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The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike) [Hardcover]

Robert Galbraith , J.K.Rowling
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,586 customer reviews)
RRP: 16.99
Price: 9.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

18 April 2013 Cormoran Strike

When a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts, and calls in private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into the case.

Strike is a war veteran - wounded both physically and psychologically - and his life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline, but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model's complex world, the darker things get - and the closer he gets to terrible danger . . .

A gripping, elegant mystery steeped in the atmosphere of London - from the hushed streets of Mayfair to the backstreet pubs of the East End to the bustle of Soho - The Cuckoo's Calling is a remarkable book. Introducing Cormoran Strike, this is the acclaimed first crime novel by J.K. Rowling, writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere (18 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408703998
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408703991
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 3.9 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,586 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,104 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series and The Casual Vacancy.

Product Description

Review

The Cuckoo's Calling reminds me why I fell in love with crime fiction in the first place (Val McDermid)

One of the most unique and compelling detectives I've come across in years (Mark Billingham)

One of the best crime novels I have ever read (Alex Gray)

Everytime I put this book down, I looked forward to reading more. Galbraith writes at a gentle pace, the pages rich with description and with characters that leap out of them. I loved it. He is a major new talent (Peter James)

Just once in a while a private detective emerges who captures the public imagination in a flash. And here is one who might well do that . . . There is no sign that this is Galbraith's first novel, only that he has a delightful touch for evoking London and capturing a new hero. An auspicious debut (Daily Mail)

In a rare feat, Galbraith combines a complex and compelling sleuth and an equally well-formed and unlikely assistant with a baffling crime in his stellar debut . . . Readers will hope to see a lot more of this memorable sleuthing team (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

Laden with plenty of twists and distractions, this debut ensures that readers will be puzzled and totally engrossed for quite a spell (Library Journal)

A scintillating debut novel . . . Galbraith delivers sparkling dialogue and a convincing portrayal of the emptiness of wealth and glamour (The Times, Saturday Review)

Utterly compelling . . . a team made in heaven and I can't wait for the next in the series (Saga Magazine)

The detective and his temp-agency assistant are both full and original characters and their debut case is a good, solid mystery (Morning Star)

The plot could have come from an Agatha Christie novel and yet The Cuckoo's Calling is absolutely of today, colourfully written and great fun (Bookoxygen.com)

Galbraith demonstrates superb flair as a mystery writer (Birmingham Post)

This debut is instantly absorbing, featuring a detective facing crumbling circumstances with resolve instead of clichéd self-destruction and a lovable sidekick with contagious enthusiasm for detection . . . Kate Atkinson's fans will appreciate his reliance on deduction and observation along with Galbraith's skilled storytelling (Booklist)

The most engaging British detective to emerge so far this year . . . An astonishingly mature debut from Galbraith, it marks the start of a fine crime career (Daily Mail online)

Rowling is a formidable storyteller . . . the plot is tightly moulded and told (Mark Lawson, The Guardian)

A sharply contemporary novel full of old-fashioned virtues . . . wonderfully fresh and funny. I hope this is the inauguration of a series that lasts long enough to make Harry Potter look like a flash in the pan (Jake Kerridge, The Daily Telegraph)

The appeal of The Cuckoo's Calling doesn't depend at all on Rowling's prior status. All credit to her: she has created a really good series here. Strike will be back (Evening Standard)

Rowling's descriptions of contemporary London are excellent (Mail on Sunday)

It should come as no surprise that her first foray into crime fiction is so accomplished . . . a brilliant depiction of London life . . . at heart it's an engrossing and well-crafted who-dunnit. Unsurprisingly excellent (Sunday Mirror)

It's probably best, for the moment, to forget Robert Galbraith's real identity; this is a very good book in its own right (Independent)

Her crime debut beguilingly shows that she can renounce magic and yet be magical (Sunday Times)

An accomplished piece that thoroughly deserves its retrospective success (Financial Times)

A gripping, finely crafted and atmospheric mystery, and its charismatic hero, ex-solder-turned-private-eye Cormoran Strike, is a brilliant creation (Sunday Business Post)

Beautifully written with a terrific plot ... It's a terrific read, gripping, original and funny ... Please, please give us more of Robert Galbraith and Cormoran Strike (Daily Express)

The work of a master storyteller . . . This is a sharply contemporary novel full of old-fashioned virtues (Telegraph)

Robert Galbraith has written a highly entertaining book ... Even better, he has introduced an appealing protagonist in Strike, who's sure to be the star of many sequels to come (New York Times)

