“He had hoped to spot the flickering shadow of a murderer as he turned the file’s pages, but instead it was the ghost of Lula herself who emerged, gazing up at him, as victims of violent crimes sometimes did, through the detritus of their interrupted lives.”
― Robert Galbraith,
This is the second time I’ve picked up The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (pseudonym for J.K. Rowling), and I have to say, I enjoyed it as much as when I read it the first time around, which is quite a feat for a plot-driven crime novel. I’ve said it before, but I just find J.K. Rowling’s writing to immersive! It really feels as though you are right there with the characters.
I think the reason why I enjoy reading this book so much is because the characters are so intriguing. The detective, Cormaron Strike, has a powerful presence, full of character and mystery. His dramatic love life, his notable past, his kind but uncompromising persona, it all comes together and creates this incredibly engaging reading experience, where you just want to know more. More about Cormoran Strike, more about his thoughts, more about his relationship with his assistant Robin.
And speaking of Robin, what a thoroughly likeable and sympathetic sidekick! Sometimes that’s just exactly what you want, someone you can get along with, you know what I mean? She’s like this lovely friend, who you simply adore and love spending time with. Later in the series she has a lot of development, but I’d say in the first book she’s quite straightforward. Very cool and clever, with hints at her deeper characteristics throughout.
Last but not least, the plot is fantastic. You’re engaged straight away, and the mystery of Lula Landry haunts the pages you read. I won’t say too much about it as it’s what drives the book forwards and I don’t want to spoil, but there’s an incredible twist and a world of wealth, fame and intrigue which makes for an irresistible read.