The Cuckoo's Calling

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So everybody knows that "Robert Galbraith" is the pseudonym of J. K. Harry Potter Rowling. That was revealed, like, a decade ago, and it's even admitted on the back flyleaf of this book.

That being said, I'm totally amazed at how easily J. K. moved from the "magical fantasy wizard kids" genre into the "semi-hard boiled private eye" genre. I wouldn't have expected that skill to translate well.

The private eye is "Cormoran Strike", kind of a silly name. He's back in London from Afghanistan, minus one lower leg. He's just been dumped by his beautiful girlfriend Charlotte; as Charlotte storms out, she encounters Robin, a young woman coming to fill in temporarily as Strike's secretary. He's also been hired by John Bristow to investigate the death of his adopted sister, wealthy/beautiful supermodel Lula Landry. Lula died by falling from the balcony of her luxury flat, but the question is (as usual) did she jump, or was she pushed?

The cops think she jumped, and they initially seem to have the evidence on their side. But Strike's in arrears, so he takes the case. This is one of those mysteries with plenty of characters, mostly hiding dark secrets, with troubled family/romantic relationships, all with complex histories going back decades. This includes Strike.

Cormoran is an excellent detective, however. Robin also is revealed to have buried talents, not just secretarial, but also improvisational investigative techniques.

Current volumes in the Strike series picture (I assume) the stars of the TV show based on the books. Consumer note: the guy playing Strike on the tube is kind of a hunk, while the book's version has him as not that attractive. (His nickname in school: "Pubehead".)

So, not bad. I'll be putting the Strike novels on the get-at-library list.