Friday, November 1, 2013

The Cuckoo's Calling By Robert Galbraith

In THE CUCKOO’S CALLING, author Robert Galbraith (a pseudonym for the famous J.K. Rowling) creates an old-fashioned detective novel, one that, despite being set in 21st century London, could easily fit in 1930’s Los Angeles.  In  1944,  mystery writer Raymond Chandler defined the American private detective: “Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid…He is the hero… a man of honor…He is a relatively poor man. He is a common man…He is a lonely man…” In this book, private detective Cormoran Strike embodies these characteristics. A former British soldier who saw action in Afghanistan, he is down on his luck. Broke and forced to live in his seedy office, unable to pay his rent or the temporary secretary he is too kind to dismiss, he cannot see a way out of his current troubles. Fortune, in the form of a wealthy client, arrives at his door on the same day as his new secretary, Robin. Strike is asked to investigate the death of a supermodel who fell from the balcony of her third story luxury apartment. The death had been ruled suicide by the London police three months earlier, but the client, the model’s brother, is not satisfied with the finding.  Strike’s investigation leads him across class lines, from nouveau riche musicians, designers and film producers to old money families to immigrants and drug addicts. His ability to talk to all types of people, retain their information, sort through lies and truth and organize it all into a logical progression are the skills Strike uses to solve this mystery.  There are no surprising twists, no gimmicks and no improbable strokes of luck in this book. Strike solves the mystery with straight-forward hard detective work: interviews, deductive reasoning and paying attention to seemingly unimportant details. THE CUCKOO’S CALLING will appeal to the reader who appreciates a well-written, realistic mystery.

Check out The Cuckoo's Calling at the library!