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Showing 11-20 of 8,807 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 10,345 reviews
on September 19, 2016
I just finished this book and I am ecstatic that there are two more Cormoran Strike books for me to read. I loved this! I originally purchased it because I am a huge J.K. Rowling fan and I typically really get into murder mysteries. I was not disappointed at all.

This story chronicles the private investigator, Cormoran Strike, as he is hired to investigate the assumed suicide of a famous supermodel. Strike is the perfect protagonist. He is a war veteran with many personal faults but his powers of deduction and inference are almost magical. Strike and his assistant make a great crime-fighting duo.

Rowling’s attention to detail, character development, and interweaving of storylines make for a really fun read. The reader is privy to all of the details of the investigation through the book so it is fun to try to figure out the result along with the protagonists. I love this style of mystery writing but I am usually disappointed if I can figure it out too early. That was definitely not the case in this story. I had no idea until Strike starting revealing his conclusions who was really at fault.

When I finished this book, there was one detail that bugged me. The believability of Strike’s ability to deduce and inference was borderline all along. He came to many conclusions that seemed just on the verge of far-fetched but I was able to stay with the story. At the very end he “knew” the combination to a safe. That one was just too far for me. No matter how good his guesses were, that one just seemed unrealistic.

I would recommend this book.
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on September 2, 2016
The good:
The book was well written. The characters were well developed. It is a detective novel that reads like a man wrote it. It is not a Harry Potter fantasy (which I loved, by the way.)
Put aside that you heard this was written by J. K. Rowling. Read it as though you wanted to read a new detective writer. The descriptions of the city and the characters in the book are well developed. The plot is convoluted enough that you may guess the murderer is one of a few people.
Okay a little (very little) about the story. Lula died. Her brother hired Cormoran Strike, a down on his luck detective, to prove that it was not suicide as the police concluded. he does a great job and proves that it was murder and who the murderer was. That is it. Read it to know more.
What I loved was I got a glimpse of life in the UK. She used words I had to look up to determine their meaning. I had no idea that English was that different from American. She describes the city and surrounding areas well enough for me to 'see' them even though I have never been there. She describes a lifestyle that I found a bit different from what I know here in the US. She made me want to plan a trip to London.

The not so good:
The book is somewhat slow as she develops the characters, the surroundings and the plot. It picks up about half way through the book.
She uses a certain 4 letter word a lot. This is not YA book.
It cost way more than it would have if Robert Galbraith, an unknown mystery writer, had written it. -And even at that I am eager to read the next mystery written about Cormoran Strike.
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on May 13, 2017
Robert is a pen name,... the actual author is a world renown person that is total out of the norm,... these 3 book are a series that are well written and run like a well oiled machine,... I am waiting for the next(?) in the series with bated breath.
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on August 8, 2013
Maybe it's that I just finished my yearly re-read of the Harry Potter series, but I feel like even if I'd read this book before Rowling had been "outed," I would have known it was her. Fans will be pleased to know her distinctive, engaging voice is very much present.
As for the content and storyline--well, we already know that no one does a mystery like Rowling. Lots of little threads and red herrings, and every last one tied up at the end. The characters were great--Strike is a great sympathetic, flawed hero, and Robin is the perfect sidekick. And every member of the supporting cast was colorful, unique, and fully realized.
I've heard a lot of people complain that The Cuckoo's Calling is a "quiet" book, and though I agree, I certainly wouldn't register it as a complaint. It might not be action-packed, but it's got atmosphere in spades, and I am a massive sucker for an atmospheric book.
All in all, I wouldn't say I LOVED it, but I liked it very much, and I'm happy to see that more books are planned for the series. I'll definitely be back for the next installment.
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on July 26, 2013
I heard all the hubbub about how this book was really written by J.K. Rowling. I hadn't bothered with the Casual Vacancy because it didn't sound like my type of book. This book is a mystery and has a private detective who's asked by the victim's brother to prove that a suicide was murder. I like crime novels so bought the book.
As I began this book, I kept thinking - this book should have had more editing. There are too many long, drawn out sentences. Too much description. But as I read further along, I got very interested in the characters. They are mostly fairly well drawn out. I was interested in the detective with his intriguing background. I was interested in his temp secretary and her fiance who doesn't like her working for a rundown detective agency. Then, I got very interested in rest of the plot. There are famous models, famous singers, workday folks, businessmen, wealthy families. They are all interconnected. I decided on 2 possibilities as the murderer. I got one of them right.
Buy the book, skip parts of the overlong beginning, and enjoy!
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on February 20, 2014
"The Cuckoo's Calling" by Robert Galbraith (aka: JK Rowling) is a marvelous mystery whodunit by one of the worlds most recognized authors. Rowling has the unusual knack of getting readers to read every word, every sentence, every paragraph, without skipping over anything and that's a powerful trait. This story seemed reminiscent of Earle Stanley Gardner's Perry Mason series to me, perhaps because of the interesting details and conclusions drawn by the leading protagonist Private Eye Cormoran Strike. I grew to really like this unique character, his demeanor, self deprecating personality, and his almost savant brilliance in crime-solving. I can't wait for her next story featuring Mr. Strike which is due to be published soon. I loved this story, it was just plain delicious, riveting, and entertaining, with a too often rare but appreciated surprise ending. 5 stars!!!!!
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on May 13, 2016
I loved this, and yes, despite my three star rating, I found it amazing. There's good points and bad points, and I read this purely because I discovered JKR, my HERO of all heroes, has an alternative pen name. This read differently from the Harry Potter books which I've been buying and loving since I was sixteen years old. Looking back at all of the time that's passed I am absolutely amazed at the maturity of her writing, because like me, it too has grown up and become an adult.

