Andy Hayes

J.K. Rowling 2.0…

Loose lips sink ships, and these days Twitter makes sure the world knows who did the talking. That’s how we learned that Robert Galbraith, the author of a new mystery, The Cuckoo’s Calling, is actually J.K. Rowling. Yanking the veil off was worth it. It’s a good mystery, square in the private eye tradition, with a dark, time-spanning breadth that echoes P.D. James. I’ve always divided the Harry Potter series in two: the first three books, which are fantasies with hints of danger, followed by the last four, which are increasingly grim and complex. And also, way too long. The Casual Vacancy, Rowling’s first novel for “adults”, was also too long, but left the impression of a writer more than ready to fix her literary gifts on the complexities of modern England. The Cuckoo’s Calling has Potter-like complexities and plotting but is sharper and avoids some of Casual Vacancy’s excesses (chiefly all those parenthetical asides). J.K. Rowling, mystery writer? She said it herself in this interview: “Most of the Harry Potter books are ‘whodunits at heart.’ ”

 

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