Tag Archives: J.k. Rowling

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling)

I read a good book the other day #9

Image: The Cuckoo's Calling book jacket.J.K. took a beating… but not from me!

Detective mystery with a difference. JK took a beating from some critics when she switched from Harry Potter to adult mystery. Well, not from me. I thoroughly enjoyed this crime/mystery/ ever so nearly a romance. Took me a few chapters to understand the characters but then couldn’t put it down.

Galbraith’s detective, Cormoran Strike, is a new type in the genre. Neither cosy nor hard boiled, he is a hard man, army trained, but hampered by a peg leg (UK expression, mostly obsolete. He has a prosthesis), but as a PI working in the UK he cannot carry a gun. Strike is estranged from his long-time fashion model/society girlfriend, and he has an assistant, Robin, which allows Galbraith to inject a thread of romantic suspense. All the way through I was thinking, Will Strike and Robin get together? They don’t, in this book, but there are hints. It’s my guess Galbraith/Rowling will keep us on the hook with this strand through at least the next and maybe several more instalments in the series.

The strange name, Cormoran, is BTW the name of a mythical Cornish giant, as Galbraith reveals in the next book, The Silkworm. The aptness of the mysterious title, The Cuckoo’s Calling, does come out in the book, but I’ll leave you to discover the explanation for yourself. 5/5 stars from me. Good stuff.

 

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

I read a good book the other day #6

NB: Watch out for the TV adaptation starting Sunday 15th February 2015 in the UK.
Image: book jacket

Click the image to go to Amazon UK

A tale of corruption in local government with all the shenanigans we see or suspect of our local councillors every day (well, I do, anyway). One side of the argument in the Parish council want to close a drug rehab building that they feel attracts undesirables to the town. The other side, the local doctor and other worthies, side with the undesirables.

Everyone has something to hide. Nobody is innocent. Very few deserve better than they get, but J.K’s portrayal of one character in particular, a damaged teenage girl coping valiantly with life in a sink estate battered from all sides by drug pushers and the sort of mother nobody should be afflicted with (and yet, you can see it’s not all her fault either…), is sympathetic, tragic and very true-to-life.

Read The Casual Vacancy for a better and more profound understanding of what some folks have to put up with in the real world. Well observed, J.K., with some very cutting and insightful lines that certainly made me sit up and think twice. 5/5 stars. I thought it was brill. I hope the UK TV adaptation does it justice.

 

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