It's very beautiful in a way, seeing talented prose that doesn't bring to mind the Harry Potter books at all. Though at times the prose became too much, too detailed, too much narrative and not enough plot occurring in the pages. By 50% of the book, I began to turn the pages while skimming. By 70% completion, I wanted to purchase Cormoran a Hoveround because I couldn't bear another comment about his leg or the weather. I didn't require constant reminding about the landscape, his injuries, or even Charlotte by this point.

As for the mystery, I enjoyed the inner argument with myself. Was it this person? Was it that dude? Oh no, it must have been the other guy. Crap no, OH I GET IT! Yes, roughly around 70% I figured out the identity of the killer and yet it felt too obvious at the same time. For that reason and the others stated above, I could not give this five stars.

But I must end this review while saying how abnormally proud I am of JKR for penning this and stepping into a new frontier. I commend it, and have already finished the second book at the time of this review.
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on August 10, 2013
Admittedly, I'm one who bought this book on kindle after finding out it was written by JK Rowling. I'm still grieving over no more Harry books and I thought I might find little hints of Harry and the gang in this book. I can honestly say you would never guess that this book was written by the same author as the Harry Potter series. However, despite not getting a "Harry" fix, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this story with the detective Cormoran Strike and his temporary secretary (aka smart and loyal sidekick) Robin. BY the end of the book I was sad to "say goodbye" to the characters and I really hope Rowling plans a few sequels. The accidental duo make an extremely intriguing team and the story about Lula Landry and her death definitely had my attention and I had to keep reading. If you're a fan of crime/detective novels this is a great story and it's well written and enjoyable to read. I'd still love another Harry book though! :-P
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on August 31, 2013
I read this book for two reasons -- one primary and one secondary:
Primary: It's JK Rowling
Secondary: I like a mystery

The characters in the story are solid, varied, and mostly interesting. I find it fascinating that Jo Rowling seems to be more comfortable writing from a male viewpoint than a female. Not that her female characters aren't good, but the heroes (Harry Potter, Cormoran Strike -- can't speak to The Casual Vacancy as I haven't read it), seem to be well-written and believable (at least to me, a female reader).

I think it is the characters in this story that actually hold it together. The back stories of the main characters and some of the secondary characters are immensely flawed--even sad. With the glamor and glitz of the wealthy in the story, Rowling made it abundantly clear that money is not where true happiness lies.

Many times as I read, I was struck with how gritty the story was...in the language, in the description of physical pain and injury, in the description of London, in the way that the characters interacted. It seemed realistic, even though I have virtually no grid for that lifestyle, other than what I see on TV.

The mystery itself is decent, but I found that the first half to two-thirds of the book were extremely slow. In fact, I can't say for certain that I would've continued reading had the author been someone else. The last several chapters of the book do pick up and are a faster read. And I found the final fourth of the book to be very good. The whodunit was a surprise to me.

I'm hopeful for Jo/Robert's next entry in Cormoran's and Robin's investigating. The formula works, the characters are good. I just need a little more intrigue/action on the front end.
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on February 14, 2016
PI Cormoran Strike is down on his luck, having just broken up with his girlfriend and having no place to live. He has recently hired a temporary secretary, Robin, whom he really can't afford. He gets a visit from a client with what may be a real case to work on. The case involves looking into the death of a supermodel, Lula, also known as "Cuckoo" which was ruled as a suicide; but her brother believes it was murder and hires Cormoran to discover the truth.
Although Strike lives out of his office, and has no money, he is a very thorough investigator and takes his job seriously as he interviews person after person who knew Lula or was involved in investigating Lula's death.
Strike and his secretary, Robin make a wonderful team as Robin shows an enthusiasm for the work and looks after Strike by covering up for him with other clients and by doing a lot of online research in anticipation of Strike's needs. Although she discovers Strike is living in his office she doesn't let on and is a buffer between him and his clients. I love the combination of these characters and am looking forward to seeing them work together in the future.
I did find the reading a bit tedious at times which is why it only received four stars from me. I handled this by switching to reading other books between readings and that really helped me not to get dragged down in this.
I have to hand it to JK Rowling, as I loved her Harry Potter books, but that was not the reason I read this. Reading her writing as Robert Galbraith was like reading a totally different author and I liked that aspect. Her talent continues as she moves into a different genre and different style of writing.
I liked the way Cormoran went about the investigation, really looking for the truth, not just for his client's sake but with a determination to find the truth for the truth's sake. In spite of his own personal problems which definitely affected him (a prosthetic leg after having lost his in Afghanistan, having his heart broken by his ex, being forced to live in his office and make do, accumulated debts) he doesn't let those things get in the way of doing his best. His determination to do a thorough job is what I liked most about him as well as his ability to ask the right questions and to put pieces together as a good detective would. In spite of the slightly tedious spots I will be reading the rest of this trilogy.
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