I have finished the 105th book for the book challenge. It was The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith.
Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series and The Casual Vacancy.
Cormoran Strike is a private detective who has just broken up with his fiancée and is currently living out of his office. He has hired a young secretary, a temp named Robin, who is excited to be working for a private detective. But jobs are few and far between and creditors are at the door.
John Bristow arrives. His famous sister, Lula Landry, a supermodel, fell to her death three months ago from her apartment. He tells Strike that he believes she was murdered, that it was not suicide as the police have found. He wants Strike to investigate. He says there were two men seen running from the apartment the night of the murder. He wants Strike to find them. He’s sure they were connected to his sister’s death.
Strike takes the case. He interviews Bristow about the events of the day of his sister’s death. He interviews his uncle, Tony Landry, about these circumstances. He visits the designer Guy Sommé about the death of his famous model. Strike asks him questions about his clothes, as one of the men in the photos was wearing one of his jackets. Strike also visits a model friend of Lula’s and her make-up artist.
He visits the home where Lula lived and talks to the concierge and her driver. He finds her friend from rehab who she met the day of her death. They went to a boutique and she used the friend’s phone to make a call.
Strike also discovers that Lula, who was adopted, was trying to find her birth father. She had located her birth mother and was actively searching for her birth father. She had tracked him to a university and found he had died five years earlier. He had a wife and son. Lula wrote out something on a blue sheet of paper on the day she died and told her friend she was leaving everything to her brother.
The downstairs neighbor heard arguing before Lula fell from her balcony. She says she was in her sitting room, but Strike proves the neighbor was on her balcony in her underwear, locked out by her husband. Her husband heard the murderer go past the door of their apartment.
Strike goes to visit Lady Bristow, the adopted mother of Lula Landry, to get information. It confirms his suspicions. He knows who the murderer is and how the murder was committed.
Strike confronts the murderer in his office and explains how he knows the murder was committed. He explains that the police have Lula’s will that she made leaving everything to her half-brother Jonah, her birth father’s son. This was written on the blue paper. She was afraid of her uncle. Jonah was supposed to meet her that night but he saw what happened and ran away. The killer also ran away, dressed in Guy Sommé designer wear. As Strike struggles with the killer, Robin comes in and helps Strike take down a killer.
Rowling has crafted a masterful mystery. This is an engaging story. We truly care about Strike and his love woes, Robin and her longing for excitement. We feel for Lula and her young life that was cut short. I loved this book.