I have no intention of abandoning the SBQL ship, but this week has been a little too compressed to give rise to much “inspiration.” (I.e., the “look” du jour is “all my hair piled messily on top of my head.” No one needs a Pinterest image to get there, I’m pretty sure.)
BUT. There is a book making my week amazing, and I wanted to pass it along immediately, such that everyone can be rapt along with me.
This one’s been getting a lot of press, since Robert Galbraith is the pseudonym of the woman who gave the world butterbeer and Quidditch. I do sympathize with Rowling’s frustration at being outed; she wanted to see if her talent was more multi-faceted than books about magic. Still, I’m not sure if I would have picked it up if not for the furor…my To-Read list stretches halfway to China, and something’s going to have to catch my attention to earn an immediate slot. I truly miss the experience of getting the latest Harry Potter: skipping literally everything non-vital-human-need related and stretching out on my bed for eleven hours, lost in Hogwarts and all its details. The chance to do that again, on any level, was more than enough reason to go for this book.
That’s where Rowling’s talent really lies, I think: world creation. She’s perfectly good at plotting and pacing, too, but she just has a way with detail and relationships. A few chapters into Cuckoo, the central characters were almost as real to me as Hermione and Hagrid. The London setting might not be magical, but it is exciting; the story veers from paparazzi to pubs and nightclubs, and now I want to jet over and meander through the city’s narrow streets to keep the vibe going.
Cuckoo is the story of private detective Cormoran Strike, who’s every bit the film noir creation a PI should be (missing leg, failed relationship) and his girl Friday, Robin. As Strike’s agency limps toward bankruptcy, a wealthy attorney shows up in his London office, demanding that he investigate a suspicious suicide. The attorney’s sister, a international supermodel, has fallen to her death from the balcony of her posh apartment building, and he doesn’t believe for a second that she intended to end her life.
I’ve been listening to the book on Audible (this is not a sponsored post, although I WISH) and it is the best. Not since Gone Girl have I wanted to go back to a story so badly, thought about what could be happening while I wash my face in the morning, looked forward to my commute so I could leap ahead and figure it all out. Mysteries usually do well in the audio format, but this one is exceptional. There’s nothing predictable about the way the secrets unfold, and I wasn’t waiting around for the detective to catch up with all the extra knowledge other characters gave me and not him (which is crazy-making, right?). I’d be beyond happy if this also turned into some kind of series. Simply put: Rowling has done it again.