Cuckoo’s Calling didn’t break any sales records when it was first published back in 2013. The book’s author Robert Galbraith scored some good reviews for his debut novel, but things went to a whole new level when it was revealed that Galbraith was in fact the mighty JK Rowling. The Harry Potter author was stretching her writing muscles in a post-Potter world and she wanted to see if anyone would take her seriously as an writer when she moved away from a world of wizards.
The detective novel has now been adapted for television as a three-part tale, which takes the protagonist, Cormoran Strike (Tom Burke) and throws him into a murky world of murder in London. Strike is a former army officer turned Private Eye, who takes on a case from the brother of his deceased childhood friend. He hits the London glamour scene in an attempt to discover who murdered the model half-sister of Strike’s old boyhood buddy.
Rowling’s tale takes many of the detective novel’s well-worn tropes and transposes them into modern day London (the story has shades of Chandler). Strike is a hard-drinking anti-hero, who plays by his own rules and whose shambolic nature hides the fact that he has a powerful mind for deduction.
I enjoyed the central London setting of Cuckoo’s Calling, which offers-up a stylish vibe of Soho and surrounding areas (I know this part of the city well). The show might be a little cliched, but it has enough quirks and intrigue to keep you watching. Throw in a good performance from Tom Burke and a nice little bit of will-they, won’t they with his new secretary (Holliday Grainger) and you have a solid detective show with a lot of potential.