Book Review | “The Cuckoo’s Calling” & “The Silkworm”

UntitledReview By
Francene DePrez

I love audio books and keep one or two in my car all the time. Jefferson Carnegie Library has a great selection and always seems to have newer ones that I have not heard before.

The Cuckoo’s Calling” is the first crime novel written by Robert Galbraith.

Cormoran Strike lost half his leg in Afghanistan and, once home, he is trying to make a living as a private detective. He and his on-again, off-again girlfriend had a big fight, and she has kicked him out. With no money and loan sharks after him, he is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks into his office with an amazing story. His sister has been murdered, but the police are convinced it is a suicide. Lula Landry is fondly referred to by her friends as the Cuckoo. Bristow is rich and gives Strike an unlimited budget to prove that his sister was murdered.

The case throws him into the life of the rich and famous. If he wanted to live in that world, he probably could as he is the illegitimate son of a famous rock musician. But Comoran doesn’t take advantage of that relationship – he wants to make it on his own.

The plot has lots of twists and turns and there is no hint as to the murderer until the book is finished. While fighting off his creditors, he is able to solve the mystery – and, of course, now he is famous and will get lots of new clients, helping him out of his financial bind.

When I saw “The Silkworm” on the new book table, I remembered how much I had enjoyed the audio. Imagine my surprise when I went to the back cover to read about the author and found out that Robert Galbraith is a pen name for J.K. Rowling. You will remember that Rowling is famous for the Harry Potter series.

The smart, pretty office temp named Robin Ellacott that was introduced in the audio shows up again in Silkworm as Strike’s assistant. Throughout both books, you wonder if they will fall in love even though Robin is engaged. We will have to wait for the next book to discover whether it will happen, even though they seem well suited to each other.

This story has Comoran searching for an author who has disappeared. His wife didn’t immediately report him gone as he has a tendency of disappearing for days at a time while he writes. But novelist Owen Quine just finished a poison pen book and everyone connected to it is at risk of dying, including Strike.

One reader said, “I was firmly convinced I knew who it was for two-thirds of the book, only to have it turn out to be someone I never even considered suspecting.” Exactly how I felt.

I’m looking forward to reading or listening to “Career of Evil,” the next book in this series.

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