The Norman Transcript

September 13, 2013

Book review: J.K. Rowling finds success with “The Cuckoos Calling”

by Amber Hodge
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Book: The Cuckoos Calling (2013, Mulholland Books)

Author: Robert Galbraith aka J.K. Rowling

Why you should read: One might think the amount of success garnered by Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling, would have been cause enough to lay low and enjoy the fruits of her labors for a while, but no. She has recently released her latest success under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

The Edinburgh, Scotland, native received little praise for her first fiction attempt outside the beloved series she is known for with “The Casual Vacancy,” but her newest novel, “The Cuckoos Calling,” has certainly tipped the scales in her favor. This crime fiction work has seen much success recently, and is currently No. 3 on USA Today’s Bestseller list.

It doesn’t matter if you pick up the book intending to read words from Rowling or Galbraith, you’ll be getting a solid read either way. War veteran Cormoran Strike is a private investigator taking shelter in his office after a breakup with his longtime girlfriend. A land mine in Afghanistan took his leg, and he’s now doing his best to get by with his practice. That is until John Bristow, brother of famous supermodel Lula Landry, enters the picture with the story of how his sister fell to her death months ago. Despite the police writing it off to suicide, Bristow and Strike believe otherwise, and an investigation leads Strike into the fast-paced world Landry lived in an attempt to solve the crime, taking him into darker and more dangerous waters than anticipated.

“Cuckoos Calling” is a surprisingly gripping read. Strike is a pleasing character, which makes the journey through the 445-page novel enjoyable. It’s fun and driven hard to a satisfying ending. Previous fans of Rowling may pick up this novel solely for the name, but many readers will be content with the first of this new crime series emblazoned with Robert Galbraith on the cover. The sequel to “Cuckoos Calling” has been finished, and is expected to hit the printers in 2014. Visit for more information.