Do you think that Lula is a believable character? How about Robin? How are they different and how are they the same?
Lula Landry is a beautiful, young, troubled model with a drug-addict boyfriend, adoring fans, and a family that just doesn’t understand her. When she falls from her balcony, wearing haute couture, of course, the reader is first told that it was suicide. Her brother refuses to believe that and asks Cormoran Strike, a private detective fallen on hard personal and professional times, to take the case. Strike, along with his assistant Robin, a resourceful and pretty temp who has always dreamed about working with a private detective, takes the case and soon learn that Lula’s suicide is anything but that.
I wanted so very much to like this book. I love J.K. Rowling (if you’ve been living under a literary rock- Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling) and Agatha Christie so thought that an Agatha Christie-esque crime novel written by J.K. Rowling would be right up my alley. The plot moved along well and the ending provided a nice twist. I found myself looking back on details and clues, trying to figure out how I didn’t see who-did-it any earlier, just like I do when reading a Hercule Poirot novel. But I didn’t love (or in Robin’s case, even remember the name of) any of the characters.
I found Lula and Robin particularly difficult to believe. The tragically beautiful model dies young because of her fame and money? The plain-jane but pretty assistant helps solve the case by being resourceful and plucky? Yeah, sure. Sometimes stereotypical characters are needed to make up the landscape of the novel. But not as principle players. They were so typical that they were forgettable and never became real. I couldn’t imagine them actually walking down the street, sitting across from me at dinner, or doing anything other than exactly what they did in the novel. They never became anything but words on a page.
I still love J.K. Rowling and by extension Robert Galbraith. So I will keep reading anything that either of them publishes. But this just didn’t do it for me. How about you?
Did you like The Cuckoo’s Calling? Are you eagerly anticipating the next installment of Cormoran Strike’s adventures?