I don’t know why I waited so long to read this book. If I guessed it’s probably the same reason I put off reading The Casual Vacancy, that I didn’t want Rowling to disappoint. And in this instance she didn’t!
With The Casual Vacancy Rowling faced a lot of justified criticism in that the book did nothing and went nowhere. And although I disagreed with the numerous critics, I can see why and how readers would think this. Personally, I preferred the quiet and slow reveal of the story line and the intimacy of all of the characters and the small-town feel. With The Cuckoo’s Calling Rowling answers all of this and more. She provides a fast-paced and gripping thriller with adult characters whom the reader can identify with. As I went into this book, this was my chief concern, whether or not Rowling could write a book solely featuring identifiable and sympathetic/empathetic adult characters.
And Rowling definitely accomplished this. I LOVED Robin and Cormoran, not to mention the numerous minor characters (which Rowling has always done well). My biggest concern was that Robin wasn’t going to stick around, but the further I read and the more her character developed the more confident I became that she would stick around for a few books. Cormoran’s character, however, took a while to grow on me. At first I didn’t like his gruffness or the way he treated Robin and other female characters, but the way Rowling writes makes it difficult not to like him.
As for the story, I was incredibly impressed with Rowling’s restraint. Many mystery authors give away too much too soon, and although what happens is probably one of the bigger mystery/thriller tropes, I still thoroughly enjoyed the novel. Rowling kept me second guessing myself all the way until the end of the novel. The big reveal wasn’t a huge shock to me, but I wasn’t more than 75% sure of my guess, so I kept thinking she could surprise me and she did a bit by revealing additional facts and extra characters which was great!
Recommendation: I definitely recommend this! It was a quick read and was incredibly well written. I’m excited for the second book, which rumor has it is already done and will be published next year. (I’ll believe it when I see it.) I know I’ll be one of the first two buy book two in the Cormoran Strike series!
Opening Line: “The buzz in the street was like he humming of flies.”
“I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees; all times I have enjoy’d
Greatly, have suffer’d greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone; on shore and when
Thro’ scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vext the dim sea: I am become a name…” (Whited out.)