"Humans often assumed symmetry and equality where none existed."
I'm not sure if anyone's aware of this (I may have figured it out all by myself) but Robert Galbraith is the pseudonym of JK Rowling.
I know. This seems like a pretty good move to have made since all any reviews of The Casual Vacancy were able to say were 'Well, it's not as good as Harry Potter' and 'Good God, she uses the word cunt a lot,' but then again, whilst reviews for The Cuckoo's Calling were favourable (and no one said 'OMG cunt.') sales were pretty poor until you know, we all found out JK was the author and everyone wanted a piece of that.
I was no different, and after a thankfully short wait and a mere 50p of cash, I had my copy from the library, and I zipped through it in mere days (about 3 of them? And it's a hefty book!) I haven't read a lot of crime books, and so there's always going to be a specific reason I read them (JK) but whenever I do, I find that I really like them. I like not knowing what's going on, and I like having people explain things to me using things we've discovered together through the story and I just like them like them like them.
The Cuckoo's Calling is no exception. The case concerns the death of Lulu Landry, (alliterative names, love it) the bipolar supermodel who seemed to commit suicide one freezing night by jumping off the balcony of her swish London flat (Spoiler: it wasn't suicide. Obvs.) and the detective chosen to investigate it is Cormoran Strike (what a name!), an ex-army officer who, when we meet him, is technically homeless and kind of a mess (is there any other kind of PI? I think not.) Things progress, clues are gathered, suspects are considered then discounted and it's all just really really good fun.
This is where Daria and I part ways because I actually do like fun.
I probably have two favourite things about this book, and they are these:
- London- The London that JK depicts is probably the best London I've ever read in any book ever (you should probably take into account the fact that I don't read a lot of books set in England when I say this...) and by this I mean that, her descriptions brought up an exact picture of the London I know in my head. I'm really interested to know if this setting is as vivid for someone who has, say, never been to London- I'm guessing the picture wouldn't be exactly as clear, but then when that person visited London it'd be like 'WOAH, it's just like being in a Robert Galbraith novel.' The setting is really great, is what I'm saying.
- Cormoran and Robin- It's not quite Batman and Robin, but the relationship JK sets up between Strike and his assistant is truly one of the best things about The Cuckoo's Calling. It's really interesting because you get to see the relationship from both sides, and the things Strike assumes Robin is thinking about him are not necessarily correct, and vice versa (although sometimes they do overlap almost alarmingly). This relationship is set up so well that I can't help but wonder (hope) whether JK plans to write more Cormoran Strike books because I would support that, big time.
What else can I say? It's JK, so you know what you're getting in terms of readability and awesomeness, and you know you're going to read this if you're a Harry Potter fan* so don't even pretend you're not. Rest assured, though, that when you do, it's definitely not going to be a waste of anyone's time and hopefully you'll have a lot of fun when you're not being all sombre and serious because, oh yeah, it's about a murder. Read on, my pretties.
*i.e. a breathing human