I read The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith and The Silkworm (same author) a few months ago, but haven’t had a chance to write the review until now. In case you haven’t heard it yet, Robert Galbraith is actually a pseudonym for J. K. Rowling. It was kept top secret, but one of the lawyers at the firm used by J. K. Rowling told his wife who then told a friend of hers and pretty soon it was leaked that J. K. Rowling was Robert Galbraith. She has since publicly acknowledged this. The book was already doing pretty well on its own, but once the real author got leaked, it skyrocketed on the ratings charts.
I was a little hesitant to read it because I really didn’t like The Casual Vacancy. I needn’t have worried. This mystery/detective novel was good. I liked the characters (the main character is Cormoran Strike). I liked that Cormoran wasn’t perfect – it took him time to realize things sometimes, like how his off again-on again relationship wasn’t good for him. His flaws made him a more realistic and like-able character. The characters in this book had different personalities – the good guys weren’t all super smart and perfect. I especially liked his secretary, Robin, who plays a bigger role in The Silkworm.
The gist of the plot for The Cuckoo’s Calling is that a famous model appears to take a flying leap from her balcony. Cormoran Strike is a private detective (nearly broke) who is hired by the model’s brother to investigate. Everyone thinks that she committed suicide, including the police, but as Cormoran takes a closer look, he has some doubts. He has to figure out whether there was any foul play and, if there was foul play, how it happened.
Even though The Silkworm is the second book in the series, it’s not necessary to read the first one first. The benefit is that Robin is introduced in the first one so you have some background on her. In The Silkworm, people are showing up murdered and the murders resemble the plot of an unpublished manuscript. Cormoran has been hired by the author’s wife to find the author, who has gone missing.
The plots themselves were okay (I liked the plot of the first book better than the second book). I enjoyed the characters in the book and their interactions more than the actual plot. Actually, the ending of the second book was a let down – the actual storyline was okay up until the ending. I would recommend these books to anyone who enjoys reading mysteries/detective stories.