The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

the cuckoo's calling

The basics

Title: The Cuckoo’s Calling

Author:

Series: Cormoran Strike #1

- The Cuckoo's Calling (2013)
- The Silkworm (2014)
- Career of Evil (2015)
- Untitled

Add it: Goodreads

Goodreads Summary:

After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

in short

Cormoran Strike is a grumpy, failing P.I., who Robin goes to work for as his secretary. She basically puts his life back together. John Bristow hires Strike to investigate his sister’s suicide. A lot of stuff goes down, but in the end it’s revealed that Bristow murdered his sister because he wanted her money. Bristow and Strike get into a fight, and Robin saves Strike.

what went down

  • Cormoran Strike isn’t doing so well. He’s broke, and he’s lost a leg in Afghanistan. His career is failing, and someone is calling him up because they want him to pay back a loan.
  • Lula Landry, a supermodel, falls from a balcony and dies. John Bristow, Lula’s adoptive brother, hires Strike to investigate her death, which had previously been ruled as a suicide. Lula and John had a brother called Charlie, who Strike knew from school. Charlie died when he was a child.
  • Robin starts a temp job as Strike’s secretary. Robin is awesome at everything so Strike lets her stay for longer than she originally intended to.
  • Strike starts to investigate Lula Landry’s death. He interviews several of her acquaintances, the most notable being her personal driver and her designer, and of course Rochelle Onifade.
  • It’s revealed that Lula was looking into her real family before she died.
  • Tansy Bestigui tells Strike that she heard Lula fighting with a man before she fell from the balcony. Strike is like WTF because Tansy was meant to be two floors below. Instead, it turns out that Tansy’s husband is a dick, and he locked Tansy outside on her own balcony after finding Tansy’s cocaine.
  • Rochelle is killed after meeting with Strike. Strike concludes that Rochelle must have known the killer, and it’s the same person who killed Lula.
  • Strike visits the Bristow family home, where John’s mother is bedridden.
  • Strike realises that Lula was murdered for her money.
  • Strike goes into his mind palace (a Sherlock thing) and figures out that John Bristow is the killer. He also comes to the realisation that John killed Charlie when they were children, and their parents covered it up. Basically, John Bristow is a sociopath.
  • Bristow wanted to frame Lula’s biological brother for her murder. Lula wanted to meet with Jonah the night she was killed.
  • Before she died, Lula wrote a will which left everything to Jonah. John wanted the money, and that was his motive.

how did it end?

Strike tells John Bristow what he figured out. Bristow tries to stab Strike, and they get into a fight. Robin shows up and saves Strike. Bristow is arrested. Robin is to leave for her next job, so Strike buys her a dress as a gift. Robin then decides to stay on as Strike’s assistant. Strike finally goes to the doctor’s for his leg.

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