The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith, though read it knowing that it was a J. K. Rowling book but that could not take away the amazement and surprise of discovering a whole new type of content, precisely thriller. How could you expect the protagonist of a thriller as an one legged man without wealth and shelter? Son of a famous pop-star father (proved by a forced DNA test), mother died out of drug overdose. Betrayed and dumped by his girlfriend / partner of last sixteen years. Accompanied by a stunningly attractive but already engaged female assistant, Cormoran Strike was full of surprises, his entire appearance made the reader inquisitive about everything surrounding him. His method of solving the Lula Landry murder case felt exactly like gathering and putting together pieces of a puzzle where the pieces were simply not visible or may be even recognizable. Lula Landry and her life were described so vibrantly that I often felt that she was still alive. Lula being a dark skinned child and getting adopted to a all white skin family made a strong statement against racism. Strike’s assistant Robin was a revelation, she appeared as a rare and unique combination of beauty and brains put together. Robin’s fiancé Mathew is a jerk of course but as it is said “ladies, the smarter you are, the more likely you are to be single”, at least Robin was not single! I think both Cormoran and Robin have few things in common and those characteristics make them more appealing to the readers; they are both straightforward, no nonsense, disciplined, and honest persons with tremendous passion for their type of job. After I finished the book it left a curiosity in me to look forward to the next Cormoran Strike novel.
The Cuckoo’s Calling started with a murder that looked like a suicide, The Silkworm started with a quest for a missing person that turned out to be a bloody murder. Here bloody is not used as an expletive, its use is literal. This was the murder of the century; bloody, gruesome, grotesque, mysterious, layered & complex. Many readers have marked this book as a lengthy one, they ended up blaming the editor for not editing it efficiently but I completely disagree with them. Readers needed fair amount of time and explanation to get to the murderer’s psychology, they needed to gauge the maniac behind the mask of a human. Almost every character around the deceased appeared to have some peculiarity that made them susceptible to become a murderer. The Cuckoo’s Calling had the story of Lula Landry’s life underneath and The Silkworm came up with another novel within, Bombyx Mori, written with even more complexity and literary craftsmanship. Like Lula Landry, Owen Quine was an imperfect person and would hardly make the reader sympathize with him. He was the also the pseudo blackmailer of his murderer. But the question Cormoran raised is do all that justify for him to be become a murder victim? That too in a very dark and grotesque manner. If the mystery was this complex then of course the solving will be even more complex. Cormoran and Robin went all the way to solve this mystery, they did not leave any stones unturned, and they did not back off from taking any risk. If Robin was a revelation in the first book then she has emerged as a mature and efficient assistant in the second book. She is demanding, complaining, desperate to prove her point and match with Cormoran’s skills & methods. If The Cuckoo’s Calling left me curious for the second book then The Silkworm have made me impatient for the third book.