Review of Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling)'s - The Cuckoo's Calling

Hi guys, 

Just finished reading JK Rowling's detective novel, written under the pseudonym, Robert Galbraith -- The Cuckoo's Calling

Not bad. The writing, of course is pretty damned good, and the plot's acceptable. My main gripes are that she resorts to the following well-tried cliches:

  1. Hero - crippled military policeman failing to make a good living as a private detective in civvie street 
  2. In Chapter two, the hero looks in mirror to describe himself to the reader (that's one I really hate - used in the second page of Fifty Shades - I rest my case)
  3. Secretary, (office temp) arrives and there's some, but not much, romantic tension

These apart, the novel's pretty good and the crime is handled deftly. Although, I wonder whether it's 'different' or 'exciting' enough to have won a publishing contract without the name JK Rowling attached to it.

I think probably not. 

But.... and it's a big but - I actually enjoyed the read. I was attracted to the plucky temp employee, and the lead character, Cormoran Strike (yep - i thought so too), is quite charismatic, although it takes a while to 'like' him. All in all, the book's an easy read - although mark my point 1 above.

If I'd reviewed it in Amazon, I'd have given it 3/5 stars, mainly because of the bloody mirror cliche. I didn't review it because the book already has 1200 bloody comments. 

Anyone else here read it?

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No, but I'll always give her credit for Harry Potter, a wonderful book for kids. I'm sorry to say that otherwise much of the magic has gone out of children's books. I don't really consider The Hunger Games good for them.

I never read any Harry Potter, nor watched any of the films. YA Fantasy doesn't really interest me. I bought Cuckoo's Calling to check out her style, which is pretty good. Not exceptional, but readable. 

Well, sooner or later everyone who has been successful in another genre tries his/her hand at a mystery. That doesn't mean they are very good at it.

I liked it too! And I was so proud of the way she kept writing but trying to "make it" again as an unknown. JKR is my idol and the person who got me writing again a few years aho.

And I can't STAND the mirror thing either. An agent once told me that she liked my book (before I found a publisher) but she wanted my protagonist do the mirror thing--on Page 2. I knew immediately this wasn't an agent I wanted.

Hi Lucie,

Don't blame you for telling the agent to take a hike. If I read another mirror cliche, I'll scream. However, give me a big enough advance, and I'll consider adding a scene. 

After I've banked the cheque and made sure it's cleared, I'll then tell the publisher to go hang and write the book my way! 

I know, I know, with that attitude I'll never land an Agent or Publisher. 

Tee hee. 

Umm, the advance is not paid in its entirety until the ms. is accepted by the editor.  And even then, half may be held back until it's in print. You'd have to be happy with half an advance and not mind getting sued for it.

As for those kinds of cliches: surprisingly the folks who buy most books like them. The more discriminating readers tend to use the library.

I'd be happy for people to say they like my work.

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