The Cuckoo's Calling : Cormoran Strike

  • by Robert Galbraith
  • Narrated by Robert Glenister
  • Series: Cormoran Strike
  • 15 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

When a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts, and calls in private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into the case. Strike is a war veteran - wounded both physically and psychologically - and his life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline, but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model's complex world, the darker things get - and the closer he gets to terrible danger…
A gripping, elegant mystery steeped in the atmosphere of London - from the hushed streets of Mayfair to the backstreet pubs of the East End to the bustle of Soho - The Cuckoo's Calling is a remarkable book. Introducing Cormoran Strike, this is a classic crime novel in the tradition of P. D. James and Ruth Rendell, and marks the beginning of a unique series of mysteries.
Robert Glenister has performed with both the National Theatre and the RSC. He has worked extensively on radio and television and is probably best known for his roles as Ash Morgan in the BBC's Hustle and as the Home Secretary in 5 series of Spooks.


What the Critics Say

"The Cuckoo's Calling reminds me why I fell in love with crime fiction in the first place." (Val McDermid)
"One of the most unique and compelling detectives I've come across in years" (Mark Billingham)
"One of the best crime novels I have ever read." (Alex Gray)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Hopefully this is the first of a series

Surely the sign of a really good book is when the last words have been spoken and listeners find themselves disappointed at having been abruptly separated from people and events that have been a real part of their lives (in this case for nearly16 hours). Well, if that is the case then this qualifies as a Really Good Book -- it ticks all the boxes.

The narrator: great voice, acted out the roles very convincingly (change of accents and voices very well done) and, best of all, didn't differentiate male and females voices through changing pitch. The writing was vivid. Elegant and succinct prose endowed each sentence an energy which created settings and personal characteristics.

While this was a crime mystery, that was only part of it. In fact, despite the urgency of the plot, for me the people became the most interesting aspect because The Cuckoo's Calling (clever title) was also the story of the lives of many individuals. Cormoran Strike, for example, is the detective, but he has his own compelling story which entwines throughout the central plot. I found myself caring about his well-being along with the decisions that Robyn will make about her life direction, and I was also repelled by, or drawn to the many other characters that moved in and out of my life through this book.

I had not read any of J K Rowling (Robert Galbraith) before but this book demonstrates what a talented writer she is and why she has been so very successful. I hope this is the beginning of a series.
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- Jane

Really pleasing mystery

I hope that JK Rowling's outing as the author of this novel doesn't discourage her from publishing any followups, because I really enjoyed it.

The style is very paced. It is a mystery that slowly unfolds, with no car chases, or mad escapes against the odds, just a pair of intelligent, observant people making steady progress towards solving a mystery.

The dialogue is engaging, and the reader (Robert Glenister) does a fantastic job with the voice characterisations. I only lost track of the characters (and there is quite a large cast) one time.

I liked how the scenes were painted in the mind's eye. You could feel the light in the room, or hear the sounds of distant children playing. It was literature written with a painter's eye.

The resolution is satisfyingly twisty, you will likely deduce some or most of the story, but probably not all of it.

A couple of minor issues:

The police characters were caricatures of ineptitude, and a little unbelievable. The quantity of swearing from some characters was a bit distracting though again, the narrator does a great job. Otherwise a very fun read, and I look forward to more in the same vein.
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- Dylan Tusler

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-18-2013
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio UK