The Cuckoo's Calling hero has accomplishment, fame and a wooden leg

Chock-full of cliches, but Robert Galbraith's novel still seems to rattle along nicely

The Cuckoo's Calling
Robert Galbraith

The crime fiction market seems to know no bounds, but every new author needs his sleuth to have a gimmick or a "past". And Robert Galbraith's "hero" has quite a few interesting quirks. He's ex-Army, the son of a famous rock star, has just split up from a glamorous wealthy girlfriend and, unusually, has a wooden leg. Not to mention being Cornish, presumably to give him the splendid name of Cormoran Strike. Strike's case here involves the suicide of a mega-famous supermodel. Our private investigator is hired by her adopted brother who is convinced that his sister was pushed, rather than jumped, from the balcony of her Mayfair apartment.

Strike is deep in debt and sleeping in his tatty Soho office - yet still manages to hire a secretary who turns up one day as his temp. Despite sounding a bit cliched, this tale rattles along nicely and looks a decent blueprint for a TV show. Perfect holiday reading and I suspect we'll be hearing more about Strike soon.

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