Book reviews: The Cuckoo’s Calling, I Am Pilgrim and In The Summertime

The Cuckoo’s Calling


Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling)

Nilima Marshall

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Since the recent revelation that The Cuckoo’s Calling was penned by none other than JK Rowling, aka the creator of Harry Potter and richest living author, interest – and sales – have rocketed.

But this book shouldn’t now simply be known for its hype, it should also be known for being a strong and enticing read.

On a chilly winter evening, a glamorous supermodel’s life is tragically cut short after she falls from the balcony of her Mayfair apartment.

A thorough police investigation concludes suicide, but her brother John Bristow believes otherwise and persuades private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into the case.

A reluctant Strike promises to review the evidence and the notes made by a very meticulous Bristow, but as he and his assistant Robin dig deeper, discrepancies emerge and soon more murders begin to surface.

It’s a gripping tale set in the bustle of London, taking us from the elegant streets of Mayfair to the backstreet pubs of the East End, and the author – whether called Galbraith or Rowling – demonstrates superb flair as a mystery writer.

I Am Pilgrim

Terry Hayes

Emma Wilson

Screenwriter Terry Hayes – who penned the films Mad Max 2, From Hell and Payback – has turned his back on Hollywood and delved into the literary world, I Am Pilgrim being his debut novel. It has a lot to live up to too, being billed as the “only thriller you need to read this year”. We begin in New York. A former CIA agent, known as Pilgrim is investigating the murder of a woman in an apartment who has been drugged, had her throat slit, and is found decomposing in a bath of sulphuric acid. It seems like the perfect murder, but after a note is found in the apartment drains with a Turkish telephone number on it, Pilgrim is on the verge of uncovering the world’s biggest act of terrorism.

A young Saudi man, named Saracen, is waging his own personal jihad against the West. After travelling to Afghanistan, Lebanon and Syria, he is trained and ready for war – biological war. The book is fast-paced, slick, and full of suspense. It does jump from one perspective to another, but with Pilgrim’s constant narration from start to finish, it’s not confusing. Hayes has done an excellent job in his debut novel, and it does not disappoint. So yes, it will be the only thriller you need to read this year...

In the Summertime

Judy Astley

Nick Ahad

Judy Astley returns with her 18th novel In the Summertime, a long-awaited sequel to 1994’s Just for the Summer. Thankfully it isn’t important to have read the first tale. In the Summertime tells the story of divorced single mother-of-two Miranda, who returns to Cornwall, after 20 years, to go on holiday. Miranda holds a lot of memories in Chapel Creek, her mother decided to spread the ashes of Miranda’s stepfather there, and the links don’t end there as she meets up with her old friends Jessica and Andrew and her first love Steve.

Miranda feels old, long-buried memories starting to bubble to the surface.

This is a perfect read for the beach.