The Only Surprise In Rowling’s ‘Cuckoo’s Calling’ Is The Author
The Cuckoo’s Calling
by Robert Galbraith
Paperback, 456 pages | purchase
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Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images
Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images
Call it “ The Mystery of the Missing Book Sales ” — and I do n’t think we ‘ll be needing to bring Sherlock Holmes in to solve this one. In April, a debut mystery called The Cuckoo ‘s Calling was published. It appeared to be written by an unknown british writer named Robert Galbraith, who was identified on the book crown as a former military hook now working in secret security. The novel received some good reviews — Publisher ‘s Weekly, for case, called it a “ leading debut ” — but an unknown author trying to break into an overcrowd genre needs more than approving clichés to make an affect. In the U.K., a mere 1,500 copies had been sold. By final week, the novel was deader than a firecracker stand on a showery Fifth of July. then, The Sunday Times of London received an anonymous tip via Twitter that “ Robert Galbraith ” was actually a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling. The Times, in checking out the tip, ran The Cuckoo ‘s Calling through forensic “ stylometric ” software and found a strong peer with Rowling ‘s Harry Potter books. deoxyadenosine monophosphate soon as the news of Rowling ‘s ruse broke this past Sunday, sales of The Cuckoo ‘s call soared. The novel has shot to No. 1 in on-line Amazon sales and an extra 300,000 hard covers have been rushed into photographic print. Signed first editions of The Cuckoo ‘s Calling are selling for around $ 1,000 on eBay ; I think my unsigned inaugural edition probably got packed off in one of the patronize bag fully of unwanted review copies I donated to the library a few weeks ago .
indeed, like hundreds of thousands of antsy Rowling fans who ca n’t wait for the hardback, I downloaded the electronic interpretation on my Kindle. And you know what ? The library is welcome to my review replicate and whatever funds it may raise. The Cuckoo ‘s Calling falls into that huge middlin ‘ scope of fiction that I mentally shelve in the “ I ‘ve read bad, but I ‘ve read better ” category. I could n’t even find a memorable quotation from this novel. The entirely actually distinctive thing about The Cuckoo ‘s Calling is its title, which comes from a Christina Rossetti poem. Rowling has written a estimable urban exemplar of what ‘s been called the “ Mayhem Parva ” school of British detective fabrication : The floor takes seat in a circumscribed set, it ‘s broad of eccentric suspects, and the killer whale is affably lurking in plain view throughout much of the action. Rowling ‘s private eye hero is named Cormoran hit : He ‘s an ex-military policeman who lost a leg in Afghanistan. We meet him in the archetypal dumpy office where he passes his days staring into the bottom of a bottle and running to fat. Think Hagrid in a trench coat. strike ‘s fortunes change when he hires a young temp secretary named Robin Ellacott as his Gal Friday. besides stumbling through the deus ex machina door is a node whose sister, the celebrated mannequin Lula Landry, has died after falling from the balcony of her apartment. The brother insists it was murder and hires Strike to find out. Investigations ensue.
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Rowling tries to bring a more contemporary border to this fresh by featuring a beautiful biracial victim and delving into the demimonde of high fashion and rap royalty, but the world here still feels curiously dated. In fact, the first meter we glimpse Robin, the young secretary, she ‘s bedazzled by getting an engagement ring affix to her finger by her stodgy fiance. Throughout much of the fib she serves coffee bean to clients, makes cow eyes at Strike, and tidies up the position water closet. The most intrigue unsolved mystery in The Cuckoo ‘s Calling is why, in this post-Lisbeth Salander senesce, Rowling would choose to outfit her female lead with such meek and anachronic feminine behavior. No matter, Rowling is laughing all the way to the vault. Another Cormoran Strike fresh, in what is already shaping up to be a blockbuster series, is set to come out in 2014. My advice is if you want to read a very dramatic detective history about a victim falling off a balcony, read Michael Connelly ‘s 2011 novel, The Drop, now out in paperback. His hero, Harry Bosch, is to detectives what Harry Potter is to boy wizards : the exceed of the line .