{Book Review} The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith*

*I recommend this novel for more mature audiences.


Details16160797
Title: The Cuckoo’s Calling

Author: Robert Galbraith
Genre: Mystery, Realistic Fiction, Adult
Publisher: Sphere Books (April 3, 2013)
Age Range: 16+
Pages: 455 pages (hardcover)
Buy at: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | Google Play | iBooks


Summary

Famous model Lula Landry falls to her death from her London penthouse balcony in the early hours of a frosty morning; her death is attributed to suicide due to her history of depression and emotional stress. However, her brother is suspicious, and hires private detective Comoran Strike, an amputated veteran, to investigate further. Strike is reluctant to take on a case so thoroughly scrutinized by the public and the police, but he is suffering from personal financial and relationship crisis – this is his only lifeline. Together with his underpaid loyal secretary, Robin Ellacott, he enters the shady underworld of celebrities, agendas, and night lives, in an odyssey that captures you from beginning to end.


My Rating: 8.5/10

Review:

Pros

Just in case you didn’t know, Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling. Trust me. Google it. If that isn’t enough reason for you to read this let me expound on the reasons why I loved this book and you should too!

I this book is beautifully written from beginning to end. You can tell that Rowling spent time crafting each sentence, there is an undeniable sense of mastery and style that is uniquely her own. Take this excerpt from the beginning chapter:

“The buzz in the street was like the humming of flies. Photographers stood massed behind barriers patrolled by police, their long-snouted cameras poised, their breath rising like steam. Snow fell steadily on to hats and shoulders; gloved fingers wiped lenses clear. From time to time there came outbreaks of desultory clicking, as the watchers filled the waiting time by snapping the white canvas tent in the middle of the road, the entrance to the tall red-brick apartment block behind it, and the balcony on the top floor from which the body had fallen.”

Wow, I mean just wow. Can we have a moment of appreciation for Rowling’s detailed description of the murder scene? Some might find this didactic imagery tedious to read, which is why I believe, it only received a 3.83/5 rating on Goodreads. But for me reading this novel was such a treat! Rowling’s high-level vocabulary is helpful if you are willing to learn. In Rowling’s second novel in the Comoran Strike Series, I learned the word quixotic and it actually showed up on my SAT test. Reading for the winnnnn!

Also, if you like British culture and terminology, this is the book for you! Apparently, tosser is a derogatory term used in G.B. that would equate to the word playboy in the states. In the 3rd book, Career of Evil, it’s funny when they mention how everyone in G.B. is raving about Kate Middleton and Prince William’s marriage. It details of London life really bring this story to life and you wish that your city was just as exciting.

In fact, this book could be defined as realistic fiction. The way Rowling integrates her characters into our present day and age make them much more loveable and relatable. Strike is an amputee and sometimes I start rubbing my own knee whenever Rowling describes how Strike falls and tears new ligaments. It’s so descriptive that I get my own phantom aches. #real. -_-

I digress, I honestly feel like Rowling is superb in the way she develops her characters. It is cool and gross how Rowling is able to write from the perspective of a male character. Cool because I can’t do it, gross because Strike kind of likes staring at the butts of hot women in his life. Butt you gotta give him some credit because he does try not to. Robin, Strike’s secretary, is my favorite character. While working for Strike she begins to find her passion for investigative work and as a result, she becomes a stronger character. This in turn creates problems later on with her fiancΓ© who doesn’t appreciate the new willful Robin.

This is just a great crime novel, Rowling keeps you hooked each chapter with new developments in the Landry case and also in Strike and Robin’s personal lives. An exciting read!

Cons (SPOILER ALERT)

There is a period from the middle to the end of the novel where Strike is interviewing his suspects and it drags a bit. When the ending finally hits you like a knife to your chest (veiled spoiler πŸ˜‰ ) it’s like woah! What happened? I obviously have fewer complaints than praise, but this slow section is where I have to deduct some point because I think other less patient readers would have stopped reading here.

Don’t forget that this is the 1st in the series, “The Silkworm” and “Career of Evil” are out.


I hope you all loved this review I wrote today! I hope it makes up for the months I have been inactive. I definitely felt better after writing this review! Spring Break is next week so I might be able to write more in the next few days. ❀ -Ji

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the players

when we kissed
you thought that pressing your lips on mine
imprinted your claim to my body
sorry sweetheart,
but it seems like you’ve just been played
you think you’re hot
thinking that you got me with that gelled back hair
proud because you finally graduated from friend zone to playboy
but baby, I’m just here to have fun
honey, don’t you ever forget
nobody owns me but me
and just like you see me here right now
just in a flash I’ll be gone too
and you thought only men could be players

ok I need to make it clear I have never had any personal experience with boys, I wrote this on All Poetry in a response to a picture. I thought it would be cool to share the flip side where the girl is playing the guy.

essays and great grandmas

My AP Lang Finals for semester one,
we are given 3 essay prompts in 2 hours to model the AP Exam.
Rhetorical,
Synthesis,
and Argument.
Argument Prompt 2016: Develop your position on the value or function of polite speech in a culture or community.
In other words, why do we ask each other, “Hi!, How are you?”
I expanded my essay in three points that I don’t remember anymore.
But what I do remember is this.

In my experience, polite speech, are fillers,
meant to fill the emptiness when you speak to your dying great grandma.

You hide under the semblance of normality
because it is the only way to cope.
So “Hi” is what you say even though she can’t hear you.
“I love you.” even though she is oblivious to your touch.
“Bye.” When you are scared it’s going to be the last time you ever see her.

I am easing myself in the practice of leaving her behind with my pleasantries.
I am making the painful barely bearable,
I’m preparing for the day she is gone forever.

written 1/21/17Β 

 

a promise my daughter

darling,

I will make time for you like my mother never did for me
if you were hurting and needed to talk
I wouldn’t care if we had something important to do that day
we would drop it because every moment with you is precious

I will listen to you like my mother never did for me
I will learn to quiet my heart so I can hear Β what yours has to say
dedicate moments to just understand what you are thinking

I will love you unconditionally
because we are a part of one another and we stay together
you are beautiful no matter who you decide to be

weΒ will save each other
be there for each other when we need a shoulder to lean on
because

no matter the storm
we anchor each other
we are tied together

we are family

I’m On My Way

dreamy_by_baxiaart-daxmbc0I’m on this frostbitten path of life
littered with branches to snare
rocks to trip

I’m searching
to be honest actually aching
to find meaning and joy in this journey of mine

but despite the cold
I see the shadows begin
which can only foretell the sun and it’s warmth

and isn’t it said when faced with an unsurmountable goal
we must not be faint like the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot
what we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly

so when I reach my journey’s end
more shall my pain, blood, and tears make my joy and meaning ever sweeter

these past poems have been from my poetry on allpoetry.com. This is an amazing website to share your poetry. And yes that is Thomas Paine I quoted. ❀