Book Review: The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

The Cuckoo's CallingWhat’s it about?

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…

My thoughts

This book had been on my Kindle since publication so I thought it high time I read it.  I approached this book with trepidation though as several of my blogging friends had warned me they thought it quite slow.

As with any book that is the first installment of a series it was always going to be overly descriptive with the background stories of the main characters and there’s no exception here.  The book as a whole is very descriptive and wordy but this didn’t deter me or made it feel overly long as I felt the plot moved consistently and some parts felt like I was reading it in real time.  I didn’t really see the point of the Latin quotes at the start of each part to be honest; by the time I’d read the first page of the new chapter I’d forgotten the quote and any relevance it may have had.  Show-offy ness!! (I just made that word up!)

I recently reviewed The Girl in the Ice where I said that the author has to set their characters apart from all those others available. You’ve got to believe and invest in these characters otherwise it could be just any old easily forgotten crime story and it’s the same with this book and the protagonists Cormoran and Robin.  I really enjoyed their back stories and their developing working relationship.

I liked the style of Strike’s investigation, I think this suited me very well because I love court room dramas and the style of conversation and investigation is just like that.  To me, it’s a proper detective novel, asking the right questions of the right people, using your initiative, going out on a limb (pardon the pun), catching people in lies and putting it all together.  As I raced towards the end and as the big reveal approaches there were scenes that actually gave me the chills!

“Her death was an almost palpable presence in the room, as though it stood waiting patiently, politely, behind the curtains.”

I’ve never read Harry Potter but I have read The Casual Vacancy which was laborious so I didn’t read and review this book particularly as a Rowling fan but I do love a good whodunit, and for me, this didn’t disappoint.  I’ll definitely pick up the second book The Silkworm.

Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Connect with the author Robert Galbraith

Website | Goodreads


Talk of the Town


  1. 26th March 2016 / 10:34 am

    I also enjoyed it but as the killer is revealed, it devolved into a bundle of questions regarding the inherent nonsense of the killer’s actions. Keep meaning to look at book two but am in no rush…

    • 26th March 2016 / 5:41 pm

      Yes it did unravel rather quickly and in one scene. I didn’t mind this though as it made me read quicker but I appreciate what you mean 🙂

  2. 26th March 2016 / 11:06 am

    The Silkworm is ever so slightly better 🙂 The suspects are all terrible people but there’s some excellent Robin and Cormoran character development. I’m looking forward to Career of Evil (if it ever stops being out from the library!).

  3. 26th March 2016 / 11:14 am

    I read the first two books too and share the same feeling but there was really nobody likeable in The Silkworm that made me put Career of Evil at the end of my list.

    • 26th March 2016 / 5:36 pm

      Yeah someone else has said that to me too about unlikeable characters. I don’t think it will bother me too much as I really like Cormoran and Robin but I understand what you mean 🙂

  4. 26th March 2016 / 12:41 pm

    I imagine you approached it with trepidation …

    Thanks for linking #TalkoftheTown

    • 26th March 2016 / 5:33 pm

      I did Shaz, but I needn’t have worried. It’s a good mystery/whodunnit 🙂

  5. 26th March 2016 / 6:58 pm

    I found the relationship between Robin and Cormoran to be the backbone of the series and it helped me not to be too harsh on the abrupt unraveling of The Cuckoo’s Calling. Now, I can’t wait to get a copy of The Silkworm to see them again.

  6. 26th March 2016 / 10:07 pm

    This definitely sounds like one the Hubs will like…

  7. 29th March 2016 / 10:33 am

    I was a bit daunted by this bt may read it now thank you

  8. 29th March 2016 / 10:43 am

    I absolutely love this series 🙂 great review

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