Robert Ronsson's Reviews > The Cuckoo's Calling

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith
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it was ok

I read it on holiday and my review would be less positive if I had been at home using up 'proper' reading time. I have to declare an interest. I'm a novelist who hasn't had a sniff from either an agent or a mainstream publisher. I think I write prose of higher literary merit than does Robert Galbraith. (Although it may not seem so from that last tortured sentence.)
This book breaks so many of the 'rules' that agents tell us to follow if we want to be resurrected from the slush-pile that it's very hard to believe that there wasn't a wink-an-a-nod from 'Galbraith's' agent to the publisher regarding the author's identity. How else were: clunky sentence constructions, 'tells-not-shows', over-abundant adverbs, adjective-attached nouns, portmanteau expressions ... the list goes on; how else were all these things discounted? Where was the close editing that any new author's manuscript would normally receive?
I have reviewed elsewhere a detective thriller Three Bullets by a local author Gavin Jones. His book is self-published as will be his second because he hasn't a snowball's chance of being sifted out of the slush. Yet his book is at least as well plotted and well-written as 'Galbraith's'.
The Cuckoo's Calling was fun. The Robin character was engaging and it was sad when she dropped out of the picture for an extended period half-way through when the author seemed to be able to find nothing for her to do. But she returned and all was well. The unmasking of the perp was done in traditional Agatha Christie style and this reader was blind-sided until the revelation.
But I'm sorry, Ms Rowling, I admire you as a person and I enjoyed reading about HP but I can't believe the story that the publisher accepted this book without knowing it would be a sure-fire hit. I'm not suggesting that you were involved but I simply don't swallow the story of how this book came to be published.
And it's this that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
August 1, 2014 – Finished Reading
August 14, 2014 – Shelved

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