I have been holding off on this book since I couldn’t imagine Rowling’s style of writing in any other way than the Harry Potter series. Being a huge HP fan, I didn’t want to be in a prejudiced state of mind when I read this. However, curiosity got the better of me as I started reading more reviews about this book and most of them rated the book above 3.5. And they were right, I like The Cuckoo’s calling to bits.
When I started the book, I immediately felt comfortable with the author’s writing style and wondered if it was my prejudiced knowledge of the author. But, as I read page after page, I realized that it is not so. This book was in a different league from the fantasy fiction of Harry Potter, it had a unique writing style that made me fall in love with it. The descriptions of characters, situations, places – everything kept me hooked to the book and that’s exactly what any reader would look for in a crime fiction. Cormoran Strike, the protagonist takes the reader through the case with ease and keeps us guessing what’s next.
When the famous model Lula Landry falls to her death under suspicious circumstances, none except her brother thinks there’s something fishy about her death. Even the rigorous rounds of police investigation concludes that it was a suicide. But there is a witness who overheard an argument seconds before Lula Landry fell and there’s a CCTV footage of two men running away from the scene of crime with their faces covered. These evidences are proven to be false or insignificant to the case in the police investigation. However, John Bristow, Lula Landry’s brother is not satisfied. He brings in Cormoran Strike, a war veteran resigned to private detective after his leg injury, to investigate the case further and find justice for his dead sister.
Was it indeed a suicide? Was Lula capable of going from perfectly happy to suicidal in a span of few hours? Was there a motive for someone to murder her? All these questions are strewn across the plot as Lula’s complicated familial and upbringing situations are analysed. The book effortlessly navigates through a detective’s analysis and keeps us guessing about all possibilities. However, I was a little disappointed about who turned out to be the criminal since this had been done and dusted a little too many times. The story could have been twisted into using a different leg but that opportunity is what I felt is lost towards the climax of the book. Also, the title of the book is derived from a very insignificant plot or phase of the story. It could have been more relevant and provoking.
Otherwise, The Cuckoo’s calling is an unputdownable book that is immensely enjoyable. It cost me my weekend for the most part as I started it and I was compelled to sit and complete this, instead of doing the household chores. I am planning on buying the sequel The Silkworm soon as I cannot wait to read more of Cormoran Strike and his investigation tactics.
My rating: 4/5
Until later 🙂