November 21, 2014

Book review: The Cormoran Strike series

By Sammie Hill–


J.K. Rowling, disguised under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, tackles the mystery genre with the masterful storytelling characteristic of Rowling’s other work. “The Cuckoo’s Calling” is the first book in Galbraith’s Cormoran Strike series. The novel introduces us to Cormoran Strike, a brilliant but indebted private detective struggling to pay his loans until a wealthy client approaches him with an unusual request.


The brother of a famous supermodel implores Strike to investigate her recent death—which police deemed a suicide—as a homicide. Unconvinced but in need of the money, Strike obliges. Working with his new assistant, Robin, Strike re-evaluates the case and launches an investigation of his own, which yields new information and begins to cast doubt on the police’s ruling of suicide.


Galbraith weaves the enthralling detective process with the intriguing backstories of the characters to produce a suspenseful, unpredictable novel.


The next book in the series, “The Silkworm,” reunites audiences with Strike and Robin several months later, when they agree to look into the whereabouts of a missing author. Coaxed into taking the case by a worried wife, Strike and Robin’s investigation soon becomes more complex when the missing author is found butchered in the same gruesome, gory way that the main character in his latest novel is murdered.


“The Silkworm” features darker elements than “The Cuckoo’s Calling,” appealing to those captivated by the macabre. The tale that unfolds reveals increasingly unsettling but fascinating clues to the murder of the eccentric author. Meanwhile, the audience gains a deeper understanding of both Strike and Robin as they strive to find the truth behind the symbolic killing.


This series of novels presents intelligent, likeable characters about whom audiences still have much to learn. Furthermore, Galbraith creates mesmerizing mysteries that evolve in ways the audience would never expect.


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