The Cuckoo’s Calling – J. K. Rowling


The Cuckoo's Calling

When you’ve had astounding success and raked in unfathomable moolah with your first venture, expectations of people eyeing your subsequent outing will naturally be sky-high. So does J. K. Rowling deliver?

The word ‘success’ probably wouldn’t suffice to describe the author’s earlier attempt with the Harry Potter series. With millions of books sold and top-grossing film adaptations made, she decided to move on to other genres of writing. But typecast she got; which is why she decided to use the alias Robert Galbraith to write The Cuckoo’s Calling.

Now I haven’t (and never felt the need to) read any of her previous works; including, yes, Harry Potter. So naturally I didn’t have any expectations whatsoever of the writer and her style of writing.

The Cuckoo’s Calling is a Crime/Thriller Detective novel that’s a far cry from the children’s book genre the author’s worked on before. The plot of the novel is good; but you only realize it once after you get done with the book. That’s because while you’re reading it, you’re stuck in and confused with the myriad of long, fragmented and superfluous sentences that make you wonder what the point of the sentence was in the first place. Yup! A sentence just like this one.

So this is a sleuth story about a supermodel’s sudden death (hailed as suicide) with signs of it being a cold-blooded murder underneath. The model’s brother hires a crippled war hero turned detective, Cormoran Strike, to solve the case.

Well once you get past the sloppy first half which bores you more often than you’d like, the second half turns out to be much faster and moves at a consistent pace with revelations at frequent intervals. Rowling’s descriptions of situations and mannerisms of characters is pretty good and lets you elaborately imagine their appearance, personality and even body language with ease.

If only her writing style was as engaging as I’d have thought, this book would’ve been a pretty great detective thriller.

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