that Strike knows. She withholds most of the conclusions he draws until the end, but you have at least a chance of solving this mystery yourself if you read carefully.
Because it is a real investigation, and because she is giving you all the clues (amid plenty of other non-clues), most of the book consists of Mr. Strike interviewing one person after another. This can get a bit draggy, and that's probably why a lot of writers take short cuts to avoid that. Rowling minimizes the problem, but doesn't entirely erase it, by making the people being interviewed diverse and interesting. I can only assume that she is going out of her way to challenge herself as a writer by diving into a new genre and never taking the easy way out. Very cool.
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