General Review

The Cuckoo's Calling - Robert Galbraith

I enjoyed this book. Crime novels, mysteries or thrillers of any sort don't tend to stay with me long after I've put the book down, and I feel Cuckoo's Calling will be no exception.


The characters were all relatively interesting. Cormoran and Robin were both endearing and easy to read and attach to, though I personally wanted to see a little more of Robin. It was clear she had more to her than just 'secretary who was keen on detective work', and while we definitely saw some major hints of who she was, she clearly wasn't meant to take the limelight despite her competence and ability to surprise Strike at what she could do. Strike himself was interesting - not your typical white, brown-haired, blue-eyed, slightly cocky average height & trim man, but a very imposing, slightly fat, squashed face man with half a leg missing. Intelligent, yet built like a boxer. It was a nice change of pace. He wasn't entirely without fault (sexist at times, disconnected at others), and that made him more irritable and enjoyable. The only perfect character is one that isn't close to perfect, after all...not saying he was perfect, though.


The plot wasn't anything entirely new or unusual, exactly the sort of story I'd expect from someone writing crime for the first time. I didn't predict the ending, but wasn't entirely surprised when it was revealed - nothing more than an 'Oh. Huh.' before carrying on. There were a few red herrings - I honestly thought Deeby Macc would have a larger part to play in the story, that he was involved somehow. Though, again, the reveal didn't feel explosive or shocking to me. Simply like it's what I should've expected, and with the information presented, I should've seen that it was the logical thing to expect beforehand.


While she's a decent writer, I felt there was a little too much information at times. Nothing so bad that it clogged the story or impeded the flow of it, but just enough to question why it was included in the first place. Lots of little bits of info - that Strike's phone was charging on the floor next to his camp bed, some excessive detail about ultimately unimportant things like clothing, or details on the clothing, etc. Honestly, I've seen much worse info-dumps, and it wasn't terrible in Cuckoo's Calling, but I do feel that it could've been streamlined better than it was.


The pace of the story seemed pretty good for the duration of the read, though I personally would've liked to see more of the information we were presented with at the reveal to be sprinkled throughout the book, for people to either pick up on or call back and have an 'ohhhhhh, I get it now' moment. Personally, I'm terrible at picking up information like that but would've loved to see more of it, rather than a rather large exposition section at the end. I feel it should've been more of a connect-the-dots experience, rather than having the protagonist piece everything together behind our backs, while we only really saw the grunt work put into getting the answers.


So, 3.5/5. It was good, it was fun, it wasn't fantastic or overly exceptional. I'm looking forward to reading The Silkworm when I get the chance to do so, but won't go out of my way to rush getting a copy. A good book for grabbing a few pages with a cuppa during breaks or while on the bus, but perhaps not the sort of book you curl up with in the evening for a few hours.