The master is back. In The Cuckoo's Calling, a detective novel that Rowling published under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith, she returns to the strengths that made Harry Potter - the beautiful sense of pacing, the deep but illusionless love for her characters - without sacrificing the expanded range of The Casual Vacancy. In doing so, she's written one of the books of the year (Charles Finch, USA Today)

Rowling moves through the polished world of fashion designers and rock stars with the same aplomb as she did when writing about wizards and witches (Vogue)

Rowling switches genres seamlessly ... A gritty, absorbing tale (Ellen Shapiro, People)

Cleverly plotted ... Rowling serves up a sushi platter of red herring, sprinkling clues along the way, before Strike draws a confession out of the killer in a climax straight out of Agatha Christie (Entertainment Weekly)

One of the great pleasures of The Cuckoo's Calling, as with most detective stories, is observing the gumshoe's Aha! moments, without being told what they are ... Money and general fabulousness does for The Cuckoo's Calling what magic did for Harry Potter, creating an extravagant, alien, fascinating world for its characters to explore ... The Cuckoo's Calling is fun (Slate Magazine)

It's terrific ... A brilliant achievement, mordantly funny and monumentally absorbing ... A masterful novel, the kind of big, noisy, busy, beautiful book in which it is so easy and so pleasurable to become enmeshed (Chicago Tribune)

I wasn't disappointed. Whether she's writing about Dementors or detectives, Rowling is a pro (Daily Beast)

The private eye novel is not dead. It was merely waiting for Robert Galbraith to give it a firm squeeze, goosing it back to bold, new life. Hardboiled crime fans are going to go cuckoo for this one. I haven't had this much fun with a detective novel in years (Duane Swierczynski, Shamus and Anthony Award-winning author)

Book Description

The acclaimed first crime novel by J.K. Rowling, writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
523 of 558 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith 23 April 2013
By Steven TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio Download
I came across this novel when browsing the new releases and thought it looked interesting and worth a read. I'm glad I took the punt because the Cuckoo's Calling is a terrific mystery story. The brother of a troubled model calls in a private investigator following her death in what the police are treating as suicide. Everything points to this but as we get deeper in to the novel it becomes clear that all is not as it seems.

The private investigator Cormoran Strike is a terrific character: ex-army turned P.I going through a messy separation from his fiancé and whose business is in real financial trouble he is immediately sympathetic. The other characters, from eccentric fashion designers to drug-addicted musicians feel real and the dialogue is believable. The mystery is satisfyingly complex with a nice conclusion that I didn't see coming.

One of the things that really set this book apart for me in the crowded genre of private investigator fiction was the quality of writing, depth of character and the wonderful sense of place Galbraith brings to the novel. Galbraith's vivid descriptions bring the story to life and we feel like we are there with Strike and his temporary secretary Robin as they solve the mystery. I suppose I would describe this as quite an old-fashioned style thriller with an emphasis placed on interviewing witnesses and gathering clues rather than action and this really helped with the character development.
I hope there will be more books in the series and I'll certainly read them if they are released. Very highly recommended.

p.s: excellent narration of the audio book from Robert Glenister.
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111 of 120 people found the following review helpful
By Mr
Format:Hardcover
So many reviews and that tells the story alone. J K Rowling is a literary sensation, after Harry Potter I confess I was slightly let down by Casual Vacancy, but I think I didn't bring enough to the book, and some of the overt politics grated.
However this book I loved. It shows a strong narrative ability that gives the lie to those that think that Rowling is just "lucky". She clearly works hard at her plotting and though over long in places the chapters keep pace and are always illuminating the plot.

I like the Robert Galbraith name, it gives her a chance in the tradition of other authors (King, Christie) to step away from the Potter brand - as a crime debut novel it is very good and I for one hope that she keeps the conceit going when she writes book two. The novel feels contemporary and realistic to the London I know and grounded in realistic and rich characters. Her opening chapters about the arrival of a temp to a new job ring true to someone who has temped and show that she has done her research and kept her grounded feel that the early Potter books had. The thing to remember about Rowling is that she writes books that are worth reading, she may not be writing the kind of literary fiction that one would study on an English Lit course, but she IS writing the kind of work that connects, enthrals and entertains readers. Sometimes a little misanthropic in its view of life but all in all a very absorbing read and I look forward to more in the series.
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Cuckoo's Calling 5 Jun 2013
By S Riaz HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a wonderfully entertaining new crime debut, which although it contains nothing amazingly original, works really well. Firstly, there is the main character, Cormoran Strike - a wounded war veteran, with a troubled past, damaged love life and financial woes, which see him sleeping in his office when we first meet him. Strike has left the army, which provided him with the structure and home life his mother never could, and set up as a Private Detective. The only problem is, a lack of paying clients. He then receives a new temporary secretary, Robin Ellacott, with her slightly stuffy fiance and her secret desire to be a detective. Both Strike and Robin, are fully fleshed out characters that we care about deeply by the end of the book.

