Did you love watching Mike Hammer back in the day? Did Colombo melt your heart? Do you still dream of Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe? I have to admit, I absolutely loved watching those types of shows. I loved the language. I loved the smokey rooms. I’m not quite sure how Galbraith has created that magic in a modern-day novel set in a modern-day London, but he has! I swear I heard those old voices in my head all throughout this novel as I read! It was surreal! I really seemed to be reading every line though a smokey haze in a room with jazz music playing in the background.
This is the first novel about Cormoran Strike. A modern-day detective that fought in Afghanistan and lost a leg. He is now barely making ends meet. He has a famous father that he does not talk to. His mother is no longer living. He has recently left his long time on/off again fiancée. He sleeps on a camp bed in his office. His hired help is temp agent that he isn’t sure how long he can afford. He sometimes drinks too much.
yea…yea…yea….sounds boring right? WRONG! There is so much more to Strike than meets the eye. There is a deep longing to know more about him. He keeps to himself. You can’t help but be intrigued by him. You want to know what makes him tick. There is no doubt that you feel a deep-seated morality to Strike. He seems to take the high road. Yet you get the feeling that he has had to fight for that part of him for most of his life. That he has been tempted and he has resisted….but at a personal cost….you want to understand why this is. What has drove him to become the person he is…the man, that for all outward looking appearances appears to be a failure, but one that once you meet him, you know this couldn’t be further from the truth….
Yes, I want to see more of this flawed mess of a man!
Okay, so you want to hear about the controversy over the whole J.K. Rowling thing? Well just forget about it! You won’t find any of that here….I will say, that it gave me pause. If I hadn’t known J.K. wrote it, I would have totally believed that this was written by a man. The wording just fit. She did a brilliant job with this. It just *seems* to be written in a man’s style. Now having said that, and *felt* that as I was reading the novel, it gave me pause…Do men and women write differently? Do we perceive their writing styles differently? Of course I am generalising here…but on the whole, do they? Before reading this novel, I would have automatically said no….but now I am not so sure…and since this was IN FACT written by a woman, well that’s just silly, isn’t it?
I hope Galbraith sticks around. I hope he writes a few more in this series. I *really* want to get to the “inner tickings” of Strike and I want to see where the relationship between him and his secretary goes….
Buy it now The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith