28 comments on “Review: The Cuckoo’s Calling

  1. I’m not a big fan of mysteries in general. Sherlock Holmes is the exception and once in awhile I’d pick up an Agatha Christie or HRF Keating but I’ve never felt hooked by one of the more modern mystery writers.

    If it wasn’t for the big reveal of the authorship I probably would never have noticed this book, so if I read it it would probably be because Rowling wrote it. However, I doubt I would ever buy it new; maybe if I found it cheap at a second-hand bookshop.

  2. It’s definitely on my to-read list but I think it’s only because of JK. It makes me sad for her that she tried so hard to break away from Harry Potter (which the name Rowling will always be associated with) and was ousted almost immediately. Look forward to seeing how this compares to Casual Vacancy because I know I can’t compare it to HP.

    • It is a shame that her trust was misplaced, but I can’t help but be selfishly glad. It would have been nice to at least get a couple books out under the pseudonym before the secret came out.

  3. I preferred this to The Casual Vacancy as well, this book gripped me where with TCV I appreciated the art of the story rather than it’s enjoyment.

    The ending actually surprised me, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would have. I enjoyed how a lot of the characters tied together more intimately than they (or the reader) first realise.

  4. I loved the scene with Robin trying to sober Strike up. It seems so rare for there to be a male and female character in the room with each other at the same time without it being all sexual tension all the time. So I thought Robin and Strike’s growing friendship was lovely and refreshing.

  5. I think I felt the same way as you about The Casual Vacancy, but where I was so eager to read TCV and see what Rowling created after HP, after reading it I’m not as eager to try another Rowling book that doesn’t really suit what I like to read. It’s great to read others thoughts on it though, and I’m glad that you enjoyed it! And so many kudos to Rowling for getting it published under a pseudonym!

    • I just love the way that she creates a world, I think I would read anything she wrote, even if it fell far outside my comfort zone. I’d still love to see her get back to fantasy (or anything in the speculative fiction realm) but I won’t be surprised if she never does. I mean… even her books that are nothing like HP draw comparisons… I can see it being just too uncomfortable for her to come anywhere close to that type of world again.

  6. I’m glad you enjoyed it — I did too! (And I also kept wanting to call Strike “Striker”!) I’m actually glad that she wrote this under a pseudonym — the amount of scrutiny around everything she writes is insane. The Cuckoo’s Calling was a nice treat (a new JK Rowling book!) rather than an event like The Casual Vacancy (which I didn’t like). I’ll have to go check out your Goodreads comments as well. Overall, I thought the ending worked just fine, although there’s one small detail that bothers me…

  7. I like mysteries, I went thru a big phase of them years ago. But this one doesn’t scream at me to read it. Regardless of the author, I won’t be picking it up. Sorry you didn’t enjoy it more.

    • So am I. It was so good all the way through, and then the reveal… it just didn’t work for me. It didn’t sour the rest of the book, but I can’t help thinking how amazing it would have been if the ending worked just a little better. For me, anyway.

  8. Great review. I agree that I am sad for Rowling that she was betrayed but selfishly happy to have discovered another book for her. I loved Casual vacancy. So going in to Cuckoo’s calling I knew I would love it and I did. Rowling is so talented at creating worlds and characters that I feel like I know so well. She is amazing.

    I am going to check out why it didn’t work for you in terms of the ending. For me, it did. And yes to the lack of sexual tension! And yes to the much less than perfect make lead characters.

    • Yes, everything she writes just comes to life. It’s incredible. I’ll be waiting impatiently for the next thing she gives us.

  9. I’m having difficulty picking up this book BECAUSE JK wrote it. I am a fan of hers, I think HP is responsible for turning a lot of kids onto reading who may not have otherwise picked up books. I just wish she’d be honest about authorship.

    • That’s interesting. Personally, I completely understand why she’d want to take on a new name, and I don’t begrudge her her short-lived anonymity. I guess I just don’t see it as dishonesty, but I can see how others would. Thanks for reading!

  10. Great review! I also kept wanting to call him Striker and really enjoyed how his relationship with Robin did not turn romantic (although I expect we may see that in a future book). I also love Rowling’s ability to create a realistic and compelling world, her descriptive abilities and attention to detail make me love her writing even if the story is not one I would have normally picked up (ie. Casual Vacancy).

    • The Strike/Robin thing evolving in future books wouldn’t surprise me… but I hold out hope that it won’t, or that it will take a LONG time. I think a friendship would be so much more interesting in the long run, if only because you don’t see it everywhere you look (in fiction, that is). Thanks for stopping by!

    • I’m confused… what part of my review made you think I thought there were too many details? I mentioned “losing [my]self in the details of the narrative,” but that’s definitely not a bad thing. The Harry Potter books are full of detail too. Personally, I don’t have much of an opinion on whether she sticks to adult or YA, but I’d love to see her get back to fantasy.

      • I think it was more of the fact that the minute details were necessary in HP because she was building an entire new world for us. When it’s set in our everyday world, I just felt like it was a bit of an overkill :\

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