The crime Strike is asked to investigate involves a famous supermodel, who falls (or is pushed) from her balcony on a snowy, London night. Lula Landry is the adopted daughter of a wealthy family and her adopted brother is insistent that she had no suicidal feelings when he met up with her that day. As Strike sets out to investigate, we are introduced to a cast of identifiable characters - the effeminate dress designer, drug taking Paparazzi avoiding boyfriend, disgrunted 'wannabee' film star chauffeur, elderly, dying mother, disapproving family members, etc. Although the plot is really quite a simple one, it works very well. The author has created a totally realistic scenario, with London almost becoming an extra character as Strike walks the streets and a satisfactory plot with a good cast of suspects.

I would say that Cormoran Strike is the best new addition to the P I genre that I have read for a long time. He certainly deserves a series and I hope to see him appear in many more books.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging 5 Aug 2013
By Chantal Lyons VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Cuckoo's Calling takes hold of you, almost gently, from the first page, and while it isn't a perch-on-the-edge-of-your-seat read, it is entirely engrossing.

For the plot alone I would give three stars. It became rather difficult to follow towards the end, thanks in no small part to the increasing withdrawal of the narrative from Cormoran Strike's deducting mind - something that I suppose was intended to keep the reader in suspense, but still affected my degree of immersion in the story. The big reveal at the end felt, if not contrived, then predictable in its total unpredictability, and relied on the staple monologue from the protagonist to explain how exactly the event that the book revolves around happened.

It's the characters that make The Cuckoo's Calling. Strike himself is sympathetic, but Robin, his secretary temp, is the easiest to warm to. They both feel real, and as a result the world they inhabit feels real (apart from said slightly-contrived thriller elements). It helps that JK Rowling writes about London like a long-time resident. Special mention should go to the prose as well. The balance is just right - not too florid, and vivid enough to elevate it above the usual gently-paced crime story.

One of the things I suppose you'd call a defining element of The Cuckoo's Calling is its perspective on the world of celebrity. Almost every single famous person in the book is portrayed as uncompromisingly odious, obsessed with only the most shallow of things, sometimes to the point of life and death. Perhaps JK Rowling hasn't had an entirely enjoyable experience as a famous person herself - you get the impression she'd happily have all her success without any of the fame - and it feels like this personal hatred bleeds through the story.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars great read - captivating!
Recommend as a great book club book - enough suspense, twists and turns and drama to keep anyone captivated. Easy to read and raced through it - looking forward to discussing it!
Published 5 hours ago by M. Nottidge
4.0 out of 5 stars The cuckoo"s calling
This was a well written thriller, with a great twist. Kept you guessing right till the end. Then you got the ahhh factor, and time to reflect on all the subtle clues throughout... Read more
Published 5 hours ago by Deborah Scott
5.0 out of 5 stars Cuckoo's calling
Fabulous story, extremely well written. Ordered two, one supposedly a collectable and cost quite a lot more, but haven't decided yet why it is classed as collectable, seems exactly... Read more
Published 10 hours ago by Carol Bowker
5.0 out of 5 stars Brave and Amazing
I approached this book with in trepidation especially after how much I had wanted to like The Casual Vacancy and simply didn't. Read more
Published 16 hours ago by Samarnold1975
3.0 out of 5 stars good book mabye best for a beach read
Its not going to change your life! I though it was ok, not life changing or anything and I was happy when I had finished it cos it was starting to annoy me a bit. Read more
Published 19 hours ago by Jenniffer Mason
3.0 out of 5 stars a good read
On the whole interesting and had a number of twists and turns as expected from this kind of book. However, perhaps I missed a couple of clues because, in the round up there were... Read more
Published 22 hours ago by Nene Ray
2.0 out of 5 stars Ungripping
Very slow to start. The story seemed to get a little more exciting towards the end. Characters were good but on the whole rather disappointing
Published 1 day ago by Silvia Keeling
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic story
I am a big fan of the Harry Potter books, and got this when It was revealed who the author is. I wasn't disappointed. Great story, great characters. A real page turner. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Iggybob
4.0 out of 5 stars Possibly a little too much detail at times.
Good story line but I felt there was a little too much detail in developing plot and characters at time. If you like that level of detail go for it, after all it is JK.
Published 1 day ago by Bobsee
5.0 out of 5 stars The best detective novel I've read for a long time.
It kept me reading and I was keen to know what came next. I loved Cormoran Strike and the team relationship between him and Robin. They made a wonderful duo. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Revd Joyce Outen
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