If you want to get lost in a book for a few days, this is a good one. “The Cuckoo’s Calling” has all the elements of an excellent whodunit: A mysterious death of a famous young super model, a private detective with a complex back story and a wealthy client with a troubled family history.
Cormoran Strike is struggling to keep his detective agency afloat when John Bristow asks him to investigate the death of Bristow’s adopted sister, Lula Landry. A famous model, Lula fell from her apartment balcony and her death is ruled a suicide.
Strike doubts the death was murder but Bristow’s brother was a childhood friend of Strike’s and Bristow has deep pockets.
With the help of Robin, his new temporary secretary, Strike starts talking to everyone surrounding the young woman, including the building security guard, neighbors and Lula’s many friends.
The book stands out because of the detailed look at each character, the descriptions of clothing and facial expressions, the look at all angles of the day Lula died. Even though the author goes into great depth and detail about the people and places, the writing and the pace of the story keep the reader turning pages.
By now it’s well known that J.K. Rowling, who wrote the Harry Potter series, is the real author of this novel (in fact, my hard-back copy of the book says so on the back page). She employs the same techniques in describing Strike’s London and his building of the case that she used in building Harry Potter’s world.
She has an eye for detail that puts you at the scene of the crime and you’ll be guessing the identity of the real killer until the end.
Best of all, it’s easy to see this as the first of many stories about Cormoran Strike, private detective. I can’t wait to read more.