The Cuckoo's Calling - Robert Galbraith Before The Casual Vacancy released, I definitely had my hopes up for a JKR crime novel as I'm a huge detective fiction fan. I don't know whether this book would ever have popped up on my radar has it not been revealed as Rowling's work (although it is blurbed by Mark Billingham who is one of my all time favourite authors - so that would have caught my attention!) but either way, I've read it now and here are my thoughts.

The Cuckoo's Calling follows Cormoran Strike, a private investigator who is called up to delve a little deeper into the apparent suicide of model Luna Landry.

I'll start with the positives. I loved the plot. It was a fantastic mystery, and had plenty of twists that I did not see coming. And the characters were fantastic. Cormoran was a real highlight. He's a bit hopeless, having recently split from his girlfriend and ending up living out of his office. His military background gave him some great insights and I loved his snarky attidude. All in all he's exactly the kind of lead male character I've come to love and expect in crime fiction. Flawed yet brilliant at what he does. Throw in his new assistant Robin and you have the perfect mystery solving duo.

Where this book went wrong for me was the writing style. It was overcomplicated and clunky. There were so many unnecessary descriptions that it was driving me mad by the time I was halfway through. For example, the door to Cormoran's office is glass, and the bathroom is on the landing, yet 200 pages in and the door is still being described as glass and the bathroom is still being described as on the landing - as if I didn't know these facts and needed reminding.

It's a shame, because as soon as the dialogue starts, it's like a completely different writer has taken over. It's snappy, and each character has a distinctive voice, and the characters don't waffle on too much. I loved the use of accent and dialect too.

I got this book from the library because I bought The Casual Vacancy and really didn't like it. I'm pleased to say this was an improvement, but there's still something about the writing that isn't winning me over. I'd still be keen to carry on with this series as the plot and characters were fantastic. I just hope the writing becomes less frustrating.