18 September, 2013

2013 Book Review - September: The Cuckoo's Calling

mystringaling TCC
The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

September's book is one that is surrounded by a wee bit of controversy, namely that 'Robert Galbraith' isn't the first time crime writer we thought he was. He is actually a she... Ms JK Rowling :O 

Now that we have the shocks & gasps out of the way, let's get down to the review. The book follows private eye & army veteran Comoran Strike, a larger than life figure with a complicated past (a little cliché perhaps?) He's accompanied by his sidekick (wait for the cringe)... Robin! Together they investigate whether famous beauty & much sort after model, Lula Landry, committed suicide by jumping from her penthouse balcony, or if she was in fact pushed.

The plot itself is fairly run of the mill, I worked out who the killer was (yep, she really was pushed! But then we all knew that really didn't we?) I found the book very readable but there were a few things that niggled me. Firstly, that as clues were found along the way we, as readers, weren't privy to their significance; this meant that drops of water found on the floor, uncovered photographs & questionable alibis didn't mean a great deal until the very end of the book, literally the last few pages. This was quite frustrating because you felt as though you wanted to solve the mystery at the same time as Strike, unfortunately you were made to wait a very long time for 'the big reveal'. The other thing that I didn't like was Rowling's adult writing style. She's a good writer, some of her descriptions were brilliant, but there were also parts that made me physically cringe; case in point the swearing she uses, every time it came from nowhere & stabbed my eyes! I'm certainly not a prude but adding swearing to a book do not good adult fiction make. 

Aside from those little things, I did really like what Galbraith/Rowling was trying to achieve. I liked that the title came from a Christina Rossetti poem ('A Dirge'), I liked that each part had an epigraph from a Roman scholar (Boethius, Virgil, Pliny the Elder, & Horace), that the novel ended with a nice juicy quote from Tennyson's 'Ulysses', & I really liked that she chose to split the whole thing into 5 parts; that might not seem like a big deal but it automatically made me think of a 5 Act Shakespearean tragedy. I feel like these elements could have been played upon a lot more & used to better effect.

Have you read The Cuckoo's Calling? What did you think?
I'm still trying to decide why Rowling chose to write under a pseudonym, but then decide to tell everyone the truth. Hmm... what do you think?

MYSTRINGALING X

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2013 Reading Challenge

2013 Reading Challenge
Charlee has read 16 books toward her goal of 25 books.
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