The Cuckoo’s Calling - Robert Galbraith

Reading Challenge Category: Book club January read

Official Blurb:

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:

Hmmm, I feel very disappointed by this book. I’d heard lots of good things about it, and I expected good things knowing who the author was behind the mask. So, when the girls at book club said they were enjoying the TV series, I suggested we read the first in this series. So, really I only have myself to blame for having to preserver with this.
I found it incredibly dull and slow going. Not a lot happens along the way, and the investigation is very repetitive as Strike interviews everyone; he asks the same questions and gets the same answers. It doesn’t feel like it is going anywhere. I wanted little hooks and suspicions to make me think and guess, but there was none of that, as the protagonist keeps all of his thoughts and findings, if any, very close to his chest.
I aired my displeasure with my husband about halfway through, and he said he’s never known J.K. Rowling to disappoint and not pull it out of the bag at the end. So I decided he was right and stuck with it. Unfortunately, she did disappoint, and the ending was very generic and not all that clever. I wanted everything that Strike had found to come out in some clever and shocking way, but it didn’t. He simply sat down with who he thought was the killer and listed everything that had happened. This is just as bad as having an ending explained in a final letter. There is nothing special about it if it all just gets blurted out. Yes, the outcome was a little shocking, but there had been no way to guess this; as I have said, Strike didn’t let on any of his thoughts, so we, as readers, couldn’t have guessed anything. This was just a lazy ending.
I wasn’t too enamoured by the protagonist, Strike. I found he just wandered around with his own thoughts that even the reader wasn’t privy to. He wasted a lot of time just staring at things and wandering from A to B. When he is outside the clothes shop with Robin, he just stares across the street, saying nothing. He might have been doing that for a reason, such as looking for CCTV, but none of that was explained to us. He wanders around London at the beginning determining the distance from certain people’s homes to the crime scene. Along the way, he describes what he is seeing and feeling in terms of his leg, and I just felt like this was wasted page space and could have been condensed. I found myself skipping over parts like this as they were incredibly tedious and boring.
Robin wasn’t too bad. She had a lot of initiative and a spark; however, I found her petulant at times when Strike didn’t act how she expected him to. The way she sat in a huff with her boos was insubordinate and made me feel really uncomfortable. I found her fiancé to be overwritten. He wasn’t supportive of her; he seemed brutish and ignorant. I have no idea why she was even with him, but I felt like the author wanted this overbearing character, but she overdid it somewhat!
So, overall not very impressed, and I feel like I have just wasted six days of my reading time. The story’s premise was there, but I don’t think it was executed very well. It was far too long; not a lot happens, and when it does, it is unexciting. I am tempted to give the TV show a go to see if this moves at a faster pace and does the storyline justice, which is something the book didn’t do.

The Cuckoo's Calling
by Robert Galbraith
Date Started
1st February 2023
Date Finished
6th February 2023