It is a not so secret desire of mine to become a police detective. It is my back up plan, my alternate universe career, and the subject of quite a few daydreams. I can’t stop watching cop shows or reading murder mysteries. (And yeah, I know that’s not exactly how it works in real life.)
So I like a good detective story. I feel like I am reading about my imaginary colleagues. And though solving a mystery in a book isn’t at all like solving a mystery in real life, I’m pretty good at it. (Well, I’m not the worst at it.)
I have just finished part one of The Cuckoo’s Calling by
Robert Galbraith J.K. Rowling (Kindle here). I can’t say I never would have read this book if it didn’t come out that Robert Galbraith was a pseudonym for Rowling (that secret didn’t last long, did it?), but I can say I didn’t hear about the book until that story broke. So I picked it up, along with thousands of others.
I’ve just finished part 1, and I want to keep reading–which, I suppose, is the first test. We are introduced to Robin, the recently engaged strawberry blond beauty who takes a temp job at a detective agency. We meet Strike, the detective who recently went through a break up and who has a lot of debt and very hairy hands. We also hear of Lula, the 20-something model who just fell to her death under questionable circumstances. Strike is hired to investigate Lula’s death and I’m excited to see where this leads.
Now, would I have known that it was Rowling? I don’t think I’m that good of a detective. Maybe it would have reminded me of another book, or maybe I’ll see a familiar phrase. But I doubt I would have connected the dots before I knew there were dots to connect.
But there are things that are Rowling-like in the writing, and I may see more as I keep reading. The way she sets up and weaves together a mystery, for one. We saw that in Harry Potter and I’m sure we will see it again here. The voice of this book is also similar to The Casual Vacancy.
The scene setting is good, but it’s much less colorful than describing a Hogwart’s common room. But I can picture Strike’s office, and Robin’s bridal magazines. And I can picture Charlotte’s face as she left Strike’s office after their relationship-ending fight.
There’s also a few 25 cent vocabulary words. I remember that from The Casual Vacancy–as if Rowling had been saving up her grown-up words to use after Harry Potter. And if I’m really reaching, these characters too go down Tottenham Court Road, just as Ron, Harry and Hermione did in Deathly Hallows. But, then again, maybe that’s just a popular street.
I’ll start on part two tonight. Do you want to read it with me? Meet here at the same time next week?
(I bought this book on my own and am not being paid to write about it. But I am a part of the Amazon Affiliates program, so if you buy through my links on Amazon, I’ll receive a little bit of money for it.)