I think J.K. Rowling is massively underrated. Seriously. I know that may seem silly, given her sales figures and acclaim, but I do think that she is still seen as a children’s author who is now playing at adult writing.
My issue with that is twofold. Firstly, I strongly object to the notion that Harry Potter is just a children’s book. It is a series that starts young, matching the protagonists, and gets progressively darker. It is amazingly complex, a fantastic web of magic, mythology and totalitarianism. It is for people of all ages, and anyone who says otherwise probably hasn’t tried it. Gah! I won’t yap on though… Secondly, The Casual Vacancy was excellent. Compelling, sensitive, a study in people, their motivations and their relationships. I would have enjoyed it even if someone else had written it.
But now we have The Cuckoo’s Calling.
Initially I intended not to read this. I felt for J.K., trying to write something anonymously only for some fool to put it on Twitter, and I felt it would be some sort of solidarity not to read it. Of course, my resolve is pitiful and the second I saw it on half price in Costco it was mine. What can I say? I love J.K. I love crime fiction. It’s like putting a child in a sandpit and telling it not to play. It must play. It needs to play.
I loved this as well. Let’s not beat around the bush. I have not a word of criticism. I loved Cormoran Strike, his tangled yet everyday personal life, his army background, and his dingy London-y office. I loved Robin, and envied her really, for I did not have the luck to end up in a private detective’s office when I was temping. I’m honestly tempted to give it another go though. I loved the drama, the peek into the lives of the incredibly rich, the showyness of the model lifestyle. The whole thing was eked out beautifully, and I found myself deliberately putting it down to keep it from finishing too quickly. Once I did finish, I immediately lent it to my mum. It felt wrong not to share.
My only concern now is that she may not write more. If she intended this to be a relaxing anonymous series, now that the secret’s out she may shelve it. I hope not though. I really really hope not.