I initially picked up Robert Galbraith’s Cuckoo’s Calling because I was a fan of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Series. The Cormoran Strike series is written with the same kind of detail we came to love from the Harry Potter books. That detail made them so much more than just children’s novels. Galbraith’s London, in which Cormoran Strike lives, is disillusioned, painful and muddy. As his character develops, we learn of his background as an Investigator in the British Special Forces, roadside bomb surivor, on again off again boyfriend, and lovechild to a groupie and British Rock Star. These bits and pieces have created the Cormoran Strike that we meet, a man who is very smart, but jaded from the challenges that life has thrown at him. When he hires a temp service and Robin Ellacort enters his life his tarnished armour starts to get a little polish.
Robin, as it turns out, has an affinity for detective work. She makes herself invaluable to Cormoran, and he starts to see beyond her surface to the gem beneath. Robin, may be a diamond in the rough, as far as crime solving goes, yet looks like a diamond in the water. She is clean cut, well schooled, has a good looking fiance with a fancy job, and seems, well, really normal. Cormoran on the other hand, is unkempt, overweight, doesn’t have the best manners, wears a prosthesis, and on the surface seems just what he looks like, a slovenly, though intelligent middle class worker. As you read the series, by the third book, A Career of Evil, the characters have been developed so well, that the reader is also seeing beneath the surface characteristics and are being drawn in, not just to the mystery, but to the depth of emotion these characters begin to feel towards each other.
By the third novel, we see why Robin so desperately wants this job, and as the mystery unfolds, we see Cormoran finally come to face his own emotions about her, whether they be platonic or not.
I read each of these books as they came out and have truly enjoyed the gritty feel to the city of London as Cormoran painfully walks around the city. I have enjoyed watching Robin’s inner Watson come out to play, and like the interaction between these two characters. We, as readers, are rooting for them to solve the mystery and take that first step past friendship. Cormoran has always been an honorable fellow, but in A Career of Evil, we see him put Robin’s well being ahead of his own agenda, that gives the reader hope that it may head in that direction. I’m not sure that’s where Galbraith(Rowling) is going with their characters, but I’m eagerly anticipating the next book to find out.
Copyright 2015 Deborah Kehoe all rights reserved.