…except actually J.K. Rowling. We all know it was Rowling, so I’m not even going to use the name Galbraith again, after that time right there.
When I found out that Rowling had used a pseudonym to write a mystery novel, I was very interested, but not exactly excited. Not that I’m not thrilled every time I find out that she created something new, but mostly because mystery novels aren’t usually my thing. I don’t know why, I mean, I watch enough Law and Order and true crime specials, but those just aren’t the types of books I zoom in on when I need something new to read.
After reading The Cuckoo’s Calling, I have to say that I liked it. The characters were interesting, and pretty fleshed out, even the ones you don’t really see too often through the book. And there were almost as many people here as in The Casual Vacancy, but because only a handful of them were major players, rather than, like, all of them, and they were all pretty distinctive, it was only once or twice where I lost track of who someone was. With the eventual revelation of the killer, I was pleased to find that Rowling also did my favorite of her tactics from the Harry Potter books: make you so positive that it’s a certain person or persons, then turn around and make it someone you never suspected, yet still have it make total sense.
But remember, I said that I liked it, not that I loved it. It was really long, over 400 pages, and I don’t know if it had to be. Sometimes the characters would spend a long time analyzing a situation or examining exact feelings, or remembering something from the past that relates to that moment, and spend a few paragraphs going over it, which would often slow things down and cause me to zone out. Also, there was a trope that always bothers me a bit: here’s the guy that everyone acknowledges is not very attractive, but look at all the hot women who want to sleep with him. But since these hot women are also, like, crazy, eh, I can let it go.
Again, I don’t read a lot of mystery novels, so I can’t really compare it to others, but I think The Cuckoo’s Calling is a good book in the genre. I certainly enjoyed it, enough to read big chunks at a time, and I can see other readers enjoying it as well. Of course, this could turn out just like The Casual Vacancy, and I’ll be the only human I know who liked it.