The Cuckoo’s Calling – Slow Steady And Winning

Just as my friend had mentioned in her post , even I wouldn’t have picked it up this early if not for the pseudonym issue related to this book. And even then I did wait for some more time because I wasn’t very sure how a thriller from her would fare. Because the other book The Casual Vacancy was a drama and I did like  it very much. But I wasn’t sure if I was ready for another drama cum thriller yet. But since I picked this book 4 days before, it has been tough putting it down but I had no choice, thanks to the work and my severe sinus and flu, and I finally, finally completed it today. Yay!!!

Unlike my friend (who is very nice not to give away any spoilers), I am going to go with some spoilers for sure, as usual. So here goes the sign, Spoiler Alert.

It all starts with the death (reported and confirmed as suicide) of a black super model Lucy Landry, who is the adopted daughter of Mrs Bristow and has a living brother John Bristow and a dead brother Charlie. Cormoran Strike, an ex army with a lost leg (an very old friend of Charlie) and recently split from his girlfriend, is a private investigator. Enter recently engaged to Matthew , Robin (having a secret aspiration for being a detective) who comes to Strike for a temp assistant job. The same day John comes to Strike to ask him to investigate the death of his sister, because he senses foul play and wants to find the culprit if any. Strike doesn’t want to take it up but then John plays with his emotions and offers his a sum that Strike cannot refuse (seeing how he is  neck deep in loans and is getting daily calls for paying the interests in due time). Thus starts Strike’s journey into the world of the super model and the events that lead to her suicide / murder.

Do not go looking for something like Harry Potter. That might have been the reason she wanted to start with a pseudonym. If she had to choose a pseudonym to prove that her skills are more than what it was for Harry Potter , then it is a sad state of affairs isn’t. How one success is always compared to all the other works. And just because it is in the thriller category do not go looking for a fast paced action. You will not have fights here, no chasing (you cannot expect Strike to rush with his prosthesis through the city of London) and no grand ending where you hear the symphony at the background. It is as real as it can be. I am not a writer so I wouldn’t know the nitty gritty details of the style and stuff like that. But it was like being with Strike and going with him to those places (especially to the ones I have been in London) and as if he is guiding us through the solution slowly as and when he discovers them. That way it was very well written. It is not only the story of Lula but also the story of Strike who is more human and deals with his fair share of problems in the daily life (his fragile ego, loans, threats, estranged father, lost leg, cheating girlfriend, beautiful and efficient assistant 🙂 – he is a man after all, but a very decent one at that). There is more talking to people and checking on Internet for details that might have been missed.  He talks to one and then to next and then to the third etc and slowly and steadily he builds up the days prior to and on the day of Lula death and how the scenes might have panned out. And the final encounter in his dingy small office.

Robin , the very efficient assistant who slowly warms up to Strike , as he does too , has her fair share to do too. Thank God she gets to remain with Strike at the end. I like to read more of them. Their chemistry is different (not that of lovers, remember she is engaged and faithful) and its warming. I like the names Robin & Strike. Quite unique.

I really liked it and waiting for the sequel to it if any.

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