Strike - the modern day Poirot?
The Cuckoo's Calling is a detective novel by Robert Galbraith - the first novel by an author with this name. The author sold about 1500 hard copies and 7000 e-copies and would have been yet another novel, but for a revelation on 14th July 2013 that Robert Galbraith was J K Rowling, the author of the popular Harry Potter series.
Anyway, I got around to reading the novel primarily because of the author.
You can find the plot in any book review site. Here it is in short.
Lula Landry is a supermodel who fell to her death three months back. After extensive investigations, her death is concluded as suicide. Her brother, John Bristow approaches a detective Cormoran Strike to investigate the matter since he believes it is not suicide, but murder. John's brother Charlie and Cormoran were friends. Though Strike is reluctant to take up the work, he does it due to his recent financial and personal crises.
Cormoran is ex-Army, who lost a leg in Afghan war. Through a series of interviews with the people involved in the matter, he tries to piece together what happened that fateful night. In this, he is assisted by a "temp", Robin Ellactott, who is fascinated at working for a detective.
As it begins to appear that Lula may not have fallen to her death, another dead body surfaces. Strike needs to solve the puzzle before there are further deaths. As he confronts the murderer at the climax, he also needs to escape being killed.
It is a fairly long novel, which gets monotonous at time. I slept off a couple of times reading the book in the night. I could not help contrasting it with an Agatha Chrisie novel (of whom my wife is very fond of). There are some similarities, but this is 21st century after all - so Google, laptop and cell phones replace telegrams and phone calls.
The characters are described in detail and one gets a glimpse of the rich and famous in London.
The plot is a bit flimsy though, especially with too many relationships of the protagonists. It is also difficult to accept the reason why Strike is asked by John to investigate the death. The discovery of the will appears to be more by luck than skill!
But that said, it is still a good read. It appears that Strike will soon be back...