Friday, December 20, 2013
Book Review: The Cuckoo's Calling
Book 1 in the Cormoran Strike series
AUTHOR: Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowing)
PUBLISHED: April 2013
PREMISE: A PI gets called to investigate the apparent suicide of a famous model.
MY REVIEW: Back in April this book had a quiet release. Mystery buffs were gushing over it and it was getting good reviews, making good sales, and was being optioned for movie/tv (not sure which). Then shit hit the fan when people discovered that actually Robert Galbraith was in fact JK Rowling. People were confused. Why would she do such a thing?! Then there were those who acted like she somehow "tricked" them (to which I say HUH?). I said it in my review of Casual Vacancy and I'll say it here: the backlash pretty much shows WHY she wrote it under a different name. She basically proved that you dear readers, have author bias. That author bias effects how you think or feel about a book. Perhaps instead of getting upset at Rowling, you should maybe think about why you would not have picked up this book, or enjoyed it, if you had known she wrote it beforehand.
Now, as for the book itself? It's good. It's very old school PI mystery. Which is good, because I like that sort of thing. Sometimes it does wander. I think some of the middle bits could have been cut without missing a thing. But for the most part, it's a good old school detective sort of story with Rowling's usual great commentary on social issues.
I sort of wish that lawyer (or whoever he was) had kept his mouth shut because there's so much here to discuss other then the fact that Rowling wrote this under a different name. But sadly, now that the cat is out of the bag, that is likely all that will be discussed about this book. Not the stuff about racial issues, not the class issues, not even the fact that the main character has a disability and still manages to have a life. Nope. Mostly people will discuss about whether this is as good as Harry Potter. This makes me kind of sad. Also, that right there, is probably another reason Rowling wrote under another name.
WHO SHOULD READ: Mystery fans, those willing to give something Rowling wrote an actual chance and NOT compare it to Harry Potter
MY RATING: Four out of Five snarky PIs