Series: Cormoran Strike #1
Published by Mulholland Books on April 29, 2013
Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel's suicide. After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, thelegendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that.
The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.You may think you know detectives, but you've never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you've never seen them under an investigation like this.
The set up
Supermodel Lula Landry fell to her death from the balcony of her luxury apartment. It’s ruled a suicide but months later, her brother, John Bristow, hires private detective Cormoran Strike to investigate it further. He believes she was murdered.
The list of people who believe Lula’s death was anything but an accident or suicide is pretty short. Cormoran Strike is in dire financial straits and some believe he’s taking advantage of Bristow by accepting the case. Complicating the investigation is the shallow world Lula operated in, complete with all the issues that accompany those with fame and/or fortune. It’s hard to separate friends from sycophants.
What worked for me
Cormoran Strike kept me in this story. At first blush, he appears to be just another tragic, down-on-his luck detective but eventually I found much to admire about him personally and as an investigator. Robin, his “temporary” secretary serves as an intelligent foil and becomes as important as Strike to the case. The characters are carefully crafted and vividly drawn. The case appears to be quite simple initially but evolves into a complex tale of the human frailties, greed and those driven by survival instincts.
The bottom line
While the story is sometimes weighed down by abundant prose, it was one I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s not an easy read given the huge cast of characters, many with duplicitous motives, but it was well worth the time invested, especially after the “twisty” climax. I’m also really pleased that the sequel is already complete and scheduled for release in August. I haven’t gotten my fill of Cormoran Strike.
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