I'm glad I gave The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith another chance. Since it was written by J.K. Rowling the book is as long as a Harry Potter. When I first started reading it last year I found myself getting annoyed - I've always found Rowling too long-winded, rambling in all sorts of different directions. Then I lost my page and quit reading it.
When I picked it up again, I had to start all over since it had been too long ago, I couldn't remember the characters and references anymore. (And yes, like a Potter book, there are tons of characters). This time, I read it straight through 3 consecutive nights (instead of installments before, 1 or half a chapter each night). And I read it like a murder mystery, not like a J.K. Rowling book, and then I found myself hooked. I couldn't put it down. I started to enjoy the lead character, Cormoran Strike, and the thorough, methodical way he does everything, even going to bed. And he really is a pretty interesting dude. I love that he hooked up with a super model - if you've been with Strike for a number of chapters, you'll understand why this is so out of character. His secretary Robin is great too, although the whole relationship reminds you of Perry Mason and Della Street. I even really enjoyed Galbraith's very detailed descriptions of London - I'm not from there obviously, and I've never been, so I liked having a very clear picture in my mind, thanks to Rowling.
The mystery itself is about the alleged suicide of Lula Landry, another super model and actually, the Victim and what the whole book is about ("Cuckoo" is one of her nicknames). Her brother hires Strike, a private investigator, to sniff around because he's convinced Lula couldn't have killed herself. So Strike sets about visiting the scene of the crime, interviewing the door man, the friend, the mother, in true Christie fashion. I loved it. There's the big reveal, of course, and Strike gets his man, but more than the uniqueness of the plot, what I really liked is the characterization of Cormoran Strike. The Cuckoo's Calling reads just like my old beloved English murder mysteries. Good job, Jo!