So here I am, pretending that I don’t know who the ‘real’ author of “The Cuckoo’s Calling” is, trying to decide whether to just say to heck with it, or keep up the pretense. Am I writing a review on first time author Robert Galbraith or am I writing a review on…?
After very little debate, several cups of coffee and, writing five blogs in under four hours, I’ve decided…I’ll keep up the pretense.
For a first time author I have to take my hat off to Robert Galbraith. Not only did he tackle a very complex murder mystery, but it appears he set out to firmly establish his hero, Cormoran Strike, as someone who we will, in all likelihood, see again. Very gutsy. Very presumptuous. I’m not sure how the author would have responded had the novel gotten really rotten reviews.
But as they say, that’s neither here nor there. It didn’t and therefore the field is clear for Strike and his femme naive side kick Robin to plunge once again into the dregs of Great Britain’s rich and famous.
Over all I liked the book. Not loved it, but liked it. I felt like the pace could have been faster and the plot fifty percent less convoluted – after all, it took Striker seventeen pages just to explain it.
But…and here’s what kept me from putting the novel down. I loved the characters – good, bad and ugly. Galbraith did a phenomenal job of showing us his hero’s and villains in a way that, had I met them at a party, I’m sure I’d have recognized most of them. And for me, that is what makes or breaks an author – great characters.
I’ve read bad stories that had great character development, and I have read great stories with bad character development. Great character development will bring me back time after time – bad character development won’t get a second chance.
Does this mean that I’ll read a second Cormoran Strike novel? Yep! And if I have any confidence in the authors ability to write great stuff (I’m done pretending now) – and I do- I believe that once they get their murder mystery genre feet under them, it’ll only get better.
So on my readers scale of 1-5 stars I’m giving “The Cuckoo’s Calling” 3.5 stars for story and 4.5 for characters, with an expectation for even better works to come.