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Filed Under: // Sep 03 2014

General Info:

Name: The Cuckoo’s Calling
By: Robert Galbraith aka J.K. Rowling
Published: April 04, 2013
Summary: 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.

Character List:

  • Cormoran Strike is a down-on-his-luck private investigator. He has few clients, a large debt, and is obliged by a recent break-up to move into his office on Denmark Street. He lost his leg in the Afghan war.[3]
  • Robin Venetia Ellacott, aged 25, is Strike’s temporary secretary, and has recently moved from Yorkshire since becoming engaged. She is enthusiastic about detective work and is very intelligent and competent.
  • Lula Landry (Bristow), a 23-year-old professional model who died from a fall three months prior to the events of the novel. The object of Strike’s investigation is to determine how Lula was killed.
  • John Bristow is Lula Landry’s adopted brother and Strike’s client. He works for Tony Landry in a large family law firm.

Bristow’s family and law firm:

  • Charlie Bristow is John Bristow’s brother and a boyhood friend of Strike’s. Charlie died when he fell into a quarry when he was around nine or 10 years old. Charlie was about six years older than Lula Landry (Bristow).
  • Alison is dating John Bristow. She works as a secretary for Tony Landry and Cyprian May.
  • Tony Landry is Lula and John’s maternal uncle. He disapproved of Lula’s lifestyle.
  • Lady Yvette Landry Bristow is Lula and John’s adopted mother. She is terminally ill during the events of the novel, and her relations with Lula were strained.
  • Sir Alec Bristow is Lady Bristow’s husband. He founded his own electronics company, Albris. Sir Alec was sterile and could not have children of his own. He and Lady Bristow adopted three children: John, Charlie, and Lula Bristow. Lula was adopted when she was four years old, shortly after Charlie’s death. Sir Alec died suddenly from a heart attack.
  • Cyprian May is a senior partner at the law firm where John Bristow works.
  • Ursula May is Tansy Bestigui’s sister and Cyprian May’s wife.

Lula’s social circle:

  • Evan Duffield is Lula’s on-off boyfriend, an actor with various problems with drugs. He was the initial suspect in the media at the time of Lula’s death, but has numerous witnesses to an alibi. He argued with Lula before her death.
  • Rochelle Onifade is a homeless friend of Lula from an outpatient clinic.
  • Guy Somé is Lula’s designer. He is the one who calls her “Cuckoo”, as in the title of the novel. He was in Tokyo in the week leading up to her death and is an astute character witness.
  • Deeby Macc is an American rapper who was supposed to arrive in the apartment below Lula’s on the night of her death.
  • Kieran Kolovas-Jones is Lula’s personal driver who has aspirations of fame as an actor.
  • Ciara Porter is a model and a friend of Lula’s.
  • Freddy Bestigui is a film producer and neighbour of Lula’s. He is difficult to contact and has a reputation of being difficult. He and his wife Tansy are in the process of divorce.
  • Tansy Bestigui is Freddy’s wife and a key witness, claiming to have overheard some of the events of the night of Lula’s death. Her plausibility is an issue for Strike and the police.
  • Bryony Radford is Lula’s personal makeup artist and one of the people she meets on the day of her death.

Lula’s biological family:

  • Marlene Higson is Lula’s biological mother. She sells her story to the press at every opportunity and lives in much poorer circumstances than Lula’s adoptive family. She had two sons after giving birth to Lula, but Lula was not interested in helping Marlene find them. Both were taken away by social services.
  • Jonah Agyeman is Lula’s biological half-brother, and served in the British Army in Afghanistan.

Cormoran and Robin’s friends and family:

  • Lucy Strike is Cormoran Strike’s judgmental younger sister. Strike attends her son’s birthday party during the novel.
  • Jonny Rokeby is Strike’s famous pop-star father and has only met him twice in his lifetime.
  • Leda Strike is Strike’s mother, a ‘supergroupie’ of Jonny Rokeby’s. She had a drug addiction and died of an overdose when Strike was 20. He has always suspected his stepfather had something to do with her death, though nobody else agreed.
  • Charlotte Campbell is Strike’s longtime rich, mercurial girlfriend whom he dumps just before the beginning of the novel.
  • Matthew Cunliffe is Robin’s fiancé and works as an accountant. He proposes to Robin at the beginning of the novel. He does not approve of her working for Strike, whom he considers to be a shady character.