Friday, October 24, 2014

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

This is definitely not the high point of Detective Cormoran Strike's life.  A former military investigator who lost his leg in Afghanistan, Strike has returned to London and opened a detective agency.  Things have not been going that well, and money is tight.  Make that more than tight; Strike is broke.  To top everything off, he and his long-term girlfriend have just broken up, so add having no home to the mix. 

Things appear to be looking up when John Bristow shows up looking for an investigator.  John is wealthy and wants someone to look into his adopted sister's death.  That sister was supermodel Lula Landry and three months ago she fell to her death from the balcony of her apartment in an expensive, high security building.  The verdict was suicide and Bristow just doesn't believe it.  He wants Strike to check everything and see if the verdict is correct.  Strike was a schoolboy friend of Bristow's brother so he thought of him first.

Strike is pessimistic that anything was missed in the first investigation as it was of such a high profile individual, but he is willing to try.  His temporary secretary, Robin, is fascinated with the entire detection field of work and helps where she can.  Strike's investigation takes him into the worlds of rock, movie making, high-end legal firms, peerages and also into drug-addicted individuals, freeloaders and paparazzi.  Can he separate the flash from the truth and find out what sent Lula to her death?

The worst kept secret in publishing is that Robert Galbraith is in fact J.K. Rowling of Harry Potter fame.  Her ability to tell a tale is evident here, along with a facility for quickly painting the personalities of her characters.  The novel has an interesting investigation with an ending many won't see coming.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

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