Tag Archives: London

A Review of The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

The Cuckoo’s Calling (Cormoran Strike #1)

by Robert Galbraith

Well, I guess that I came pretty late to this party, but I finally made it. Since Career of Evil, the third book in the Cormoran Strike series, is coming out this October 20th, I decided to start at the beginning with The Cuckoo’s Calling. So I borrowed both the eBook and the audiobook from my local library. I started listening to the audiobook, read by Robert Glenister. He is perfect for this book. He reads with just enough characterization to the voices that you always know who is talking, but it never feels overdone. After getting well into the book, I switched back and forth between to two versions whenever it was appropriate.

The Cuckoo’s Calling is a very good mystery. I liked the story quite a bit. It was interesting and well plotted. But what really made this book worth reading was the two main characters, Comoran Strike and Robin Ellacott. J K Rowling developed these two characters and their personalities slowly and realistically. The interaction between the downtrodden detective and his temporary secretary is quite engaging. You will like them both, and will want to continue reading this series, just so that you can find out more about them.

I give The Cuckoo’s Calling 4 1/2 Stars out of 5 and a Big Thumbs Up! I think that nearly anyone who likes reading a good mystery, will enjoy it. If you like listening to audiobooks, give this one a listen. It is very good.

Book Description

thecuckooscallingThe Cuckoo’s Calling is a 2013 crime fiction novel by J. K. Rowling, published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

A brilliant mystery in a classic vein: 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, the legendary 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.

Book Details

Series: A Cormoran Strike Novel (Book 1)
Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Mulholland Books (April 30, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316206849
ISBN-13: 978-0316206846
Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 2.1 x 9.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds

About the Author

Robert Galbraith is a pen name used by J K Rowling, the British novelist best known as the author of the Harry Potter fantasy series.

A Review of The Black Mile by Mark Dawson

The Black Mile (Soho Noir #1)

by Mark Dawson

Mr. Dawson will transport you back to the mean dark streets of London as the Nazi bombers were pounding the East End. He puts you right there, in the thick of the action and tension, the terror of bombs falling while girls are being butchered. He shows you the reality of the slang and prejudices of the city under siege. He demonstrates the brutality of the cops, and the crooks. You wonder if there is a difference. He brings two feuding brothers together, Charlie and Frank Murphy, to butt heads, to grow apart, to fight, but to come back together as honest policemen. You learn about a reporter, Henry Drake, who makes up details of his stories, so that they are more interesting, and will sell more papers. He learns that the real story is more important, but much more dangerous.

The Black Mile is a good mystery thriller. It seems to be an authentic portrayal of London at the beginning of World War II. Mr. Dawson uses a lot of period slang. This adds to the feel of the time. Since I am an American, much of the phraseology is foreign, but after a few chapters, it’s possible to figure out most of what is being said. I would be curious what a resident of the UK would think about the accuracy of the book. Some of the things that happen seem to not fit the time period.

I enjoyed this book, but have some reservations about the historic accuracy. I give it 4 Stars out of 5 and a Thumbs Up. This is not my normal type of book, but I think that I will read more by Mark Dawson in the future. I may try his John Milton series. If you think that you might like a noir novel set in wartime London, give The Black Mile a shot. You probably will like it.

I received a copy of The Black Mile from the author.

Book Description

The Black Mile by Mark Dawson
The Black Mile by Mark Dawson

London, 1940: the Luftwaffe blitzes London every night for fifty-seven nights. Houses, shops and entire streets are wiped from the map. The underworld is in flux: the Italian criminals who dominated the West End have been interned and now their rivals are fighting to replace them. Meanwhile, hidden in the shadows, the Black-Out Ripper sharpens his knife and sets to his grisly work.

Henry Irving is a disgraced reporter on a Fleet Street scandal rag. Genius detective sergeant Charlie Murphy is a fresh face in the Metropolitan police, hunting corrupt colleagues but blinkered by ambition and jealousy. His brother, detective inspector Frank Murphy, searches frantically for his runaway daughter, terrified that she will be the killer’s next victim. As the Ripper stalks the terrified streets, the three men discover that his handiwork is not quite what it seems. Conspirators are afoot, taking advantage of the chaos to settle old scores. The murders invade the lives of the victims and victimizers on both sides of the law, as everyone is sucked deeper and deeper into Soho’s black heart.

Based on a little known true story, The Black Mile is a rollercoaster ride of a novel that was previously the most downloaded novel on the Kindle Store. If you enjoy the thrillers of James Elroy, Peter James and Dennis Lehane, you’ll love THE BLACK MILE.

PRAISE FOR MARK DAWSON ‘A brilliant debut novel from a very promising writer.’ Subject ‘Ultra-addictive, super-stylish – a viciously good novel.’ Toby Litt. ‘A talent to be watched.’ Birmingham Post

PRAISE FOR THE BLACK MILE ‘This is far and above the best small/independently published novel I have ever had the pleasure of reading.’ The Kindle Book Review ‘Dawson has shown himself to be a true master of suspense’. Siobian Minish ‘A first class historical mystery.’ Luke Walker ‘This book is worth it for the arcane London slang alone. Fascinating. If want to get a feel for what it was like during the early part of WWII this will knock you out. If you like character development you’ll love it. If you like peeking in on the lives of people in a long gone world — you really love it.’ David E Johnson

Book Details

Paperback: 422 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (January 25, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1482051346
ISBN-13: 978-1482051346
Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 8 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds

About the Author

Mark Dawson was born in Lowestoft, in the UK. He has worked as a DJ, a door-to-door ice cream seller, factory hand and club promoter. He eventually trained as a lawyer and worked for ten years in the City of London and Soho, firstly pursuing money launderers around the world and then acting for celebrities suing newspapers for libel. He currently works in the London film industry.

He is presently writing two series.

The John Milton books involve a disgruntled British assassin who is trying – without much success – to put his past behind him. In order to atone for the blood on his hands he has decided to help those in need. The first full length novel in the series, The Cleaner, sees Milton struggle to adapt to life amongst the gangs of East London during the riots of the summer of 2012. The Cleaner, and the other books in the series, have all been best-sellers in their categories at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

The Soho Noir books, beginning with The Black Mile and continuing with The Imposter, follow the glitz and glamour of criminal life in London’s West End from the 1940s to the present day. The Imposter picks up the nefarious goings on of the Costello crime family and a protagonist who is rather more than meets the eye. Think of The Sopranos set in Soho and you’ll be on the right track. This series, too, has been downloaded tens of thousands of times.

Mark lives in Wiltshire with his wife and two young children, plus a dog and two cats.

Book Description and Details are from Amazon. The Black Mile