Sheer curiosity made me read the first book of the series “The Cuckoo’s Calling” by JK Rowling as she wrote it under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith and I was not only mightily impressed but also pleasantly surprised by the way she turned a detective story into a sort of love story. Her other work “Casual Vacancy” fell flat and totally didn’t work me at all, I rather found it over the top as trying too hard to write Adult books. But Cormoran Strike and his side kick Robin were simply out of this world characters in the first as well as in the second of the series “The Silkworm” where they uncover the mysterious death of a Writer whose unpublished book starts a chaos theory of its own. Right from the first book I am totally in love with her lead characters especially Cormoran Strike the detective, son of Jonny Rokeby the rock-star. Who is not in talking terms with his own famous dad and takes no help as well even after going totally broke. Break-off with his girl friend of a decade or longer had given me some respite in the last book and the story goes smoothly forward with him and Robin taking care of the open case where again the Metropolitan Police fails big time in finding any clues of the lost writer, death, body or the killer. Like in the last part where he solved again the mysterious suicide or murder of Lula Landry almost single handedly (of-course with fantastic help and support by Robin), this time too they were slated to solve the case on their own. But not after facing some personal threats to their own lives.
There is so much going on in the novel at all times that it totally kept me in hooks and on the edge of my seat, I just couldn’t keep the book down. The way the Author is killed exactly the way a murder takes place in his own unpublished book was simply mind-blowing. There were only a handful of people who were supposed to read the leaked out manuscript that too after Author’s death, Strike and Robin has an impossible task of catching the killer without any outside help this time as Metropolitan Police dislikes them anyways since took the credit away from them in solving the last case. Cormoran Strike is such a nice and totally believable guy that it was very hard for me to imagine him as a fictional character from a book, I could very well visually imagine him, walking with his sore knee inside the right prosthetic leg without taking anyone’s help. His shattered personal life, dependence on Robin and independence that he craves for and does so much on his own too. The way they both uncover the mystery page by page, character by character, whereas their own personal lives and stories go forward too. Robin has a fiance and she is almost on the verge of getting married (to that idiot I hate) whereas Cormoran too has a flicker of his own love life starting (I hoped not) with a very interesting character. I so much have been wanting for them to fall in love with each other since the very first book and prayed (even after being an atheist) that this time, they will surely confess their love to each other, even after that age gap and what not, you’ve got to read the book to know if they actually end up falling in love by the end or not as I go in the search of the third from the series “Career of Evil” and give it a read pretty soon. I guess I saw somewhere that JK Rowling is about to come out with the fourth of the series soon and a few of my friends have been praising the British TV Series too based on the first book which I am yet to see.
I loved the way Robin’s character comes out as a beautiful strong woman in this one, who not only fights for her own rights with her fiance but with Strike too, goes shoulder to shoulder from one strength to another. You’ve got to read the chapter where she drives Strike out of an almost death hole, that was such a thrilling scene that I would love to see it whenever this book is adapted into a TV series or a movie (I wish). This book also answered one of the questions that I’ve been thinking for quit a while – Why is it that a Detective always have a side kick? Because when they talk, it is like a way for the Writer to put it across to his / her readers as what’s going on :), isn’t it? (I know I am dumb). I also loved the way London is depicted in the book, it is actually too close to the way I have read it in Arthur Conan Doyle’s books where Sherlock Holmes solves the cases with his own side kick Doctor Watson :). I know its over praise for a JK Rowling book but I can’t help and mention it as it kept cropping up in my mind while reading the book.
Have you read the Strike series by Robert Galbraith / JKR? which one is your favorite? as I am about to start on the third and looking forward to the fourth big time in very near future.