I’m with Val McDermid on this one; Robert Galbraith’s The Cuckoo’s Calling ‘reminds me why I fell in love with crime fiction in the first place.’ I’d have enjoyed this crime novel even without knowing who Robert really is. I’m no detective, but I’d have said he is a she, not a Londoner, and someone who knows what it’s like to be famous and being chased by the paparazzi.
Could be anyone.
The surprisingly likeable detective, Cormoran Strike, has a lot in common with the murder victim Lula Landry. So much so, that on occasion I found it hard to keep their respective weird families apart.
Lula is a rich and beautiful model who fell to her death from her balcony. Suicide was assumed until her brother John asks Strike to investigate. That’s a good thing, as our detective has a lot of debts and virtually no income. And only the one client. He does have a temp, however. Which is a luxury he can’t afford, so when the latest one, Robin, turns up, he needs to lose her as quickly as possible.
But you know how it is. As Strike trawls the seedy hangouts of the rich, Robin proves her worth in gold. What’s more, she enjoys the work (which she always secretly wanted to do) and her fiancé disapproves strongly. So it’s all good.
Apart from the frequent effing which we tended not to get in the good old days, The Cuckoo’s Calling is mostly back to traditional crime solving, and it is all the better for it. Limited cast, and set in a limited part of London, and really excellent. I worked out a rough idea of who must have done it, but was too lazy to finalise my analysis. (So I was right in my own small way.)
Well, it would have spoiled the reading, I say.
Here’s to Robert Galbraith’s next book. His detective grows on you, and he didn’t totally get rid of his quick-thinking temp.