The Cuckoo's Calling

The Cuckoo's Calling - Robert Galbraith

I don’t always feel the need to write detailed reviews of books that have already been reviewed up the wazoo. This is one of those times, so I’m just going to jot down some impressions I want to remember.


If Galbraith had never been outed as JK Rowling, I totally would have believed this book was written by a man based on nothing more than how at least 90% of the female characters were written as manipulative, conniving, spoiled bitches, including the dead woman. The male characters fall victim to the same traits, but if I wasn’t aware of the name behind the pen name, I’d probably put this down to trying to make Strike look even better by comparison. Also, accidentally grabbing a woman’s breast (hard enough to leave bruises) to save her from falling down a flight of stairs seems like something a guy would come up with (or an animé cliché). Also, Strike’s love life sometimes smacks of wish fulfillment. I didn’t make a note of every time it was mentioned how people marveled that Strike could attract such gorgeous women, but it seemed like a lot.


Randomness: Both Strike and the victim had a million nicknames. What’s up with that?


The mystery is decent, the prose is good, the dialogue is snappy. The characters are a mix of stereotyped cardboard cutouts and interesting fleshed-out individuals. The denouement felt like it dragged on for aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaages. I enjoyed it a lot more than Casual Vacancy (which I thought was well-written but meh) and I’ll continue with the series.