By Kelsey Collins
It’s difficult to think of J.K. Rowling without the name Harry Potter also popping into your head. Rowling anticipated this when coming out with her novel “The Cuckoo’s Calling,” publishing it under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith. She revealed after reviews came out that she was in fact the author.
The author of the “Harry Potter” series is now working on the “Cormoran Strike” series, in which “The Cuckoo’s Calling” is the first novel. The series follows the life of an injured veteran of the war in Afghanistan as he tries to rebuild his life as a private detective. In the novel, Strike is hired by a distraught man to investigate the suicide of the man’s sister, supermodel Lula Landry, whom he believes was murdered. Strike digs into the history of the Landry family and uncovers many dark secrets as possible suspects arise.
One of the aspects of the novel which I enjoyed was its social commentary on the treatment of celebrities. Since the novel is about the supposed suicide of a supermodel, Rowling took the time to satirize the paparazzi and the obsessive fans who flock around the rich and famous. The situations in the novel demonstrate how harmful the paparazzi’s presence can be to celebrities, as well as show what a violation of privacy it can be.
It was an interesting perspective because, in our modern day world, it is all too easy to become a part of the hype around a certain celebrity — whether it’s a model, singer or actress. As Strike looks into Lula’s life, he sees her as another victim whose family he has to help, not as the gorgeous model and famous party girl she was. Having a famous victim for Strike’s investigation gives the story a more interesting twist.
Anyone who is interested in crime and murder mystery stories should consider reading this book. As a binge watcher of “CSI” and “Law & Order: SVU,” I felt the same sort of enjoyment while watching those shows as I did following Strike through the twists and turns of the novel.
As I’m sure many others do, I feel as though I grew up with J.K. Rowling. When I was 11, a secret part of me was hoping for a Hogwarts letter. Now, I am a young adult, and Rowling is writing another engrossing series that peaks my interest. She seems like just as much a part of my life as ever.
Yes, it was kind of shocking but interesting to read sex scenes, expletives and other obscenities from the author of my all-time favorite children’s series. But it seems fitting that the generation that grew up with Harry Potter has another series by J.K. Rowling to read.
I highly recommend “The Cuckoo’s Calling” for its intricate details, ever-moving plot and interesting characters. The second novel in the series, “The Silkworm,” has already been published, and I plan on reading it over winter break when I am not reading books for school.