Sunday, August 04, 2013

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

This was written by the not so obscure author J. K. Rowling. I like most people only heard of it when it came out a few weeks after it was published that it was her writing it. Naturally I ran over and picked up the Kindle edition which meant that I haven't had to deal with any delays involving the supply chain. I would've figured that the publisher would've had stock on hand for when the word leaked out.

In the opening scene a model falls from a balcony. The police assume it was suicide. Her distraught adopted brother calls in a private investigator to look again at the case. In the best hard-boiled tradition Cormoran Strike is a hard drinking down on his luck guy with some ghosts in his past. Surprisingly he actually manages not to check the womanizer box although I suppose that's a bit debatable.

In fact the whole book is very much solidly in the hard-boiled detective novel tradition. There are flourishes which do show it's Rowling. Unusual character names and head scratching figures of speech though they're not as distracting as they were in "Vacancy". For the most part the characters are actually likable which is something else I did enjoy about it.

Apparently there's a sequel already planned. I suspect that I'll be ordering it as soon as it comes back out. This certainly isn't to the heights of Harry Potter but it's much better than I thought it was going to be when the story broke.

Highly recommended!

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