The Cuckoo’s Calling – Robert Galbraith – Prologue

I’m so excited to read this book, ever since it was announced, well uncovered/exposed by journalists (because of a leak from a law firm!!!) I have been waiting to read it. If you weren’t aware, this book is not written by debut author Robert Galbraith, who was said to have retired from the armed forces, but instead, world-wide famous author, JK Rowling. She was writing under a pseudonym, and the book was published back in April, and was only rather recently revealed to the world who the real author was. This, as expected, caused a huge flurry of sales, sending the book sky-rocketing to the top of the Top Seller’s lists around the world, with thousands of books being sold since the reveal (more than three times the amount sold the three months prior).

UK version of the cover, published by Sphere

So what do I know about the book? Very little, just that it is a crime/mystery novel, and I’m super excited to see JK’s attempt at it, because she is so good at leaving clues throughout the book, so it should be great!

The cover is quite nice, I have the UK version, and I think it’s better than the US cover. It looks quite mysterious (which is fitting), and the detail is really good, it’s a work of art! As to what’s on the blurb, I have no idea, I can’t bring myself to read it!

The first thing you come across is a dedication to ‘the real Deeby’ which I find interesting, but I have no idea what that means.

Then you come across a poem (a ‘dirge’) from Christina G. Rossetti, a 19th century poet:

Why were you born when the snow was falling?
You should have come to the cuckoo’s calling,
Or when grapes are green in the cluster,
Or, at least, when lithe swallows muster
   For their far off flying
   From summer dying.
Why did you die when the lambs were cropping?
You should have died at the apples’ dropping,
When the grasshopper comes to trouble,
And the wheat-fields are sodden stubble,
   And all winds go sighing
   For sweet things dying.

It really is a beautiful poem, but I wonder how it relates to the story at hand.


Now we get another quotation (just like in The Casual Vacancy, except this time, not from the Council Handbook!), from yet another poet, this time Lucius Accius, the translated version is below:

Unhappy is he whose fame makes his misfortunes famous

Which I find a very interesting idea. But anyway let’s look at the actual prologue. So there has been a death (as always in a mystery/crime novel), and it’s of a famous person, who is suspected to have committed suicide. There is one detail, one man was taking photos of all the windows, since he wasn’t sure which one was ‘the one’, and I think that might become important later on in the book, maybe he caught something others weren’t looking for.

Then we have one police officer, Carver, who doesn’t think this is a murder, while Wardle doesn’t quite seem to agree. And of course because it was a famous person, the media are circling like hounds! And there is rumour of drugs, and rehab, and boyfriends, and the curse of fame. But whether this was suicide or murder we’ll have to wait and find out! Sounds really interesting, and I can’t wait for more!


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